Commission or fixed price? Choosing the right estate agent for real estate sales

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Real estate agent commission Switzerland – A successful real estate sale also depends on the right choice of real estate agent. Seriousness, market focus and the corresponding expertise are fundamental to this. In addition, the real estate experts should not be bound by any other interests or dependencies – whereby the fee model is also decisive.

If you want to sell a single-family home, a condominium or an apartment building, you have the choice of selling your home yourself or hiring a real estate agent. Property owners often have little knowledge of the complex sales process, which is why around 90 percent use an estate agent. With the new digital possibilities, the remaining 10 percent of owners try to market their home directly online, but often decide to use a real estate agent as a second step. In most cases, the effort involved is greater than it initially seems and improper handling can lead to significant financial losses.

Broker commissions

Since a house sale involves a considerable sum of money, it is important to check the fee models of estate agents. The two best-known fee models in Switzerland are: Fixed price and commission. Both brokerage contract options offer their advantages and disadvantages for sellers.

Success fee

With a success fee, the real estate agent receives a commission that is usually between two and three percent of the sales price if the property is successfully sold. Since the estate agent profits from a sale at the highest possible price, the commitment to achieve the best price is correspondingly higher. If the property cannot be sold, there is no entitlement to the brokerage fee (broker’s commission). The separate charging of expenses for documentation and advertising is still widespread. As a seller, pay particular attention to the additional costs, some of which are billed monthly.

Fixed price

Another model is the fixed price offer, where the sale is offered at a “fixed” agreed price – regardless of the final price at which the property is actually sold. With this model, the estate agent has an incentive to sell the property to interested buyers at the agreed price, as the brokerage fee (agent’s commission) remains the same. Depending on the provider, the services for the sales documents and the advertising of the property on the respective online portals are not included. In addition, the sellers themselves are often responsible for conducting viewings with potential buyers of the house. If the property does not sell, the seller must pay the agreed price of the broker’s commission or a partial amount, depending on the brokerage agreement.


Fixed prices are tempting because the costs appear lower at first glance and the profit is higher. In today’s market environment in Switzerland, it takes above-average commitment to sell the property to potential buyers at the desired sales price. If, for example, owners save the amount of CHF 30,000 broker’s commission, but sell their house for CHF 120,000 less than the targeted sales price, the fixed price model of the broker’s commission is many times more expensive as a result. Pay attention to the possible separate costs such as expenses, which can quickly add up unnecessarily when selling a house.

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