Sell an apartment. Advice for a successful sale

Sell an apartment in just a few steps.

Selling an apartment - Success in just a few steps

In order to sell your home, extensive research and careful preparation is essential. Below you will find a summary of the most important aspects to consider when selling an apartment:

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1. how do you determine the current market value of your apartment?

If you are selling your home, the first step is essential to determine the sale value of your home. In order to determine the market value of your condominium in Switzerland, you should consider factors such as the current real estate market situation. A professional evaluation by a specialist and a condition analysis of the apartment are also useful. The amount of the sale price also depends on the determination of the age and assessment of the defects. The floor of your apartment is also crucial. For example, apartments on the first floor are generally valued lower than apartments on higher floors. Which features the apartment has, such as balcony or garden, as well as the number of rooms also play a decisive role in the price estimate.

To get an initial sales price estimate, you can use a market value calculator to calculate your condo in just a few minutes for free.

Professional price estimation with system

As an owner, find out the market value of your condominium now with our online valuation calculator - without obligation and free of charge.

2. selling apartment - what documents and documents you need?

In order to legally finalize the sale of the apartment, you need a variety of documents and records. We have summarized the most important documents for you:

  • Current extract from the land register and cadastral plans, which are not older than three months
  • Floor plans and detailed construction plans and construction descriptions
  • Building insurance policies
  • Historical or judicial decisions or orders
  • Purchase, rental or work contracts
  • Energy certificate from the respective cantons (GEAK)
  • Calculation of real estate gains tax, tax value and imputed rental value
  • The service charge statements for the last three years
  • List of existing loans
  • The regulations of the condominium owners’ association
  • The current status of the renewal fund
  • Minutes and resolutions of the last three years
  • Information on the value quota of the apartment as well as the act of establishing condominium ownership.
  • Rental contract (if the apartment is rented)

In our checklist for the sale of real estate you will find all further information and practical advice, which also seem to be relevant for you here:

Sell an apartment - checklist

Use this checklist to make sure you don't forget anything when selling your home.

Where to find the necessary documents for the sale of apartments?

  • Land register extract: Online, by e-mail or in person at the relevant land registry office in the place where the property is located.
  • Cadastral plans: surveyor’s office on site.
  • Historical land register excerpts: Cadastral office.
  • Floor plans and construction plans: Should already have since you bought and will be needed again for the sale.
  • Building regulations and zoning plan: Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics.
  • Site plan: Local municipality or town planning office of your canton.
  • Building insurance policy: claim from your insurance company.
  • Rental value: Individually fixed by the cantons for tax purposes.
  • Condominium ownership regulations: administration, land registry office or cantonal housing office.
  • Renewal Fund: Administration.
  • Minutes/Resolutions: Administration.
  • Value quota/justification act: land registry office, cantonal housing office.
  • Lease agreement: Landlord. Online access is also possible.

3. when is the best time to sell your apartment?

The best time to sell your home can depend on a number of factors. However, there are usually certain seasons when the real estate market is particularly active, such as spring and fall. A stable economic situation and a low interest rate can also increase demand for real estate and thus facilitate sales. Ultimately, however, the best time also depends on individual circumstances, such as the condition of the apartment and the current market situation in your region. Professional advice from a real estate expert can help you determine the best time to sell your condo.

4. how to properly market your apartment

In order for you to sell your home, present it in the best possible way and achieve a high demand of buyers for your property, effective marketing is necessary. This includes, among other things, creating an exposé, placing online ads on popular real estate portals, and using social media channels. An appealing and professional presentation is of utmost importance to ensure the successful sale of your home.

To appeal to potential buyers, professional photos of the apartment, a detailed description of its advantages and information about the location and surroundings are important. This includes neighborhood details, distance to schools and shopping, and community and infrastructure information. A sales brochure or exposé should be prepared and ads placed on online portals, taking into account the cost.

What comes to mind for many sellers is certainly the question of marketing themselves or marketing through a real estate agent. If you want professional assistance with marketing, seeing a real estate agent is often helpful. This person then creates high-quality images and 360-degree shots of your home on site, which can then be uploaded to real estate portals.

5. organize apartment tour

Online viewing is becoming increasingly important and is being used more and more often as an alternative to the conventional (initial) on-site viewing. The increased demand is due in part to the Corona pandemic, which has led to an increased need for digitization in various areas. Various segments in the real estate industry are now following suit as well, and online property viewing in particular has proven to be noteworthy.

To arrange viewings, it is advisable to publish the exposé on various platforms. As soon as the first inquiries are received, you can plan the dates for the visits. If you want to present the property in a particularly appealing way, you can also enlist the support of a home staging service.

6. negotiate selling price

If you are selling your condo, you should talk to prospective buyers about the price when negotiating the sale price of your condo. Typically, the advertised property price will be about 10% higher than the price you would accept as the minimum price. It is important that you do not let your emotions influence you too much and that you are also prepared to negotiate.

The timing of the sale may also have an impact on the selling price. If demand for real estate is high, you may be able to get a higher price. However, if demand is low, you may have to expect a lower price.

7. taxes and law in the sale of apartments

When selling an apartment, there are some legal aspects to consider in order to avoid unpleasant surprises later on. To prevent potential legal problems, sellers and buyers should know their rights and obligations in advance. It is advisable to involve a lawyer or a notary in the sale process to help you sell the apartment and avoid possible risks.

Transfer ownership of the apartment

It is important that the apartment seller ensures that he is the legal owner of the apartment and has the right to sell it. Normally, the transfer of ownership takes place through a purchase contract signed by both parties. The sale of a dwelling is also subject to a transfer tax, which may vary from canton to canton. The transfer of ownership takes place at the notary. It is recommended that the purchase agreement include a clause stating that the buyer accepts the existing leases.

Entry in the land register

Before selling an apartment must be registered in the land register. The seller is responsible for ensuring that all entries in the land register have been properly executed and that there are no outstanding mortgages or other encumbrances that could affect the sale of the apartment.

Notice of defects in the condominium

It is the duty of the apartment seller to ensure that the condominium is in good condition and that all necessary permits and certificates have been obtained. If there are any defects, they must be disclosed to the buyer.

Property gains tax

It is the seller’s responsibility to ensure that all taxes and duties due with respect to the property have been paid. In addition, the sale of a home in Switzerland also incurs taxes on the profit made, known as real estate gains tax.

Real estate gains tax is calculated on the basis of the profit realized on the sale. This is made up of the difference between the original purchase price and the current selling price. The duration of land ownership is also included in the calculation. The calculated profit from the sale of the land is then offset against a tax rate.

The tax rate for real estate gains tax depends on both the location and the duration of the property. The tax is due in the municipality or canton where the property is located. The calculation of the tax rate varies depending on the canton and can amount to a considerable sum.

Right of first refusal

A right of first refusal agreement is a contractual arrangement that allows a person to purchase a property before it is sold to a third party. It is a kind of privilege, but it becomes effective only through an appropriate agreement. In the event of the sale of a property, the holder of the right of first refusal has the right to purchase the property before it is offered to other potential buyers. This regulation must be recorded in a contract in order to be valid.

Law of succession and inheritance

When it comes to inheritance law in Switzerland, real estate can often be a valuable and at the same time emotionally burdensome part of the estate. While some heirs may benefit from them, for others they represent a heavy burden. As a result, conflicts and disputes over the distribution of the estate can quickly arise.

Notarization by the notary

Usually, the purchase agreement must be notarized by a notary public. The notary verifies the identity of the contracting parties and ensures that the contract complies with the legal requirements. The cost of a notary may vary from canton to canton and in some cases may also vary from one notary to another.

Calculation of your property gains tax

Here you can calculate the amount of your potential property gains tax with our free online calculator

8. sale of an apartment already rented

As the seller, you must notify the tenant in writing of the sale and inform them of the identity of the new landlord and any other changes.

Rented apartments achieve lower sales prices compared to unrented condominiums due to higher demand for vacant apartments. The new owner assumes the responsibilities and obligations as a landlord.

When selling a rented apartment, you can turn to owner-occupiers or capital investors. However, selling to owner-occupiers is often difficult, as the buyer would have to terminate the existing tenancy for personal use.

Convince capital investors that the property can generate an attractive return.

9. observance of the right of residence in the sale of apartments

When selling an apartment with the right of residence, both the seller and the buyer must take into account some aspects:

  • Contractual provisions: The contract must comply with the requirements of the Swiss Code of Obligations and the right of residence must be stipulated in the contract. The contract of sale of the condominium should contain all the terms of sale, including the sale price, terms of payment, terms of transfer and agreed liability for defects in the apartment. It is advisable to finalize the sale contract in cooperation with a notary or broker. To be safe from unforeseen difficulties, an attorney should be consulted.
  • Consent of the owner of the residential right: The owner of the residential right does not have to consent to the sale. In addition, the right of residence remains even after the sale of the apartment.
  • Duty to inform: The seller must inform the buyer about the right of residence and provide him with all relevant information about the holder of the right of residence and the conditions of the right of residence.
  • Pricing: The price of the apartment with the right of residence will usually be lower than the price of a comparable apartment without the right of residence. The seller should take this into account when setting the price.
  • Management of the right of residence: The buyer must ensure that he is able to manage the right of residence and comply with the terms of the right of residence.
  • Assumption of contract: The buyer assumes the existing residential right and must ensure that he complies with the terms of the residential right.

10 The Relevance of Ownership in Condominium Ownership

Ownership Restrictions: There may be restrictions on ownership, such as easements or restrictions on use. The seller must inform the buyer about it.

When selling an apartment must take into account not only the apartment itself, but also the ownership. This is because, in addition to the real estate, shares in the rights of use of the condominium are also sold. For example, a condominium owner must first obtain the consent of the owners’ meeting before making any alterations. Therefore, it is important for potential buyers to ensure that their interests are aligned with the views of the community of owners.

It is therefore advisable to be prepared for possible questions from prospective buyers when selling the property and to give them access to minutes of owners’ meetings so that they can get an idea of the owners’ community. If the buyer does not agree with the principles of the community of owners, he could withdraw his interest in the purchase.

11. selling apartment - independently or with a broker?

If you decide to sell your condo without a realtor, you will have to put in a lot of work yourself. However, there are also advantages that speak for the self-sale.

A real estate agent can competently assist you in every step of the real estate sale process and advise you from the very beginning. He takes care of everything from marketing and sales to handing over the keys. In this way, he relieves you considerably and offers you comprehensive advice.

FAQ's - The most frequently asked questions from condominium owners

How do I find potential buyers for my apartment in Switzerland?

There are several ways to find potential buyers for your home. One option is to use an online platform such as Homegate, Immoscout24 or Comparis. Another option is to hire a real estate agent to handle the sale of your home. In addition, you can also use social media channels like Facebook and LinkedIn to reach potential buyers.

Do I have to pay taxes as a seller of apartments in Switzerland?

Yes, sellers of apartments in Switzerland must pay taxes on the proceeds of sale(real estate gains taxes). The amount of tax depends on several factors, including the sale price and the length of ownership. It is advisable to consult a tax advisor to understand the exact tax obligations.

As a seller of condominiums in Switzerland, do I have to hire a management company?

As a rule, sellers of condominiums in Switzerland do not have to hire a management company. However, it is important to note that you, as the seller, are responsible for the maintenance and management of the common property. If you are having trouble managing your condominium, you can hire a professional manager. You can also have Properti assist you with property management.

What documents do I need to sell my apartment in Switzerland?

To sell your home in Switzerland, you will need various documents, including the purchase contract, the land register and the energy certificate. It is important to prepare all documents carefully to ensure a smooth sales process.

How long does it usually take to sell an apartment in Switzerland?

The length of the sales process can vary depending on a number of factors, including market demand, selling price, and the type of property. However, it usually takes about three to six months to sell an apartment in Switzerland. It is important to be patient and set a realistic selling price to maximize sales success.

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