Legal requirements for selling property in Switzerland
- Agent’s contract/Sales Mandate - To sell your property in Switzerland through an estate agent, an official contract (usually an ‘exclusive’ one) is required. Since the rules governing this contract differs from canton to canton, it is important to understand those applicable in the canton where you are selling the property.
- Sales Agreement - Drawn up by a notary, the Sales Agreement needs to be signed by you and the buyer.
- Deed of Sale - The notary draws this up after your buyer receives the appropriate permit from the Swiss authorities. This deed is signed by you and the buyer and filed by the notary in the canton’s land registry.
Costs of selling property in Switzerland
Costs incurred when selling Swiss property are:
- Estate agents fee - usually around 3% of the sale price.
- Capital gains tax - Levied at the cantonal level and computed based on the applicable rates of taxation in that canton and the length of time you have owned the property.
- Notary fee - Some cantons require the seller and buyer to split the notary costs so before selling your Swiss property check if this is mandatory in the canton where the property is located.
- Surcharge - Levied on properties sold within five years. The lesser the period of ownership, the higher is the surcharge on the basic tax.
Tips for selling property in Switzerland
To sell your Swiss property quickly to the right buyer and receive your asking price (or close to it), ensure that your property is
- Correctly priced - A local estate agent well-versed in the property market can help with pricing.
- Presented in the best possible light.
Property selling process in Switzerland
Prior to selling your Swiss property, ensure that it is in tip-top condition and that you have priced it competitively, keeping in mind the property’s condition, age, area and current market prices. A locally based estate agent familiar with the property market can assist with pricing.
Raise awareness by advertising your property locally or listing it on an online marketplace. Alternately hire an estate agent who in exchange for 3% of the sale price will advertise your property, actively source potential buyers, arrange property viewings, notify you of offers and assist with price negotiations.
Once you have accepted an offer and reached a consensus with the buyer on the sale price, sign the Agreement of Sale drawn up by the notary. At this point, your buyer deposits 10% of the sale price with the notary.
After signing the Agreement of Sale, you need to wait for two to three months (sometimes longer), while the buyer gets his work or residence permit approved by the Swiss authorities. Once this process is complete, you need to sign the Deed of Sale drawn up by the notary.
Following successful registration of this document, the notary transfers to your account the remaining 90% of funds received from the buyer at the time of registering the Deed of Sale. Receipt of these funds and the transfer of the deed to the new owner renders the sale complete.
Winkworth International with its global marketing experience and in-depth knowledge of the process of selling Swiss property is a trusted leader in the Swiss property market.
Contact us for assistance with legal and other practicalities (such as advising on the asking price for your property, helping with property viewings, price negotiations and offer acceptance) of selling your Swiss property.