Guide to Buying property in Switzerland

Swiss property types

International clients planning to buy real estate in Switzerland find themselves spoilt for choice, as there are a wide variety of stunning Swiss apartments and houses, luxury ski chalets, model Swiss farms and beautifully appointed holiday homes for sale. 

The cosmopolitan French-speaking canton of Geneva ranks high on the list of discerning international clients interested in buying a property in Switzerland. For plush waterfront apartments, visit Geneva city or the stunning resort town of Montreux. Stunning houses line the streets of Geneva city’s attractive neighbourhoods and in the nearby towns you will find luxury duplex and triplex apartments. 

Market trends indicate that the largest percentage of international buyers purchasing Swiss properties are those engaged in international business in Switzerland.

Swiss property prices

With property prices remaining static, anytime is a good time to buy a Swiss property. If you are planning to buy a property in Geneva city, be prepared to spend between 5 million and 50 million euros (for exceptional high-end properties). In nearby Montreux, an upmarket villa or detached house costs between 2 million and 16 million euros.

Less expensive are properties on Zürich Gold Coast, which start at a little over 1.5 million euros. For properties costing under a million euros, head to the canton of Uri. 

Costs of buying property in Switzerland

Costs incurred when buying Swiss property are:

  • Notary fees.

          Note: Some cantons require the seller to pay some of the fees.

  • Property transfer tax.

          Note: It has been completely abolished in Zürich and Schwyz.

  •  Deed registering fee.
  •  Estate agent’s fee.
  •  Value 


Property buying process in Switzerland

Switzerland has numerous sumptuous properties on the market so once you have decided to buy real estate in Switzerland, shortlist a few properties that take your fancy and schedule a visit to check out what’s on offer. 

After choosing your dream property, get a survey done. If you are satisfied with the results, have the property evaluated and approach the bank for a mortgage (if needed). 

Your next steps are to make the seller an offer and negotiate property price. Once your offer is accepted and the price agreed upon, hire a notary to draw up a Sales Agreement, which you and the seller need to sign.

At this juncture, you need to pay a 10% deposit which the notary holds in escrow for the two or three months that it takes for the Swiss authorities to approve your ‘B’ permit (EU and EFTA citizens) or ‘C’ permit (other foreign nationals). 

On receipt of your permit, ask the notary to proceed with the sale by drawing up the Deed of Sale. After you and the seller sign this, the notary files the deed with the canton’s land register. At this point you are required to pay the remaining 90% of the sale price to the notary who keeps it in custody.

Once the deed is successfully registered, the notary transfers the funds to the seller and you receive an updated excerpt of the deed naming you as the new owner. 

Winkworth International has a comprehensive portfolio of quality Swiss properties. Contact us for a brochure, to arrange a property visit or any other assistance in buying a property in Switzerland.


This information is for guidance purposes only and is subject to change. Winkworth recommend that prospective buyers or sellers of foreign property  obtain professional legal advice.



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