In this section, you will find a summary of the procedures necessary to ensure a successful sale.
Highlight your property’s best features: The decision to buy is usually made in the first ninety seconds of the visit. Therefore, it is crucial that visitors are attracted to your property from the first glance. Here are some simple tips:
- Avoid an overpowering décor that might not be to the taste of your visitors.
- Emphasize lighting and avoid clutter in order to allow the potential buyer to project their vision onto the property.
- Fresh flowers give life and warmth to your property.
- Let your broker schedule visits during the times of day that best highlight your property.
- Neither your (nor your pets) should be present during visits.
Please note: when a Swiss or foreign seller wishes to sell a property to a Swiss buyer, the transaction can be carried out without delay. No authorization is required. However, the sale of property to non-Swiss citizens is subject to the “Lex Friedrich”law which limits the acquisition of apartments and other non-commercial buildings in Switzerland by non-resident foreigners. Each canton has an annual quota of sales to foreign buyers.
A notary must obtain permission from the cantonal authorities and the Federal Department of Justice and Police. If the annual quota has already been reached, it is necessary to wait either for the allocation of an additional quota or until the following year. This may delay the conclusion of the sale.
No authorization is required for the purchase of a principal residence if the buyer has a residence permit B (work permits for non-Swiss nationals) unless the property exceeds 2,000 square meters.
All EU citizens with a residence permit B and all foreigners with a residence permit C (residence permit for non-Swiss nationals) are exempt from limitations on buying property. Legally in this regard, they have the status of Swiss citizens.
Once the buyer has confirmed his intention to acquire a property, an official notary acts for both buyer and seller.The notary takes care of all legal documents necessary for the acquisition of the property and protects the interests of both parties. The procedure is as follows:
- Complete a record of civil status.
- Complete a power of attorney that states: the seller’s name and complete address, the location of the propertyand / or the name of the property, the No. of the apartment, the size and floor of the property,the number of parking spaces (if applicable), the retail selling price and the total sale price.
Attach a copy of the passport or identity card of each seller.
We usually send these documents to a notary. It is only once the notary receives all these documents that hecan sign the Deed of Sale or the Conditional Sale and attest to receiving the deposit in the case of foreign buyers.
No application can be made if the act of conditional sale is not signed. After completing the application for the authorization of purchase, it takes a period of 2 to 3 months to obtain the aforementioned permission (or more if the annual quota has been reached). Once the federal government ratifies the authorization issued by the cantonal authority, the lawyer may proceed with the signing ofthe document requesting transfer of property at the Land Registry on the basis of the conditional sale.
The money from the sale of the apartment will be transferred to the seller’sbank account through the notary.
Balance of current taxes and charges:
In case of sale by foreigners, the notary must ensure that all taxes are paid up to the date of transfer. In principle, even if the taxes have been paid regularly, there remains a balance to be paid. If the lawyer does not pay these taxes on behalf of the seller, the property cannot be transferred and the payment will be locked in the notary’s bank account.
Similarly, the notary shall keep a record of the tax, municipal charges and charges of co-ownership to ensure that they are reported in the buyer’s account.
All legal fees are normally paid by the buyer. However, there will be a separate invoice for the cost of an attorney, authorization of the seller’s signature and the account mentioned above. The seller will pay these costs.
Balance of the sale:
The balance of the sale will be transferred to the seller’s account once he has provided the account information to the notary.
Payment will be made upon approval by the seller of the total price of the sale.