Welcome to our comprehensive guide on buying a house in Switzerland. Whether you are a Swiss resident or a foreigner looking to invest in Swiss property, this article will guide you through the key steps of the purchasing process of a land or a real estate. From establishing a budget to formalizing the property transfer, we will provide you with the necessary tips and information to successfully execute your real estate project in Switzerland.
1. Establish a budget for the purchase of your real estate
The crucial first step in buying real estate in Switzerland is to establish a realistic budget. Consider your income and financial commitments. Another aspect to take into account is savings, as you must pay at least 20% in cash of the total property amount.
It’s important to keep in mind additional costs such as:
- Notary fees
- Mortgage fees
- Fees for entry in the land registry
- Transfer taxes
- Costs of any potential renovations
- Moving costs
- By establishing a solid budget, you can better determine the type of real estate that fits your financial means.
2. Obtain a mortgage pre-approval from your bank
Before starting your real estate search, it is recommended to obtain a mortgage pre-approval from your bank. This will allow you to know the maximum amount you can borrow and give you a clear idea of your purchasing power. A mortgage pre-approval also enhances your credibility with potential sellers, giving you an advantage in acquiring the property.
3. Define criteria for real estate search
Before starting to visit real estate, it’s important to clearly define your search criteria. Reflect on your needs and preferences in terms of size, location, amenities, and lifestyle. This will help you target properties that best match your expectations and avoid wasting time on unnecessary visits.
4. Plan visits to houses and apartments that match your criteria
Once you have defined your search criteria, it’s time to plan visits to real estate properties that meet your expectations. Hire a local real estate agent who is familiar with the Swiss market and can help you find properties that best suit your needs. During visits, take the time to carefully inspect each property and ask relevant questions to the seller or real estate agent.
5. Check the condition of the real estate
Before finalizing the purchase, it is essential to check the condition of the real estate. Hire a building expert to conduct a thorough inspection and identify any structural or safety issues. Also, check legal documents such as the title deed and any potential easements. This step is crucial to avoid unpleasant surprises after the purchase.
6. Make a purchase offer and negotiate the price
Once you have found the real estate that meets your expectations, it’s time to make a purchase offer. Consider the best negotiation strategy before making an offer. The purchase offer includes conditions, such as the price, as well as the validity period of the offer, financing terms, etc.
7. Finance your project with your bank
Provide all necessary documents to your bank to obtain the mortgage loan. Make sure to meet deadlines and provide all requested information to avoid any delays in the process.
8. Signing the sales agreement
A sales agreement that you will have to sign with the seller is drafted. This agreement ‘locks’ the real estate, preventing the seller from selling it to someone else. Make sure to understand all the terms and conditions of the contract before signing it.
9. Deed of Sale
Once the financing is in place and the initial procedures are completed, you can proceed with the deed of sale. This involves signing the sales contract by both parties in front of a Swiss notary. The notary will ensure that all legal formalities are met and that the property transfer is done correctly.
10. Formalization of the property transfer in the Swiss land registry
After the deed of sale, the property transfer must be officially registered with the Swiss Land Registry. This is an important step to establish your property title and ensure that your property rights are protected. Your notary or lawyer will take care of this administrative formality.
11. Property Insurance
Once you own the real estate, it is essential to take out property insurance. This will protect you in case of damage or incidents such as fire, theft, or water damage. Consult different insurance companies to find the best coverage tailored to your needs.
12. Property Inventory upon your arrival
Finally, upon your arrival in your new real estate, conduct a detailed inventory to check its condition and report any potential issues. Take photos and note any anomalies or defects you want to report to the previous owner. This will help you avoid future disputes and ensure that you receive the property in the agreed-upon condition.
Buying real estate in Switzerland may seem complex, but by following these 12 steps, you will be well-prepared to successfully complete your project. Remember to exercise due diligence at each step of the process and surround yourself with competent professionals such as a real estate agent and a notary. With careful planning and a clear understanding of the steps to follow, you can fulfill your dream of buying real estate in Switzerland.