The buying process in Switzerland is unique and less complicated than in other parts of Europe, but there are some restrictions if the buyer is a foreigner not a resident of Switzerland. However, a non-resident alien may purchase, in certain areas of Switzerland, no more than one unit exceeding 200 m2.
Here is a brief overview of a typical transaction after identifying the dream home.
OFFER: The buyer verbally formulates the offer amount and confirms it in writing to the broker, who passes it on to the seller. In certain situations, proof of availability of funds is required. The seller will evaluate the buyer’s offer.
NEGOTIATION: the seller either accepts or rejects the offer, or responds with a counteroffer. The two parties negotiate through a broker/their brokers until an agreement is reached on the price, closing date, property exchange and transfer, and any other contingency.
CONTRACT: the notary, who is a neutral figure, will be notified of the agreement reached between the buyer and seller, and the broker will provide him with full information about the seller, property, and buyer. A deposit of 10% of the purchase price is requested in his escrow account. The notary will draw up a deed of sale and submit it in all parts for verification and consideration.
EXAMINATION: At the same time, the buyer performs all inspections of the building, the broker provides the buyer and the notary with the minutes of the last meetings of the board of directors. During this investigation, unforeseen problems may arise, each issue must be considered, answered and dealt with accordingly.
MORTGAGE: If the buyer needs financing, he will contact the financial institution. The notary will receive all the information about the mortgage agreement.
SIGNATURE: On the day of signing the deed of sale, the entire amount of the purchase price must already be transferred to the notary’s deposit account. The notary will read and go through all the clauses of the contract in the presence of the buyer and seller. The contract is signed and notified by a notary. The new owner will be registered in the Land Register of the building.