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Why do I need a broker to sell my house?

Thomas Miller
03.11.2022, 19:31
5 min
Table of Contents
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If many owners prefer to sell their house or flat with the help of a real estate broker rather than themselves, it is not by chance. RealAdvisor explains why, what the advantages are and how much it costs.

Why sell your flat with a broker?

If you have started to learn about selling a house, you must have quickly realised that things are not easy. They even require a certain amount of expertise and above all a lot of time and organisation. The first advantage of using a real estate broker is that you can sell your flat or house better than you would have done yourself. By "sell better", we mean at the real market price and also faster

  • A real estate broker knows how to set the right price that corresponds exactly to your property according to the services he offers and its location: a city, and sometimes even a district, are not enough to define the price per square meter of a house.
  • A real estate professional knows how to highlight your property to quickly attract visits and convert them into a purchase.
  • A broker will accompany you from A to Z in your project: he or she will manage the writing of the real estate ad, the taking of photos, the visits, the advertising, etc.
  • A broker works with a network of real estate agencies that already have a network of potential buyers.

How to choose the right person to sell your house?

The question remains as to who to contact to sell a house or flat quickly. A real estate professional worthy of the name is generally a member of a recognised industry association such as the USPI brokers' association. Secondly, the easiest and most effective way is to contact a broker who works with an extensive network of real estate agencies. Why? Because he or she will be able to work hand in hand with several experts in your neighbourhood AND in your city. His network of potential buyers will therefore be even larger than that of a single local agency.

Should I use one or more agencies/brokers?

There are 2 main types of contract with real estate brokers:

  • the simple mandate, which you can conclude with several agencies,
  • and the exclusive mandate, which, as the name suggests, can only be concluded with one agency.

To understand both, simply put yourself in the shoes of a broker and remember that the broker earns nothing until he or she has successfully sold the property.

  • When you give him an exclusive mandate, the broker knows that he can work serenely and fully because he has no competitors: no other agency can sell the property in his place, even though he has already started to advertise and visit it.
  • On the contrary, when the property is offered for sale by several agencies, no one knows who will close the sale first. Thus, the broker may have wasted time without ever earning a single franc.

You can easily understand that a broker with an exclusive mandate will be all the more motivated to sell your property. He will not hesitate to multiply the classified ads at his own expense and to activate his network to close the sale as quickly as possible and at the best price.

How does a sale with a real estate broker work?

  1. The seller signs a contract with the real estate broker: simple or exclusive mandate.
  2. The broker puts together the sale file: writing the ad, taking photos, advertising.
  3. The broker takes care of organising the visits: making appointments, planning and conducting the visits.
  4. The broker acts as a link between the buyer and the seller: negotiating the price, obtaining a written offer from the buyer.
  5. The seller and the buyer sign a preliminary sales agreement.
  6. The seller and the buyer sign the final deed of sale at a Swiss notary's office. This document includes the brokerage fees that the buyer must pay.
  7. The notary will pay the agreed commission to the broker directly from the buyer's funds, thus ending the contract.

How much does it cost to use a real estate expert?

Remember that the services of a real estate broker are free for the seller: it is the buyer who will pay a commission at the time of the sale. In Switzerland, this is generally calculated as a percentage of the price of the property once the sale is completed:

  • For a property sold up to CHF 500,000: 5% + VAT on the sale price
  • For a property sold between CHF 500,000 and CHF 4,000,000: 3% + VAT on the sale price
  • For a property sold for more than CHF 4,000,000: <3% (to be defined) + VAT on the sale price

Why use a broker when you are a buyer?

It is often much easier and more comfortable to visit a property with a professional rather than a flat or house for sale between individuals

  • The broker knows the properties for sale and will only show you those that meet your requirements: you save time.
  • Unlike the owner of the property, the broker is neutral: he or she has no personal interest in the property. You can therefore easily ask him all your questions and make all your observations without embarrassment.
  • You will benefit from all his expertise and advice, including when negotiating the price.

Points to remember: how to sell your flat through a broker?

  • Using a broker is more effective than selling your house or flat yourself
  • An exclusive mandate has real advantages over a simple mandate
  • The broker's commission fee is paid by the buyer


Do I have the right to sell my house myself if I have signed a mandate with a broker?

Normally not. The mandate you have signed commits you not to sell your house without an estate agent. However, if your contract provides for financial compensation in this case, you can always choose to pay it.

Does a real estate broker check the creditworthiness of a buyer?

The broker does not intervene in the buyer's mortgage application. On the other hand, before showing the buyer properties, the broker asks the buyer about his budget and whether he has already started to apply for a mortgage. This gives the broker a good initial idea and allows him to advise the buyer, if necessary, about certain lending organisations.

Where to find a real estate broker in Switzerland to sell your house?

You can contact the cantonal associations of professionals in French-speaking Switzerland, which are grouped together by the Swiss Union of Real Estate Professionals (USPI Switzerland). Of course, we are also at your disposal to sell your house or flat: we work with a network of over 100 recognised Swiss real estate agencies.

Thomas Miller
Thomas Miller has been a real estate agent for over 4 years now, when he is not in the field, he is dedicated to his second passion, writing, especially in the real estate market.
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