How much can I sell my house or flat for in Switzerland?
In theory, it's quite simple: the price of a property is calculated per m² according to the value of its location. However, as you can imagine, the price differs depending on the canton, the city and even the neighbourhood. Moreover, everything also depends on the property itself. There are many criteria that determine the actual selling price of a house or flat. Let's distinguish between those that have a direct influence on the valuation of the property for sale and those that allow for a quicker sale and without having to negotiate the price downwards.
The direct criteria that define the price of a property
- The address of the property in Switzerland
The geographical location is the first reference criterion for setting the sale price of a flat or a house. Prices per square metre differ enormously from one Swiss canton to another. But this is also the case within a city: some areas are more popular than others. Remember that the property market always fluctuates according to supply and demand.
- The type of property
The price also differs according to the type of property: a detached house is generally worth more than a semi-detached house, just as a high rise flat is worth more than a ground floor one. However, some cases may contradict this trend, such as a flat with a garden or a semi-detached house with low energy consumption
- For a house, the first thing to do is to distinguish whether it is detached or semi-detached, and whether it has an unobstructed view
- For a flat, things are more complex: are you selling a flat or a duplex, is it located on a penthouse floor (top floor or garden level), what is the total number of floors in the building, does it have a lift, and does it have an unrestricted view?
- The surface
Wherever you say price per m², you have to calculate the surface area of the property for sale. This involves calculating the living area, but also the area of the land and balconies, if any.
- The year of construction
A new or recent property is generally worth more than an old building. This is due to the fact that the building materials are less worn and more efficient in terms of energy consumption. However, if you have renovated an old property, this is taken into account and increases its value
- The number of rooms
It is sufficient to count the number of rooms and bathrooms. If your flat is sold with one or more parking spaces, this does not have the same value. The calculation therefore also takes into account the number of parking spaces, distinguishing between those that are covered (garage type) and those that are open (outdoor parking type).
Indirect criteria for selling a property quickly and at a high price
- The environment of the property
In the same way that the location of the property is important, the amenities it enjoys are also important. If your property is located near public transport, shops and/or schools, this adds to its attractiveness. Conversely, if the noise pollution is too great, it will reduce the value of the property.
Buyers are looking for brightness and sunlight. Living rooms and exteriors with southern exposure are the most sought-after.
- Energy consumption and costs
The burden of energy bills and costs in general play a major role. The less energy-consuming your home is, the more attractive it is to buyers. Double-glazed windows are reassuring, as is a recent boiler, for example.
- The overall condition
Of course, the less work potential buyers have to do, the more likely they are to buy your house or flat. This is even more true for a kitchen or bathroom.
Once you have sold your house or flat, there will be additional costs. In order to anticipate this, you should plan ahead to find out how much it really costs to sell your house or flat.
Whatever the property you want to sell, it is compulsory to use a notary in Switzerland. This includes costs for drawing up the deed, state taxes, registration in the Land Register and fees. But how much does a notary take to sell a house?
The notary service for a property for sale varies greatly in Switzerland, especially as some cantons require the use of an official state notary and others let you choose a free notary office. However, notary fees are generally calculated as a percentage of the sale price on a sliding scale: the more expensive the property, the lower the rate. In the canton of Zurich, the fee can be 0.1%, but in the canton of Berne it can be 0.5%.
- Real estate transfer tax: here again, the amount depends on the canton. If your property is located in the cantons of Zurich, Zug or Aargau, the good news is that you will not pay any. If your property is located in the canton of Berne, for example, you will pay 1.8%.
- The Land Register: This is compulsory throughout Switzerland, but the way it is calculated varies from canton to canton. Land Registry fees can be charged as a flat rate percentage or according to the time spent on preparing it. Generally speaking, the fee is between 0.1 and 0.2%.
- The mortgage schedule: this only exists in Switzerland. In concrete terms, it is the written document corresponding to the claim on the property. Thus, the mortgage note exists when there is a mortgage on the property to be sold. If the sale requires a new mortgage note, the amount varies between 0.1 and 0.3% calculated on the sale price of the house or flat.
- Property gains tax: the calculation is indexed according to the number of years you have owned the property and according to each city in Switzerland. The principle is based on the 'profit' you would have made between the time you bought the property and the time you sell it, i.e. the difference between the initial purchase price and the resale price. You can, however, deduct certain investments or improvements you have made that have increased the value of the property. You can also subtract the costs of putting the property up for sale.
How do I calculate the price of my property, house or flat?
You can simply carry out a free online valuation of your property. A sophisticated and accurate tool uses the same method as those used by banks and insurance companies, namely the hedonic method.
What are the advantages of the hedonic method? As it is very comprehensive, it allows a fair price to be set. The calculation of the value of the property does not only take into account the criteria explained above, but the method also reasons according to the local market with great precision. It compares the property to be valued with similar properties currently on the market or recently sold. In this way, its estimate corresponds to the real market at the moment.
How to sell your house or flat at the best price?
To get the best possible price for your property, your visitors must want to buy it. The principle may seem simplistic, but there are various techniques to create the famous "real estate crush".
- Set a fair selling price: A price that is too high minimises the number of visitors and makes the sale drag on. In the end, the buyer will inevitably try to negotiate to lower the price. Moreover, you run the risk of getting caught up in time and selling your property for less than its real value.
- Fix what needs fixing: All the "details" are important. The aim is to reassure the visitor that your property is perfectly maintained. Imagine that you are visiting a property yourself. If, even before you enter the house, you discover a gate that is no longer closed or is unhinged, you will have a bad first impression. If, in addition, the plants are not trimmed, the buyer is already becoming discouraged. The same applies to the interior of the house. If you have delayed the finishing touches, now is the time to complete them. Put up (finally) the skirting boards you left out, check that the light switches are fixed and in good condition, give a faded room a fresh coat of paint...
- Depersonalise, de-clutter and let in the light: Your buyer must be able to project himself. You must do your utmost to help them imagine themselves living in your home. Buyers' priorities are often the same: an airy, bright home that is as spacious as possible. Without completely renovating the interior decoration, you can easily give the impression of a larger home by tidying up and sorting as much as possible. Nothing should spill out of the cupboards. Don't hesitate to put aside a large piece of furniture at a friend's house that takes up too much space. Pack up some knick-knacks. Remove a few photos from the wall. Depersonalise the place so that the visitor can imagine himself in your place. And of course, do some spring-cleaning. A clean and healthy house is much more engaging.
What you need to know how much to sell your house or flat for
- The price of your flat or house depends on direct and indirect criteria depending on the property for sale.
- The calculation of the right price takes into account the local property market and the actual characteristics of the property itself.
- Notary fees and taxes for selling a house are calculated on the final selling price.