Deciding on the right price is not that easy. So a professional estimate from an expert is worth its weight in gold. If the price is too high, there is a risk the sale process will drag on and the price will have to be reduced later down the line. This often raises questions among potential buyers. If buyers feel the property is worth significantly less than the sale price, financial arrangements may fall through along with any sale. Buyers will then need to provide more equity. By contrast, an offer with suitable room for negotiation, i.e. around the market value, will have a positive impact on the price to be achieved and how long the sale might take.
When a property changes hands, this gives rise to fees and taxes that may vary across cantons:
If the sale results in a profit, that profit will be subject to property gains tax. In some cantons, when a home is sold, a transfer tax or fee is also payable in addition to the property gains tax. This is generally paid by the buyer, although buyers and sellers pay split the costs in some cases. In some cantons, an agreement can be drawn up to decide who pays the tax. There are big differences between cantons in terms of notary’s fees as well. As a private notary takes care of the notarisation process in many of the cantons in western Switzerland, the costs are often several times what they are in German-speaking Switzerland.
The price a property sells for depends on various factors. These include the number of properties on the market and the time at which a property is offered for sale.
A study conducted by PriceHubble, which looked at the properties for sale between 2017 and 2022 in terms of the number of properties and the best time to sell, concluded the following:
On average, many more properties are offered for sale in May, June, July and October than in December, January or April.
There are also seasonal differences as regards the sale price actually achieved. Properties advertised in July and August achieve the highest sale prices on average. By contrast, the lowest average prices per square metre are usually achieved in February. They are generally CHF 85 to CHF 88 lower per square metre than in July and August.
But above all, the best time for selling a property depends on a person’s circumstances. Nevertheless, it is worth keeping an eye on the property market and on prices, or to seek support from an expert in order to find the best time.
Our experts will be pleased to assist you.
If you make a profit on the sale of a property or land, this profit will be subject to property gains tax. Calculation of the property gain on which taxation is based takes account of the so-called investment costs, which are deducted from the sale price. Besides the original purchase price, investment costs include all value-enhancing investments and the costs for the sale (brokerage fees, transfer tax, advertisements, land registry fees, etc.). Depending on the canton, various provisions will apply. Many cantons allow relief for property owners who have owned their house or land for many years prior to the sale. So three factors matter when calculating property gains tax:
In some circumstances, property gains tax will not be payable immediately. This is referred to as tax deferral. Those who, within a reasonable period of time, invest the proceeds from the sale in a property they will be occupying can take advantage of this.
Yes. A current mortgage does not prevent you selling your home. Often, the sale of an owner-occupied property does not coincide with the expiry of the mortgage. You have three options, which we are happy to investigate with you:
Selling a property involves a lot of work – and this is where brokers can help. It is worth developing a suitable sale strategy. This will take account of your personal situation as well as any particular aspects of the property you want to sell. Market analyses, valuations or clarifying legal and tax issues also require specialist knowledge that individuals often lack. To succeed in selling a property, it is not just a case of achieving the best sale price, but also getting banks to check out the viability of finance arrangements in advance. Together with MoneyPark we will be pleased to support you through the sale process with our comprehensive services.
It is worth taking measures that have a positive impact on the value of the property and highlight its strong points. The following measures are just some examples of how to achieve a higher sale price and maybe sell your home faster:
Smaller renovation work generally pays off. Newly painted walls or new windows create a good first impression and have a positive impact on the sale price. More extensive renovation work before a sale is not really advisable. In most cases, the expense involved does not translate into additional profit.
It is not always easy to find a suitable buyer when selling a property - particularly one with the right credentials. We get a feel for current demand on your behalf, without anyone knowing, and this helps us access a pool of buyers with the right credentials. Brokers can also size up any interested parties for you at an early stage.
In most cases, divorce changes the living arrangements of the parties concerned. If a property is jointly owned by a couple, the following points are just some of the considerations that will need to be taken into account:
If a property forms part of an estate, it will need to be valued before the inheritance is divided. The heirs may agree an amount among themselves or ask an expert to determine the value. When the property is sold, the proceeds are divided among the heirs in accordance with their share. If one party is taking over the property, they will need to pay the other heirs. Of course, affordability must be ensured for inherited property too in order for the bank to approve any mortgage.
So taking over a property from an inheritance is associated with legal and tax obligations that do not apply to a normal sale. This is something that needs to be considered. It is also essential that you check whether any inheritance tax is payable and under what conditions a tax exemption may be available.
A gift is defined as a monetary contribution given free of charge and voluntarily. For example, if parents want to transfer their house to the children free of charge, they can do this in the form of a gift. Various legal and tax considerations and questions need to be taken into account, which also become particularly relevant in relation to the death of parents or any future inheritance:
There is also the concept of a mixed gift, whereby parents sell their child a property below the market value. It should be noted that a mixed gift, in the case of an inheritance, is associated with a settlement obligation in principle, with the difference between the sale and market value regarded as an advance on inheritance or a gift from a legal perspective. Any potential increase in value but also be compensated for. Depending on the situation, a well-intentioned gift, in the case of an inheritance, may turn into a considerable financial burden.
Our experts at Helvetia and MoneyPark can advise you on all financial matters relating to the search for, purchase, ownership and sale of your own home. They also keep an eye on insurance and pensions.