Frequently asked questions about selling a property

  • How long does it take to sell a property?


    The sales process usually takes 3 to 6 months. However, it may be take more or less time than this, depending on the condition of the property, how long it is advertised, and way in which the sale is handled. 

  • When is the best time to sell a property?


    It is difficult to define the perfect time. Normally, the best time to sell a property depends on your personal circumstances.

    However, the ideal time for a property sale is affected by various factors, such as the current market situation, cut-off dates for taxes, completion deadlines and acceptance periods for new builds or conversions, and local specifics. Your personal estate agent at ImmoSky will be happy to advise you.

  • What documents do I need to sell a property?


    To sell your house or apartment, you need all sorts of documents from the land register entry to various insurance policies. Your ImmoSky estate agent will, of course, help you to select and obtain the right paperwork.

    You should keep these documents to hand for a quick sale:

    • Complete, up-to-date land register entry 
    • Construction plans, floor plans
    • Property insurance paperwork (policy)
    • Household bills from the last two years 
    • Official appraisal (if available)
    • List of investments made
  • What costs are entailed in selling a property?


    There are various costs involved in selling a house or an apartment, for both the buyer and the seller. Here is an overview.

    • Legal expenses
      The sale of a property only becomes legally binding once it has been notarised. Legal fees therefore become payable when the contract of purchase and/or sale is concluded. However, these costs vary by canton. It is worth asking for quotations.  
    • Real estate transfer tax
      This tax is payable in certain cantons. 
    • Land registry charges
      Land registry charges also vary from canton to canton. In some cantons, the fee for the land register entry is based on the time it takes to process, but most charge a flat rate. Expenses are charged separately.
    • Fees for the mortgage certificate
      Fees for the mortgage certificate are based on the amount of borrowing.
    • Property gains tax
      When a plot of land, a house or an apartment is sold in Switzerland, property gains tax becomes payable.
    • Estate agency commission
      Estate agents at ImmoSky have all sorts of responsibilities. These include acquiring new clients, advising and supporting existing clients and prospects, and conducting viewings. Their focus is always on selling properties, of course. The estate agent will accompany you throughout the sales process, right up to notarisation. Commission is payable for this work – but only in the case of a successful sale. The seller usually pays the estate agency fees. The charges are set out in an estate agency contract. At ImmoSky, the seller pays a percentage of the sale price to the estate agent as commission in the case of a successful sale.
    • Additional expenses
      In some cases, you may need to allow for additional expenses like an early repayment fee or charges for documents such as an energy performance certificate.
  • Who chooses the notary for a property sale?


    To complete a property sale, the purchase agreement must be officially notarised.

    There are two different types of notary: state notaries, which now only exist in their traditional form in the cantons of Schaffhausen and Zurich, and independent notaries which can be found in all other cantons.

    In cantons with state notaries, you must contact the relevant office (the district clerk, bankruptcy administrator or cantonal commercial registry).
    In cantons where any notary may be chosen, the buyer usually chooses the notary.

  • How can I sell my property without taxes being payable?


    Property owners must pay taxes on both purchases and sales in Switzerland. 

    In some circumstances, taxes may only become payable at a later date. As per  Art. 12 of the Tax Harmonisation Act (StHG) taxation is delayed in the following cases:

    • Change of ownership via inheritance (succession, division of an estate, bequest), advances against inheritance or gifts;
    • Change of ownership between spouses in connection with property law or to discharge extraordinary contributions by one spouse towards the family’s upkeep (Art. 165 of the Swiss Civil Code [ZGB]) and claims under divorce law, provided both spouses agree;
    • Allocations of land for the purpose of consolidating assets, district planning, settling borders, rationalising farmsteads, and allocating land in connection with expropriation proceedings or imminent expropriation;
    • Complete or partial sale of a plot used for agriculture or forestry, provided the sales proceeds are used within a reasonable time-frame to purchase an owner-managed replacement plot or to improve proprietary, owner-managed plots used for agriculture or forestry;
    • Sale of a residential property permanently and solely occupied by the owner (detached house or owner-occupied apartment), provided the proceeds are used within a reasonable time-frame to acquire or build a replacement property in Switzerland which is used for the same purpose.
  • Who is allowed to sell properties?


    In principle, a property may only be sold by the owner (registered in the land register) or an authorised person.

    We are happy to support you on the way to a successful conclusion of the sale. In this case we take over for you:

    • The marketing of the property
    • The search for suitable buyers
    • Planning and conducting viewings
    • The negotiations
    • The organisation of the notary appointment

More on the topic of real estate sales

Frequently asked questions about property valuations

  • Why should I have a professional valuation done?


    Price plays a key factor in a successful sale. The higher the price, the fewer people are interested. By contrast, a lower price can substantially reduce the time it takes to sell a property.

    As an established estate agency, we know the market price of properties – including homes in your region and even your part of town.

    • We incorporate trend analyses and the latest developments in property prices when we make a price recommendation.
    • We also use a recognised valuation tool by a well-known valuation organisation. This means our experts have access to an extensive database with a very large number of comparable transactions.
  • What information is needed for the valuation?


    In addition to factors like the area in square metres and year of construction, fittings play an important role.
    Below is a list of key property information which you should have to hand:

    • Type of property
    • Number of rooms
    • Living space (can be found on the floor plan)
    • Plot size
    • Property address
  • What are the main considerations when estimating the market value of a property?


    Real estate value is determined by the market (i.e. demand), location and the nature of the property itself. This means that information about these parameters is needed to value a property.
    Market factors which play a role in assessing the property:

    • Economic trends
    • Employment trends
    • Purchasing power
    • Market liquidity
    • Location image
  • Which factors do experts look at in detail?


    Our experts distinguish between three factors which have a major impact on a property’s value: the economic unit (ownership structure, detached house, apartment), quantitative factors (year of construction, living space, etc.) and qualitative factors (standard, condition and micro-location). Particularly in cities like Zurich, parking is also a consideration.

  • Which method is used for the online valuation?


    The free online valuation is conducted using the hedonic pricing method, which compares the selling prices in similar transactions to estimate the value of your property.

  • What is the hedonic pricing method?


    Also known as the comparative or statistical method, the hedonic pricing method can be used anywhere. It takes various criteria into account to work out the market price. More than 70 characteristics of the property are recorded and compared with similar real estate transactions.

    These can be broken down into the following main criteria:

    • Macro-location
      Regional factors including infrastructure, taxes, amenities, transport links and proximity to jobs, etc.
    • Micro-location
      Distance to schools, shops, cultural amenities, public transport links, recreation areas and civic centres
    • Quantitative property details
      Total floor space, volume, useful area, number of rooms, etc.
    • Qualitative property details
      Year of construction, conditions, standard, etc.
    • Special factors that increase or decrease value

    The hedonic pricing model is best suited to standard properties. Character homes or mixed-use properties (residential and commercial properties) need to be valued using experience and professional expertise alongside key statistical data.

    The resulting final value is not the same as the effective selling price, but is merely a price estimate based on a comparison of the market data examined.

  • Which properties can be priced using the tool?


    The property valuation tool gives you a free estimate of how much your house or apartment in Switzerland is worth in just a few clicks. Please contact ImmoSky for a no-obligation valuation of multi-family dwellings, investment properties and building plots. For a successful sale, it is advisable to ask one of our estate agents to complete a professional property valuation as well as obtaining a digital estimate.

More on the topic of  real estate valuation

Frequently asked questions about mortgages

  • Which mortgage model is right for me?


    There are different mortgage models. Which is the right one for you? Your financial resources play a role, as do your attitude to risk and anticipated developments in interest rates. In Switzerland, there are three types of mortgage: fixed-rate mortgages, variable-rate mortgages and LIBOR mortgages (money-market mortgages). For all mortgages, the interest rate depends on the amount of the loan and its term, market interest rates and your credit rating (creditworthiness).

  • How much equity do I need to get a mortgage?


    You need equity of at least 20%, whereby 10% must be real cash. Examples include savings, a savings balance from the 3rd pillar or advances against inheritance. A pension fund balance, for instance, is not classed as real cash.

  • How much can I afford to borrow on a mortgage?


    The interest, monthly repayments (amortisation), maintenance costs and bills must not exceed 33% of your remaining gross income. Banks will only approve applications up to this level.

  • What documents do I need to enquire about financing?


    To check an enquiry about financing, banks need documents relating to the property in question and your current financial situation.
    Any missing paperwork will delay the process, so please have the following documents to hand:

    download Checklist for financing enquiries

    You are welcome to contact us if you do not yet have all these documents and we will help you to obtain them.

  • When is the right time to ask ImmoSky about finance?

    • If you want to know your budget before you start looking for a property
    • If you already have a specific property in mind
    • If you want to seek a second opinion or offer from a lender other than our usual bank
  • How much equity do I need to get a mortgage?


    You need equity of at least 20%, whereby 10% must be real cash. Examples include savings, a savings balance from the 3rd pillar or advances against inheritance. A pension fund balance, for instance, is not classed as real cash.

  • What formulas does the online mortgage calculator use?


    The commitment to finance your dream home is no coincidence. Interest, amortisation (repayment), maintenance and ancillary costs may not exceed 33 % in relation to the remaining gross income. You need at least 20 % equity capital, 10 % of which must be real equity capital. Credit balances from the pension fund are not real equity.

    To calculate affordability, we use a mortgage interest rate of 5 % and ancillary costs of 1 % of the purchase price of the property, thus creating a solid long-term basis for your financing.
    For this calculation, it is assumed that the second mortgage will be fully paid off within 15 years.

  • Which property can I afford?


    Interest, monthly repayment (amortisation), maintenance and ancillary costs may not exceed 33% in relation to the remaining gross income. This is a prerequisite for a financing commitment with a financial institution.

    Determine your budget with our free mortgage calculator:

    Go to Online Mortgage calculator

More on the topic of mortgages

Do you have further questions?

We are there when you need us

We are there when you need us

Would you like some professional assistance with selling your property? Our experienced advisers are happy to help.

058 520 01 30
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