Selling residential property: what you need to pay attention to
There are many reasons for selling one's own flat or house: an addition to the family, a new job in a different location, adult children moving out, retirement and other financial events - or simply the desire to change one's living situation. Just like the purchase, the sale of their property is a drastic event for most homeowners, involving a great deal of money. Clarifying important issues early on helps to ensure that the sale is handled optimally and that the best possible price is achieved.
Basically, it makes sense to study the local property market as well as similar transactions before the sale in order to get a "feel" for the realistic sales proceeds. Various digital real estate platforms (such as Liiva, the residential property platform of Raiffeisen and Mobiliar) offer a quick and good overview. With digital valuation and calculation tools, an initial theoretical value of the property can be easily determined on the basis of a property analysis.
As a first step on the way to selling a property, those willing to sell must clarify whether they want to sell their residential property themselves or commission an estate agent to do so. Those who want to handle the sale on their own should have enough time and appropriate expertise in legal and contractual matters. An estate agent usually costs 2 to 3 percent of the sale price, but she not only helps to determine the sale price, find a buyer, draw up contracts and handle the sale, but also provides valuable local know-how, a network of interested parties as well as advice and experience.
Other points to consider are time flexibility and whether the sale proceeds are needed to purchase another property. If the sale does not have to take place as soon as possible, you can wait for the perfect buyer for whom everything is right and who is therefore willing to pay a high price. If the sale is urgent, price reductions may have to be expected.
It must also be considered whether and what renovation work needs to be done before the sale. Is the installation of a new kitchen worthwhile, as it will enhance the value of the property and fetch a higher price? Or will the new owners want to make major changes themselves anyway?
It is also important to bear in mind the taxes that will be incurred in connection with the sale of the property. There are property gains taxes, which are usually paid by the seller. Depending on how long the property was owned by the selling party, this tax amount can be very high (especially in the case of inherited properties) and can vary greatly from canton to canton.
If another property is purchased with the sale proceeds, the two transactions must be coordinated in terms of timing. This is because if another property is purchased within certain time limits, the property gains tax owed may under certain circumstances be transferred to the newly acquired property so that it does not have to be paid in cash.
The property transfer tax, land registry fees, transfer of the promissory notes and other expenses incurred with the sale also add up. If the mortgages are repaid early, costs will be incurred, which may also play a role in the timing of the sale.
Last but not least, consider keeping the property and renting it out - provided the financial situation allows it. Although this option is costly, it can be a very good investment depending on the location of the property. However, such a decision requires a holistic view of the financial situation, current needs and pension planning. This also applies to the use of the sale proceeds, which in most cases are considerable.
The decision as to whether the residential property should be sold at the highest price, as quickly as possible or specifically in a socially acceptable manner can only be made by the owner. However, local experts can make a significant contribution to making the right decisions and achieving the best result.