Buying property in Switzerland : FAQ
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General questions

Can I buy if I am not a resident?
It all depends. Non residents can buy vacation properties in touristic areas. European Union citizens who are Swiss residents can buy without restrictions. Other residents can buy one property for their own use. There's a special permission to be asked if you want to buy a piece of land larger than 3000 m2.

So, how do I become a resident?
There are many ways one can become a Swiss resident. We offer services in many cases - please check our Swiss residence page.

Can I get a mortgage?
Yes. Foreigners can get between 60% and 80% of the house price or bank-appraised value, whichever is lower. We will be glad to help you getting a mortgage.

What sort of fees are associated with buying real estate in Switzerland?
When you buy land, an appartment or a house there are moving duties and a land tax to be paid. These are usually payable by the buyer directly to the notary public. The amount varies from canton to canton but usually it is around 4%.

How does the actual buying process work?
It depends on the canton. In most cantons, once you have agreed on the terms with the seller or his agent, arranged the financing if applicable and obtained your residence permit, you take an appointment with a local notary public. This is a sworn officer whose responsibility it is to check that the transaction is legal and then to make it happen. He will check that the seller really owns what is being sold, that you have the right to buy it and that you understand what you are buying. The money is paid to the notary and he releases it only when the change of ownership has been properly registered. It should be noted that paying a little extra "under the table" is a criminal offence in Switzerland and should be avoided.

Do I have to sell the house once I leave Switzerland?
No, you can keep all your houses in Switzerland when you leave the country, even if you are no more Swiss resident.

How does the price level of Swiss real estate compare with that of Paris, London, LA?
House prices in most areas of Switzerland are comparable or cheaper than in London, LA or Paris. Building quality is usually better although interior decoration is not always something you want to keep.


Our buyer's agent service

Who are you and what services do you offer?
Micheloud & Cie is a Swiss company offering services to people that settle in Switzerland. We handle individuals - not companies. Our clients are retired, live off independent means or come to Switzerland to start a business. We offer a one stop service that handles all the legal, fiscal and practical aspects of relocation. We offer a buyer's agent services. You tell us what sort of house or appartment you want - we find it for you. We are on your side during the whole search, negotiation and purchase procedures.

How much does your service cost?
We charge a 1% commision on the total house price with a CHF.500.- non refundable advance deductible from the commission.

Why are you not paid a commission by the seller?
The seller pays the seller's agent - the broker. The broker's job is to find a buyer and get his client - the seller - the highest price for his property. Our job is to find you - the buyer - the best house available on the market for your budget and to get it at the lowest price. In only very rare instances would it be possible for us to get the seller pay us a commission. And that's normal. After all, we are not working for him, but for you.

I thought that the agent showing me houses did represent me
No he does not. He is representing the house's seller and it is the seller who pays him. The seller's agent has a duty to represent the seller's best interests - not yours.

Can you also help me if I want to find rented accommodation?
Yes we can. Please read our rental section.


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