The first five minutes of a showing usually determines the purchase of a property!
LEGAL TERMS OF SALE
A Swiss or a foreign citizen can sell a property to a Swiss buyer immediately and without permit or restrictions.
The sale of a property to a non-Swiss citizen falls under the “Lex Friedrich” law that restricts the acquisition by non-residents foreigners of apartments and any other non-commercial property in Switzerland.
The permit is delivered by the canton and the Federal Justice and Police Department following an application submitted by a notary. Since the quota may be exhausted well before the end of the year, it may be necessary to wait until the issuance of an additional quota or until the quota of the following year enters into force.
Once the buyer has confirmed his intention to acquire the property, an official notary will act on behalf of both the buyer and the seller. The notary will draw up all the necessary documents and protect the interests of both parties. The notary will initiate the signing of a deed of sale or, in case of foreign buyers, a delayed deed of sale and a real estate purchase permit application.
The permit is usually delivered within 1 to 2 months of the application (unless the yearly quota has been exhausted). Once the permit is delivered by the proper offices of the canton and approved by the federal authority, the notary may initiate the signing of the transfer application with the land registry.
The price of the sale will be deposited in the notary’s clients funds in a Swiss bank. When the sale is made by foreign citizens, the notary must ensure that all the taxes until the date of transfer have been duly paid.
There is usually a balance outstanding even if the taxes have been paid regularly. The property cannot be transferred and the sale price will be frozen in the notary’s bank account if the notary does not pay the remaining taxes on behalf of the seller.
The notary also calculates the visitor’s taxes, the municipal taxes and the co-ownership fees so that they are not attributed to the buyer in the statement of adjustment.
All the notary’s fees are at the expense of the buyer. However, the seller may pay for costs related to power of attorney or signature authentication. The seller will also be issued a separate invoice of his costs based on the statement of adjustment.
The balance of the sale price will be transferred to the seller’s bank account (which the seller provided to the notary in advance). The transfer will be effective as soon as the seller approves the statement of adjustment.