Is it worth using an estate agent?
Selling your own apartment or property is often tedious and it’s easy to underestimate the amount of work required. You can’t sell an apartment or house overnight. How do you find out the current value of your property? How can you get the best possible price for your house? Do you need a solicitor to sell a house? Which website is best for selling my home? These are just the questions that are the easiest to clear up before selling.
First, the seller has to decide whether to sell their property themselves, or whether they'd prefer to do so with the help of an estate agent. Sure, it sounds tempting to save on the commission of a professional estate agent, but it can soon prove to be a false economy. Acquiring the services of an estate agent does cost money, but in many circumstances it makes sense. The advantage of using an estate agent is that they come with lots of experience, and the cost is often more than offset by the higher sale price achieved for the property.
The benefits of using an estate agent
If you use an estate agent, the benefits range from the initial consultation all the way through to the sale of the property and handing over the keys. All the work is done for the seller, whether it's fielding countless phone calls and being on hand more often, handling complex paperwork or conducting arduous viewings. To put it in a nutshell, your property gets sold more quickly, more efficiently and at a better price.
An estate agent’s network
Estate agents use their networks and other primed channels to sell your apartment or house to the right buyers. Placing individual listings isn’t usually enough to sell a property. One obvious advantage of using an estate agent is that their network of customers often extends beyond the immediate locale, perhaps even extending all over the world. Swiss real estate is in huge demand worldwide and very valuable indeed. An estate agent can usually draw upon their experience to match a freehold apartment with the right person all the more rapidly.
A realistic price estimate
When selling real estate, the big challenge is going on the market at a realistic price. An estate agent has the advantage of knowing the regional real estate market and prices like the back of their hand. If the selling price is too low, you're throwing money away; too high, and it will be difficult to find a buyer. Owners often overestimate how much their property is worth. As a result, they put it on at too high a price and end up sitting on it for a long time. After that, they reduce the price, but that puts the property in a negative light and proves to be a disadvantage, as prospective buyers may be deterred by the sudden drop in price. It can also be worthwhile hiring an estate agent to give their opinion on property renovations. In some cases, renovation work can increase the price of the property many times over, but sometimes it’s not worthwhile and results only in a tiny increase in the market price. An estate agent can draw upon their experience to advise on how to proceed.
Interpersonal and negotiating skills
Negotiating is part of the core skillset and expertise of any estate agent: they know exactly how to bring sellers and prospective buyers together. This ability pays off, especially in long, tough negotiations. Indeed, complicated negotiations are fairly common when selling a property, as there’s a lot of money at stake for both buyers and sellers.
No emotional ties to the property
Selling a property that has been your home is never easy. There are all sorts of wonderful memories associated with it; maybe your children even grew up in it. It follows that selling your own home can be a painful process. An estate agent can take a more pragmatic view of the situation and focus properly on selling the property.
Errors when handling property purchases can quickly become very expensive. Those who aren’t used to it often lack in-depth knowledge of contract law, land registers and financing. By using an estate agent, sellers can avoid nasty surprises and get their property successfully sold to its new owners. Estate agents check the contract, assist with the land register office and check that the buyer is solvent.
Finding the right agent
Anyone can call themselves an estate agent in Switzerland. Although the level of training is significantly higher than it was a few years ago, there are a few black sheep among estate agents who demand commission that’s out of proportion with the services rendered. Membership of the Swiss Chamber of Real Estate Agents (Schweizerischen Maklerkammer, SMK) provides an indication of the seriousness of an agent. If you want to engage an estate agent to sell your property, you should get several quotes, ask for references and negotiate the terms of the contract.
Selling a house or an apartment is a life-changing decision that involves a lot of money on both sides. This is where the experience and negotiation skills of an estate agent can prove to be worth their weight in gold. Appointing an estate agent is well and truly worth it, as they can handle all sorts of disagreeable and complicated tasks on your behalf.