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  #41  
Old 25.11.2020, 23:06
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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In my work domain, I use lawyers in two kinds of situations;

1. When I'm concerned there might be a significant legal (or reputational) risk to my organisation

or,

2. When I'm contacted by someone else's lawyers that makes me concerned that there might be a significant legal (or reputational) risk to my organisation

and,

Where the lawyer cost is a fair bit less than the estimated legal (or reputational) risk to my organisation

OP - How did it end up in a lawyer meeting? and did you bring your own lawyers to the party?
The Engel & Völkers local office in Basel ''deployed'' their lawyers to deal with us and our questions, and they invited us to the meetings in person with them. We did not intend (and we don't intend) to engage in a legal battle with corporate lawyers.
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  #42  
Old 27.11.2020, 07:06
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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Thank you for reading our post and for your comments. We shared our experience ... as a ... lesson-learned, so other fellow expatriates don’t get into a similar situation ....

we ourselves should have checked and verified the information...

it was basically our fault that we did not check the info ...

The lesson learned: if we would be able to rewind the whole thing back, we would not go by the face value of the glossy sales brochure.....

Instead, we should have checked, verified, and requested all the information sources before...
This, yes, and well done for posting it here, so clearly. Thank you. Yes, this is the way things work in Switzerland. Therefore, to the Swiss ear, a sentence like this is startling and amazing:
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it did not occur in our minds at all to question or doubt the information in the sales brochure ...
This is because the principle of caveat emptor is the basis for transactions here, and you owe it to yourself to find out. Always.

This is not only so with regard to buying property. The same principle applies to buying anything and signing any contract. If you put your signature on the paper, or click on the "I have understood and agree" box, you are expected to have read and understood all the terms and conditions, or at least to be accepting that you are bound by them. There are not usually "cooling off periods".

Similarly, if you put your money on the counter, it means you've thought about this purchase and know what you've decided to do by exchanging money to get it. If you take it home and tear the original packaging, it is taken to mean that you've decided to keep the product and not to want to return it. Returns are possible only within a short time-frame (I think it is a week, or perhaps two weeks) and only with completely unused products in their original packaging.

Your having said "yes" meains fully committing and binding yourself to the contract, and all that it brings. This includes the notice period (and in some cases termination fee) of whatever goods or services you are you are buying, renting, or subscribing to.

For this reason, contracts to pay rental, or a rolling, recurring gym membership or phone subscription, etc., don't just go away when you don't want them any more. They do not automatically shorten even if the person moves away from Switzerland, and in some cases not even when they die! So while living in Switzerland, make sure to enter into contracts only when you are fully informed and ready to accept the terms. Pay everything up-to-date and do not risk getting reminders (which invariably incurr new fees). When the time comes to leave Switzerland, make sure to tidy up all the loose ends before you bid farewell.

It all sounds strict, and it is, but once one gets the hang of it, it's really a nice, tidy way to live.
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  #43  
Old 03.12.2020, 19:39
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In Switzerland the whole question of being "on the hook" for anything at all is so much less than what you describe from the US.

There is an overriding notion in legal matters that each party owes it to themselves to do what is reasonable and to find out what could be clear, and is accessible. To a large extent, this precludes putting the blame on someone else and holding them responsible for what one could have done oneself.

It is caveat emptor, so it is seen as perfectly obvious that any reasonable person who was considering entering into a contract would do adequate research, and not be so foolish as to rely on a glossy broschure (which, in turn, since not part of any contract could reasonably be assumed to possibly include some errors).

The square meterage is just such a matter. The municipal authorities hold and will release the information to parties who can demonstrate a legitimate interest. And any viewer could take along a tape measure.
Interesting perspective.
So let's say person lies about his qualifications on the resume. What is 'normal' in Switzerland is to put responsibility on verifying every line in such resume on the company that hires such applicant. Check.
Let's say jeweler lies about item being Gold or stone being diamonds. It is also implied in Switzerland that this is normal and responsible buyer surely can get independent lab to verify such things before stupidly paying for fake gold and glass crystals. Check.

Such system could be a norm in Switzerland , but it seems to me everywhere else it would be called: Normalizing dishonesty and low ethical standards.
I have to say I am not shocked at all.

Last edited by roegner; 03.12.2020 at 19:45. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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  #44  
Old 03.12.2020, 19:48
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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Interesting perspective.
So let's say person lies about his qualifications on the resume. What is 'normal' in Switzerland is to put responsibility on verifying every line in such resume on the company that hires such applicant. Check.
Let's say jeweler lies about item being Gold or stone being diamonds. It is also implied in Switzerland that this is normal and responsible buyer surely can get independent lab to verify such things before stupidly paying for fake gold and glass crystals. Check.

Such system could be a norm in Switzerland , but it seems to me everywhere else it would be called: Normalizing dishonesty and low ethical standards.
I have to say I am not shocked at all.
Better get familiarized with the idea. Hope not reading you soon in the complaints corner. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caveat_emptor

PS. unless you're an expert, it's standard to get diamonds with a laser print referring to an assessment made by independent lab.
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  #45  
Old 14.02.2021, 12:43
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

I have never had a problem with Engel & Voelkers, we bought our family home through them. I found them most helpful and professional throughout. I used the Rapperswil office if this helps.
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