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Old 22.11.2020, 14:49
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Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

We had an awful experience with the real estate agency of Engel & Völkers in Basel. When they advertised the house that we purchased, they put in their selling brochure a much larger lot size - 124 sq.m. bigger than actual - and the useful house area was also advertised as 85 sq.m larger than calculated later. When we questioned where the inflated measurements came from in their sales brochure, we never received a straightforward answer from E & V. Instead, they had their lawyers make us feel intimidated at meetings with them. We would never recommend using this agency for any real estate transactions.
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Old 22.11.2020, 16:13
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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We had an awful experience with the real estate agency of Engel & Völkers in Basel. When they advertised the house that we purchased, they put in their selling brochure a much larger lot size - 124 sq.m. bigger than actual - and the useful house area was also advertised as 85 sq.m larger than calculated later. When we questioned where the inflated measurements came from in their sales brochure, we never received a straightforward answer from E & V. Instead, they had their lawyers make us feel intimidated at meetings with them. We would never recommend using this agency for any real estate transactions.
You need to always check such info, the agent acts for the seller.
Hopefully they won't sue you for deformation, I am sure they can work out who you are.
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Old 22.11.2020, 16:48
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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You need to always check such info, the agent acts for the seller.
Hopefully they won't sue you for deformation, I am sure they can work out who you are.
Which part of the OP's post do you feel would warrant such actions?

Fr example, the OP wrote that they felt intimidated. They didn't write that they were intimidated.

Are bad reviews for a bad service not allowed in Switzerland?
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Old 22.11.2020, 16:50
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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Which part of the OP's post do you feel would warrant such actions?

Fr example, the OP wrote that they felt intimidated. They didn't write that they were intimidated.

Are bad reviews for a bad service not allowed in Switzerland?
Bad reviews are not allowed, same as bad references from an employer. The OP set up an account especially for the post.
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Old 22.11.2020, 16:56
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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You need to always check such info, the agent acts for the seller.
Hopefully they won't sue you for deformation, I am sure they can work out who you are.
Especially when checking plot size and floor size are 2 clicks away on the GIS webpage (I imagine every canton has it)

Not to mention all brochures and selling ads from agencies specifically say that they are not liable for errors
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Old 22.11.2020, 17:02
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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Bad reviews are not allowed, same as bad references from an employer. The OP set up an account especially for the post.
https://www.beobachter.ch/konsum/die...as-ist-erlaubt

"If negative reviews are personal or defamatory, the author can be liable for damages.
It is not forbidden to write plain text - as long as the statements are true and factual, i.e. not unnecessarily offensive."

So it is fine to leave a negative business review as long it is factual & not personal, defamatory or untrue.

Last edited by Sigh; 22.11.2020 at 17:04. Reason: Spelling
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Old 22.11.2020, 17:06
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

How big is the plot and house? Those differences could be 5% or 50%, even so I'm surprised you didn't notice.

124m2 on a plot sounds quite a lot, but 85m2 is the size of a two bedroom flat!
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Old 22.11.2020, 17:29
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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We had an awful experience with the real estate agency of Engel & Völkers in Basel. When they advertised the house that we purchased, they put in their selling brochure a much larger lot size - 124 sq.m. bigger than actual - and the useful house area was also advertised as 85 sq.m larger than calculated later. When we questioned where the inflated measurements came from in their sales brochure, we never received a straightforward answer from E & V. Instead, they had their lawyers make us feel intimidated at meetings with them. We would never recommend using this agency for any real estate transactions.

With so much at stake, it is very advisable to rely on your own advisors not those of the vendors.


There are many potholes you can fall into when dealing with property.
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Old 22.11.2020, 17:44
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

RE agents are liars just as used car salesmen. It is expected and unfortunate.
I was looking at the house in Basel suburbs sold by owners association and encountered the same exact lie. When I asked for official land registry document listing living space I was met with sudden silence from the association. Needless to say I left them an appropriate feedback on Google and never contacted them again.
Public Feedback is the only recourse consumer has in EU. It is not much, but at least some small deterrent to usual crooks.
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Old 22.11.2020, 18:23
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

I honestly don't think I've ever known the area of a property I've owned or lived in. It's either been big enough or it hasn't. If you like it and it ticks all the usual boxes then I'm not sure why it matters that much
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Old 22.11.2020, 18:23
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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Bad reviews are not allowed, same as bad references from an employer. The OP set up an account especially for the post.
Can you give me a link to the relevant law please - and the penalties for telling the truth?

Is this Switzerland or North Korea?

Personally, having seen loads of bad reviews of companies- and loads of good ones, I think you're talking b***cks*.
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Old 22.11.2020, 18:38
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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I honestly don't think I've ever known the area of a property I've owned or lived in. It's either been big enough or it hasn't. If you like it and it ticks all the usual boxes then I'm not sure why it matters that much
Not sure if serious.
It is like saying: I don't care if I pay the price of 1 kg of meet or 300 g. As long as it is big enough for my appetite, I would gladly pay the price of 1kg.
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Old 22.11.2020, 18:41
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The relevant law is Title 3 of the criminal code:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...l#id-ni20-ni23

In summary - it is not illegal to post negative reviews if they are factual and/or the beliefs are genuinely held.

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Not sure if serious.
It is like saying: I don't care if I pay the price of 1 kg of meet or 300 g. As long as it is big enough for my appetite, I would gladly pay the price of 1kg.
The point is that having seen the property, anything the advert says about obviously visible stuff like living space should become fairly irrelevant to the decision.

If two places have the same living space, but one is badly laid out or dark or something, then the actual m2 isn't the point you should judge on. Same with a garden - 500m2 of marsh is probably less desirable than 200m2 of lawn or orchard.

Last edited by roegner; 22.11.2020 at 18:45. Reason: Merging consecutive posts
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Old 22.11.2020, 18:52
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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The relevant law is Title 3 of the criminal code:

https://www.admin.ch/opc/en/classifi...l#id-ni20-ni23

In summary - it is not illegal to post negative reviews if they are factual and/or the beliefs are genuinely held.



The point is that having seen the property, anything the advert says about obviously visible stuff like living space should become fairly irrelevant to the decision.

If two places have the same living space, but one is badly laid out or dark or something, then the actual m2 isn't the point you should judge on. Same with a garden - 500m2 of marsh is probably less desirable than 200m2 of lawn or orchard.
This is the stupidest thing I've read today. RE prices around the World are compared by cost per sq. meter. That is also how properties are judged, assessed, taxed and sold.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:09
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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This is the stupidest thing I've read today. RE prices around the World are compared by cost per sq. meter. That is also how properties are judged, assessed, taxed and sold.
In your opinion.

Personally, I think it would be extremely stupid to buy a house based only or even mainly on m2 if the rest of the features don't work.



And if the market did that, there would be no such thing as luxury flats or cheap places that need refurbishment.

There's a reason the RE mantra is "location, location, location", not "size, size, size".
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:17
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

I am what some would call, a frustrated would be real estate agent as I am very interested in homes and home décor/design. In my experience, it is not just m2 which sways buyers. If a property is well fitted in terms of décor, appliances and amenities, it will command a far higher price than a similar property which is not well presented but has the same m2 and is in the same neighborhood.

In the US, there is tremendous demand in "staging" companies which basically come in and redecorate to attract sellers.

That said, OP - just asking as I have no clue about the sales process in Switzerland, but were you able to bring in your own inspector before you agreed to purchase the property? That is the norm in the US but not sure what the process entails here in Switzerland.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:19
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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In your opinion.

Personally, I think it would be extremely stupid to buy a house based only or even mainly on m2 if the rest of the features don't work.
I think BoredToDeath's point was more that the surface area is of very high importance in terms of calculating the monetary value of a property, and any wise buyer should ensure they are paying fair market value for their property. We purchased a renovation project that essentially became a new build and we gained 5m^2 in surface area after we'd already agreed to a price (modern walls are much thinner than old ones), so we benefitted from the change of building plans. Lots that hadn't yet been sold but had also increased in surface area had their prices increased accordingly to reflect the market value. Exact surface area is important for the bank. You can't make housing decisions 100% based on your heart, you should ensure you are getting a fair deal for your money.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:24
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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I am what some would call, a frustrated would be real estate agent as I am very interested in homes and home décor/design. In my experience, it is not just m2 which sways buyers. If a property is well fitted in terms of décor, appliances and amenities, it will command a far higher price than a similar property which is not well presented but has the same m2 and is in the same neighborhood.

In the US, there is tremendous demand in "staging" companies which basically come in and redecorate to attract sellers.

That said, OP - just asking as I have no clue about the sales process in Switzerland, but were you able to bring in your own inspector before you agreed to purchase the property? That is the norm in the US but not sure what the process entails here in Switzerland.
I think having an inspection here is rare, vs the UK where is is almost mandatory as part of the mortgage conditions.

But nothing stops you doing so; we viewed our house three times, at different times of the day, and I'm sure if we'd wanted to bring an inspector it would have been fine.

TBH unless you suspect something specific (asbestos, damp, rot, bad electrics) and have a check for this, I don't know how much value an inspection gives, certainly the ones I've had done in the UK seemed to always find a couple of minor points just so they had something to write, but missed more significant stuff.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:44
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

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I honestly don't think I've ever known the area of a property I've owned or lived in. It's either been big enough or it hasn't. If you like it and it ticks all the usual boxes then I'm not sure why it matters that much
It matters in that, when buying a property, no matter how much one has fallen in love with it, there should always be a corner of your heart that is leaping ahead to when you will sell it. One should find out about the guts of a property when buying it, so as to be ready for selling it. That also informs decisions about how mich it is worth pouring into the way one uses or changes the property while owning it.

The potential buyers, then, might be exactly the people who know about square metres, or marshy land or orchard, or landfills, or potential building permission to make extensions, etc..

Knowing these kinds of things equips buyers to work out whether the purchase price is reasonable relative to other comparable properties, in better or worse condition, larger or smaller, in the area.
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Old 22.11.2020, 19:46
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Re: Awful experience: Engel & Völkers real estate agency

Did you not see the actual size, in the official papers when you did the paperwork with a lawyer? Actual numbers mean nothing to me.... I walk into a property, look at it and think either this is big enough or this is too small
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