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  #41  
Old 04.05.2014, 17:22
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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I an surprised so many people even expect to get anything back, you agree to buy & pay a DEPOSIT, then if you don't complete you Loose the deposit. Am I missing something?
My thoughts exactly, before we paid the deposit on our place I made damn sure everything was sorted and in writing, I always assumed if I pulled out then I was kissing my deposit goodbye.
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  #42  
Old 04.05.2014, 17:49
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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It's really just an advance payment to get the seller to change the status of the advert to 'reserved' on the internet
that being the case, if you paid for the advert status to be changed, and it is changed, why would you expect anything to be returned?
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  #43  
Old 04.05.2014, 17:57
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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that being the case, if you paid for the advert status to be changed, and it is changed, why would you expect anything to be returned?
20,000 to change the status on an advert, bit excessive don't you think..? Or am I just too inexperienced in the local ways?
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  #44  
Old 04.05.2014, 18:09
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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The amount given isn't the deposit on the house as part of the sales contract, although it does indeed go towards your deposit when the sales contract is signed. It's really just an advance payment to get the seller to change the status of the advert to 'reserved' on the internet, there is no legally binding contract as a result of this. Would you really give someone a 5 figure sum with no legal documents to prove that it had been done properly and without it being a contract that offers some protection to both parties?

The deposit has nothing to do with the advert. Properties can change hands with no ad at all. A seller can agree to keep an ad running until the notar appointment and the signing of the sales contract, or even longer until the money has been paid into the seller's account. There are no rules here.

I know of sellers who did not change the status of an ad hoping to get a better offer. If they did, they would refund the first deposit in full. Unfortunately that can be really lousy for the first buyer who made arrangements already, for example, giving notice on a flat.
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  #45  
Old 04.05.2014, 18:21
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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20,000 to change the status on an advert, bit excessive don't you think..? Or am I just too inexperienced in the local ways?
your words, not mine!
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  #46  
Old 04.05.2014, 19:00
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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The seller needs to refund twice the deposit if they pull out, as is normal in other countries.
But that isn't necessarily normal here. Hence it's best to get that - or whatever penalties you and/or the seller wish - in writing in the Vorverkaufvertrag. Without specifying what happens when either party pulls out you could be in for an expensive legal battle. Because as Mrs D says:

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. There are no rules here.
So best to agree on the rules upfront, before signing anything or handing over cash.
---

BTW, in SZ one signs a contract - a Vorverkaufvertrag, pre-purchase agreement - to enter into a contract to purchase the house. It lays out who, what, where, when, how much, what if - and anything else you want to have in black and white.

The deposit is paid upon signing this document, and it is usually 10% of the purchase price. It is wise to pay the deposit into an escrow account, the amount then turned over to the sellers upon completing the purchase, that is signing of the actual purchase contract with the notary.

---

Given the the substantial sums at risk, given the insanity of the markets today, given lack of consumer protection here - eyes wide open.
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  #47  
Old 04.05.2014, 22:59
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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My thoughts exactly, before we paid the deposit on our place I made damn sure everything was sorted and in writing, I always assumed if I pulled out then I was kissing my deposit goodbye.
Not necessarily. Some years ago we had a buyer pay us a deposit on a property (it was building land) and when he changed his mind we refunded his deposit in full. It was the buyer's idea to pay a deposit in order to reserve the property while he spoke to some architects. The truth is we were not out of pocket for any expenses. We had not turned away any other interested parties, not cancelled any ads. Very often with land purchase there is no deposit at all.

We recently sold a property and the reservation contract we drafted was specific and stated a fixed penalty as a percentage of the deposit if the buyers backed out of the deal.

We once backed out of a deal when we received the draft contract from the notar. We were quite shocked to find a clause in it which the seller's agent had not informed us of in advance. It was a clause imposed by the Gemeinde (the owner of the property). The notar was furious with the agent for not having informed us. I am certain he sent him a bill for his time.

It is essential to have everything sorted before you get to the notar. Any snags and you will be looking at extra costs over and above the standard fees. These costs are normally shared but not if one party is solely responsible for increased costs.
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  #48  
Old 04.05.2014, 23:17
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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I was going to just apply for a mortgage with Homegate online, but thought that as this is the first time I have done this that it would make sense to go through a bank so that I can speak to someone face to face and make sure I have all the bases covered properly. I am assuming that this first meeting will be more about mortgage advice and options rather getting the paperwork agreed and signed off, and that I will need to go back again to get the paperwork done. When the initial fixed rate runs out then I guess I will have a better opportunity for shopping around (and hopefully getting a better rate).

I have the NK statements for last year and the budget for this year, but I need to ask the question about the Erneuerungsfonds as I'm not sure what the situation is.
I have been following along with some of this section of the thread, but it doesn't seem mention has been made of the time it might actually take to get a mortgage approved. In our case it had very little to do with our ability to provide the financial resources for the actual mortgage, but the bank wanting to do their own investigation into the actual property and the pricing. This is probably very different for a newer property, but being unsure as to the vintage of the flat you are looking at a buying, I would be prepared for everything taking longer than you expect. Then you can only be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't.
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  #49  
Old 05.05.2014, 00:03
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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I have been following along with some of this section of the thread, but it doesn't seem mention has been made of the time it might actually take to get a mortgage approved. In our case it had very little to do with our ability to provide the financial resources for the actual mortgage, but the bank wanting to do their own investigation into the actual property and the pricing. This is probably very different for a newer property, but being unsure as to the vintage of the flat you are looking at a buying, I would be prepared for everything taking longer than you expect. Then you can only be pleasantly surprised if it doesn't.
I completely agree. The property does not have to be very old either for the banks to want to study it in detail. One of the websites in canton Aargau where one can advertise a property free of charge is hosted by a bank. (NAB). When a seller submits all the required documents to them, if the bank is satisfied with the asking price, they will guarantee 48 hour financing. This is a big advantage for the buyer.
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  #50  
Old 15.12.2015, 23:09
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

Hi everyone,

I have read very carefully all you said about getting your deposit back after changing your mind BEFORE the Beurkundung.
But Zayana did not tell us if she got the money back or not...and if so, how much she was charged by the seller.

I am currently very close to going to the notary for the Beurkundung. We have paid 50k to the agent, which I don't like, and in the reservation contract it clearly says we would pay the incurred costs with a minimum of 2k...

My concern is that we got the Kaufvertrag only 3 days before the date. We don't speak enough German to read it and feel comfortable. We have gone through it with the person in the bank, line by line, and also with a person with a lot of experience in the property market here. HOWEVER, we would like to have a couple of days more to get it translate it.

I might call the agent and say we don't sign it if we don't do it next week. If she says, fine, it is cancelled. How much you think I should expect losing for the "inconveniences" and the notary fees (around 3k I calculated)?
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  #51  
Old 16.12.2015, 08:03
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

As I mentioned in my post from 2012, until the notary appointment takes place, the SELLER is liable for any and all costs that are incurred. As the buyer, if you decide not to sign even during the notary appointment, the seller will be charged with all costs (about CHF 1500, if the draft contract has already been written up).

In my opinion, your request to delay the notary appointment for a few days so that you can have the contract translated is a valid request, for several reasons. First off, you are signing a legally binding contract, and have every right to understand exactly what you are signing. If the agent or the notary doesn't allow you this, that is a warning sign (in my opinion). Further, it's the notary's responsibility to ENSURE that you understood what you've signed, since you should never sign a contract that you haven't understood.

Bottom line - there is no reason for the agent or the notary to cancel the sale simply because you ask for a new (later) appointment so that you can have the contract translated. Refusing this request would make me worry (both as the buyer and as a seller), since you could later claim that you were misinformed and try to have the contract nullified. This would end up costing everyone a whole lot more money.

Oh, and the huge deposit you've made? That's another warning sign for me. When I was selling my place, the agency demanded a deposit from the buyer that simply covered their fees for the sale (about 3%). I had listed my flat for about 550 KCHF, and the buyer had to put down a reservation deposit of 2.5% or 3% of the agreed sales price - which was exactly the amount that the agency was charging for handling the listing. If you had to put down a huge deposit (5% or more), this seems unreasonable to me - they are sitting on YOUR money.
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  #52  
Old 16.12.2015, 08:39
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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As I mentioned in my post from 2012, until the notary appointment takes place, the SELLER is liable for any and all costs that are incurred. As the buyer, if you decide not to sign even during the notary appointment, the seller will be charged with all costs (about CHF 1500, if the draft contract has already been written up).

In my opinion, your request to delay the notary appointment for a few days so that you can have the contract translated is a valid request, for several reasons. First off, you are signing a legally binding contract, and have every right to understand exactly what you are signing. If the agent or the notary doesn't allow you this, that is a warning sign (in my opinion). Further, it's the notary's responsibility to ENSURE that you understood what you've signed, since you should never sign a contract that you haven't understood.

Bottom line - there is no reason for the agent or the notary to cancel the sale simply because you ask for a new (later) appointment so that you can have the contract translated. Refusing this request would make me worry (both as the buyer and as a seller), since you could later claim that you were misinformed and try to have the contract nullified. This would end up costing everyone a whole lot more money.

Oh, and the huge deposit you've made? That's another warning sign for me. When I was selling my place, the agency demanded a deposit from the buyer that simply covered their fees for the sale (about 3%). I had listed my flat for about 550 KCHF, and the buyer had to put down a reservation deposit of 2.5% or 3% of the agreed sales price - which was exactly the amount that the agency was charging for handling the listing. If you had to put down a huge deposit (5% or more), this seems unreasonable to me - they are sitting on YOUR money.
Thanks for the comment.

50k is a lot of money for a reservation contract, but it is less than 5% of the price, so kind of reasonable as long as the expenses they charge me in case I pull out are only a fraction of it.
I will talk to the agent again today to get the final versión of the contract. We are fine with the one we read (all clear about capital gains tax, electricity check, erneurungfonds, date for final transfer...), but would be scared to find sth different. If thats the case, I will ask to posotpone it.
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  #53  
Old 16.12.2015, 09:04
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

it is the responsibility of the notary to ensure that you understand what you are signing. when we bought the house the notary provided a translator (which I did not ask for but had to pay anyway) at the time of signature just to be sure I would understand everything. My French was well enough but the notary takes the responsibility seriously. you may just call the notary and ask for a translator and go through the contract together. It is a small price to pay.
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Old 16.12.2015, 09:15
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

on the deposit I would hope/recommend it is paid into a third party account (at the notary) so not in a account of an agent.
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Old 16.12.2015, 09:18
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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Oh, and the huge deposit you've made? That's another warning sign for me. When I was selling my place, the agency demanded a deposit from the buyer that simply covered their fees for the sale (about 3%). I had listed my flat for about 550 KCHF, and the buyer had to put down a reservation deposit of 2.5% or 3% of the agreed sales price - which was exactly the amount that the agency was charging for handling the listing. If you had to put down a huge deposit (5% or more), this seems unreasonable to me - they are sitting on YOUR money.
It should be stressed that practices around property purchases, including the deposit or reservation amount will vary by canton and area.

For instance here in SZ the amount we were asked to put down was 10% of the purchase price. The same amount was asked for every house we have looked at in the intervening years (dozens of houses), so I can only assume that the agent's and bank's claim that 10% is standard to be correct.

Given house prices in SZ, one often has six figures at risk in a reservation deposit.

So it would behoove one to put clear exit clauses into the Vorverkauf.


(If the property has been languishing on the market for a long time I would hope that there would be room for negotiation, in all things including reservation amount. Especially if in an area where the bubble has deflated. But during the boom days, when we were searching, it was clear that negotiation only meant the sellers would turn to the next in a long line of bidders.)
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Old 16.12.2015, 10:01
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Re: Can not get the reservation amount back (house purchase)

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It should be stressed that practices around property purchases, including the deposit or reservation amount will vary by canton and area.

For instance here in SZ the amount we were asked to put down was 10% of the purchase price. The same amount was asked for every house we have looked at in the intervening years (dozens of houses), so I can only assume that the agent's and bank's claim that 10% is standard to be correct.

Given house prices in SZ, one often has six figures at risk in a reservation deposit.

So it would behoove one to put clear exit clauses into the Vorverkauf.


(If the property has been languishing on the market for a long time I would hope that there would be room for negotiation, in all things including reservation amount. Especially if in an area where the bubble has deflated. But during the boom days, when we were searching, it was clear that negotiation only meant the sellers would turn to the next in a long line of bidders.)
Any deposit is negotiable just like the purchase place, however if your really serious about buying the property the deposit amount makes no difference. It's only the 'time wasters' who need to worry & as a seller you don't want to get involved with a time waster. I think that a seller will have no interest to allow the deposit to be returned just because the seller had buyers remorse. Don't pay a deposit unless your 100% sure you can go ahead.
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