Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general  
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07.11.2013, 03:56
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wohlen AG
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
morag herbert has no particular reputation at present
House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

A real estate firm sold our house for us as we are in Australia. They had power of attorney and managed to sell the house but since selling, the new owner is withholding 12500 chf as the heating needs repairing. We thought the new owner was made aware of this prior to the sale. Both the real estate company and our lawyer refuse to help as they say that their job of "selling the house" is over. Can anybody give me an idea what to do next. Unfortunately, I did not join HEV.
All advice gratefully received!
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 07.11.2013, 06:45
Phil_MCR's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Basel
Posts: 14,602
Groaned at 281 Times in 187 Posts
Thanked 18,454 Times in 7,738 Posts
Phil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond reputePhil_MCR has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

How did they get the house before paying?
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank Phil_MCR for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 07.11.2013, 07:38
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wohlen AG
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
morag herbert has no particular reputation at present
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

She managed to get a reduction of 5000 chf from our asking price, signed the contract, paid all money but has withheld 12500 chf. Our lawyer and real estate agent have run away from us, not willing to help. We are in Oz and pretty stuck. We have asked her for a form from her lawyer to prove that she is allowed to withhold this money, awaiting her reply. We just need to know what to do next. I am blaming the real estate agent...she should have done her homework, informed the buyer of the heating system being old etc. instead, she handed over the keys without the contract being fulfilled.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07.11.2013, 07:39
AbFab's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Zürich
Posts: 8,370
Groaned at 356 Times in 244 Posts
Thanked 12,353 Times in 4,224 Posts
AbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond reputeAbFab has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Your agents were fools, not to say in breach of contract, by handing over the keys without payment in full. I would say your initial complaint is with them. I 'll bet you're paying them enough...
Reply With Quote
The following 5 users would like to thank AbFab for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 07.11.2013, 07:48
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,186
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,540 Times in 1,314 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Your agents were fools, not to say in breach of contract, by handing over the keys without payment in full. I would say your initial complaint is with them. I 'll bet you're paying them enough...
I agree with this.

You do need a lawyer and it will all turn on the facts (enough of which we do not have here) and in particular the extent of the power of attorney. You need a different one to the one that acted in the house sale as your complaint could also be against him/her if they handled the completion monies.

But you may also decide that the costs and effort of persuing the issue are too great to warrant the amount to be recovered.

A middle course would be to initially get some advice from a lawyer to see how strong your case is, then depending on that, approach the buyer/agent stating your case and claiming payment. You could sweeten the position by agreeing a lesser sum. It would be easier then going the whole take them to court route.

PS do you know for sure whether or not the heating was discussed when the buyer was shown the property? You say you thought it was not discussed but are you sure? It is a pretty standard sort of looking round house query even for someone who is not too savvy.
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank ecb for this useful post:
  #6  
Old 07.11.2013, 07:54
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Wohlen AG
Posts: 31
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 6 Times in 5 Posts
morag herbert has no particular reputation at present
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Thank you for your advice. I will contact the manager of the real estate company and breach a formal complaint against the agent who was our power of attorney as well. I personally think the money should be paid out of her commission, we had absolutely no contact with the buyer till after the sale. If anybody can recommend a good lawyer, that would be fab. Thanks again.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:03
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Unless you can prove the buyers where told the heating didn't work way before the actual sale then I think you are stuffed. When you buy here all fitted appliances have to work, if not the seller has to get them fixed or replaced. Your argument is with the people you hired to sell your place.
Reply With Quote
The following 4 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:05
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 22,312
Groaned at 411 Times in 319 Posts
Thanked 17,340 Times in 9,731 Posts
Medea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond reputeMedea Fleecestealer has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Presumably she didn't buy the house unseen so she should have checked/queried this before putting in an offer. Buyer beware and all that.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:13
ecb's Avatar
ecb ecb is offline
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: out n about - it's summer!
Posts: 2,186
Groaned at 8 Times in 8 Posts
Thanked 3,540 Times in 1,314 Posts
ecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond reputeecb has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Unless you can prove the buyers where told the heating didn't work way before the actual sale then I think you are stuffed. When you buy here all fitted appliances have to work, if not the seller has to get them fixed or replaced. Your argument is with the people you hired to sell your place.
I thike general position is that it is taken as seen but I seem to remember that the sale contract (which is generally in a pretty standard form) overrides that. What I don't recall is whether this obligation is contractual or implied by law. But I certainly remember being very particular to tell our buyers that the oven was pants and would most likely burn one edge of your cake whilst leaving the other side still liquid.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank ecb for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:20
bigblue2's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Glarus
Posts: 8,082
Groaned at 484 Times in 403 Posts
Thanked 14,715 Times in 5,780 Posts
bigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond reputebigblue2 has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

When we bought our place the sellers had to give us a wad of cash as the built in fridge was broken, the notary asked us if this was ok and we signed. We didn't check beforehand and the notary said this was standard, everything in the house had to work unless we where specifically told beforehand that it didn't
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank bigblue2 for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:32
Island Monkey's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Wallis
Posts: 5,968
Groaned at 100 Times in 65 Posts
Thanked 6,659 Times in 3,020 Posts
Island Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond reputeIsland Monkey has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Do buyers not get a survey done before buying in CH?
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07.11.2013, 08:59
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,378
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Do buyers not get a survey done before buying in CH?
No & they don't use lawyers either.........they share a Notary.

Surveyors don't test appliances, they check the fabric of the building & roof. They always advise on further specialist tests that nobody ever does.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07.11.2013, 09:00
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lugano
Posts: 6,382
Groaned at 125 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 7,665 Times in 3,587 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
A real estate firm sold our house for us as we are in Australia. They had power of attorney and managed to sell the house but since selling, the new owner is withholding 12500 chf as the heating needs repairing. We thought the new owner was made aware of this prior to the sale. Both the real estate company and our lawyer refuse to help as they say that their job of "selling the house" is over. Can anybody give me an idea what to do next. Unfortunately, I did not join HEV.
All advice gratefully received!

I don't understand how the new owner is withholding money. Before the papers were signed at the notary, the bank would have sent the paperwork over for the promise of payment for the agreed amount and this is irrevocable. Earlier on you may have received a deposit. What is then due is the difference from the agreed sale price less the deposit. Out of this money the real estate commission is paid by you. You will also have the notary fees and the related costs (title registration change etc). If the agreed amount was chf 12,500 less at that time, nothing is being withheld. The bank would have acted based on the buyer's instructions. They cannot hold back anything or the sale is incomplete. As has been said, your problem is with the agent and possibly the scope of the power of attorney. If all the money was paid into their account, then I see how it is possible for money to be held back.

On the official handover of the keys, there should have been an inspection, and that is when the new owner must check if all is working.

If prior to this problems were found, then the price to be paid should have been negotiated and discussed.

I know I recommended an agency to you. I am curious if you used them, as I know them and they are very professional. But I think your house was listed with a different agency.

As for not joining the HEV, the agent we dealt with from the HEV was not beyond playing games and giving us wrong information.

In my opinion, chf 12,500 for a heating system which is not working is not a lot of money. Have you asked for back up? A repair estimate or invoice for work carried out?

Selling a property when you are out of the country is very difficult. That is why it is crucial to find someone you can trust. Often the power of attorney is not given to the agent but to someone else.

EDIT: I recall your house was for rent and in the advert here you said it was in a great state. So what would you have done if the new tenant said the heating wasn't working?
__________________


Last edited by Mrs. Doolittle; 07.11.2013 at 09:11.
Reply With Quote
The following 9 users would like to thank Mrs. Doolittle for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 07.11.2013, 09:21
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 31,901
Groaned at 2,389 Times in 1,737 Posts
Thanked 38,849 Times in 18,312 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
No & they don't use lawyers either.........they share a Notary.
They do here, though perhaps only in their capacity as notaries.

My late MIL's house was sold this year, and each party (buyer, seller) had their own lawyer/notary, not shared.

Tom
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #15  
Old 07.11.2013, 09:24
st2lemans's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Lugano
Posts: 31,901
Groaned at 2,389 Times in 1,737 Posts
Thanked 38,849 Times in 18,312 Posts
st2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond reputest2lemans has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Often the power of attorney is not given to the agent but to someone else.
In our case the heirs (my wife, her sister, her son) gave the POA for the sale to my wife's lawyer, no other agents were involved.

Tom
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank st2lemans for this useful post:
  #16  
Old 07.11.2013, 09:35
Sean Connery's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Zurich
Posts: 5,565
Groaned at 58 Times in 54 Posts
Thanked 7,554 Times in 3,388 Posts
Sean Connery has a reputation beyond reputeSean Connery has a reputation beyond reputeSean Connery has a reputation beyond reputeSean Connery has a reputation beyond reputeSean Connery has a reputation beyond reputeSean Connery has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

In basic terms, you must declare any issues known to you before the sale.

It seems there were issues with the heating before the sale:
Quote:
View Post
the heating needs repairing. We thought the new owner was made aware of this prior to the sale.
So the issue you seem to have is that the issue existed and the buyer refused to accept to buy the house with the issue "as is".

Do you actually know what the issue with the heating was and how much it would cost? Because had you fixed it yourself, there would be no funds withheld.

Put yourself in their shoes; would you buy a house with defective heating to be repaired at your cost? I doubt it.....
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Sean Connery for this useful post:
  #17  
Old 07.11.2013, 14:51
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Lugano
Posts: 6,382
Groaned at 125 Times in 92 Posts
Thanked 7,665 Times in 3,587 Posts
Mrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond reputeMrs. Doolittle has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Do buyers not get a survey done before buying in CH?
As a buyer you can pretty much bring anyone you choose along to inspect the house if you wish. You can bring an engineer to look at structural issues, or you can bring an architect, or a renovation specialist. But many people don't. Many people do not even ask if the house was appraised by a specialist (not necessarily a real estate agent) who is trained to find problems.

As a seller you have the chance to put things right or deduct the cost from the sale price based on an estimate. If you show the estimate to the seller there is complete transparency.
__________________

Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07.11.2013, 14:58
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,378
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Many people do not even ask if the house was appraised by a specialist (not necessarily a real estate agent) who is trained to find problems.

As a seller you have the chance to put things right or deduct the cost from the sale price based on an estimate. If you show the estimate to the seller there is complete transparency.
Are houses ever appraised by an expert by sellers offered for sale?
A real estate agent, is an agent of the seller, often without qualifications at all in Switzerland, certainly not experts in surveying at all.

Surveyors as a profession don't even exist as a profession in CH.
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07.11.2013, 18:47
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Ticino
Posts: 3,001
Groaned at 93 Times in 65 Posts
Thanked 3,902 Times in 1,559 Posts
Snoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond reputeSnoopy has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
Are houses ever appraised by an expert by sellers offered for sale?
A real estate agent, is an agent of the seller, often without qualifications at all in Switzerland, certainly not experts in surveying at all.

Surveyors as a profession don't even exist as a profession in CH.
They have what they call "Immobilienschätzer". The good ones are members of an organisation called SVIT. Some real-estate agents do that also and will deduct the fee from their commission. You can also get them to come along and do a valuation without giving them the sales job...they will just charge you a fee. It's worth shopping around, prices vary. The HEV (House Owner's Association) do it also, but their valuations aren't the best quality in my opinion.

If you want someone to check more critical stuff then it make sense to try and get a building engineer (Bauingenieur) to come and have a look. We looked at a place and two architects said it looked fine. We weren't convinced and got an engineer to come take a look. He told us we should steer clear and why. It was money well spent.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07.11.2013, 19:12
fatmanfilms's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Verbier
Posts: 21,378
Groaned at 461 Times in 352 Posts
Thanked 23,091 Times in 11,824 Posts
fatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond reputefatmanfilms has a reputation beyond repute
Re: House sold but new owner retaining money, advice required.

Quote:
View Post
They have what they call "Immobilienschätzer". The good ones are members of an organisation called SVIT. Some real-estate agents do that also and will deduct the fee from their commission. You can also get them to come along and do a valuation without giving them the sales job...they will just charge you a fee. It's worth shopping around, prices vary. The HEV (House Owner's Association) do it also, but their valuations aren't the best quality in my opinion.

If you want someone to check more critical stuff then it make sense to try and get a building engineer (Bauingenieur) to come and have a look. We looked at a place and two architects said it looked fine. We weren't convinced and got an engineer to come take a look. He told us we should steer clear and why. It was money well spent.
Valuations are based on land value without a property & cost to rebuild. IMHO that's nothing to do with market value........which is what a willing buyer will pay, which could be -50 % to + 50 % of valuation
Reply With Quote
Reply




Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
New MTB - Advice Required Stu&Kara Sports / Fitness / Beauty / Wellness 10 07.09.2013 14:15
House owner search? monkeynut Daily life 7 26.07.2011 14:08
Are you a house owner near Zurich Airport ? Claim your money ... jrspet Swiss politics/news 1 23.03.2011 17:46


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 04:44.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0