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Old 26.01.2015, 15:55
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Met with a couple of agents recently, and most seem to be singing the same tune:

The market (around the Zürichsee) for small houses is very weak.

What they see happening is that demand at the lower end is drying up, largely due to job insecurity. People who might have seen buying as a good alternative to renting now are worried that they cannot over extend themselves, as the job could go away tomorrow. Under 40s with families are being cautious, over 50s are worried about their retirement planning - and the 40-50 year olds with money - pretty much the only folks buying at the moment - want luxury properties.

The boom of the last 8-10 years was fueled in part by 'non-traditional buyers' that is folks who are not gazillionaires, be they Swiss or foreigners. The agents I have spoken to see this changing, see Switzerland returning to it's traditional housing culture of most 'normal' folks happy to stay lifelong renters, with buying only for the very wealthy few.

Obviously this is not Geneva - but perhaps there are similar factors at play in your area.

(For those who sold quickly, it would be helpful if you mentioned when you sold, as the market seems to be changing.)
---

If your house is not selling, have you considered renting it out? Being a landlord, especially in Switzerland, is a total pain in the proverbial - but it might be a viable alternative to the house sitting empty on the market.

Wishing you all the best.
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  #42  
Old 26.01.2015, 16:00
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Thank you meloncollie, that sounds exactly the situation that we're faced with.

Renting is unfortunately not an option. We have got a contract drawn up to get an idea but it is the last thing we want for health, sanity & retirement reasons.
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Old 26.01.2015, 16:18
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Don't answer if you'd rather not- but are you planning to stay in CH locally and rent, or move abroad, or 'back home'? If moving back to UK, for instance, the new exchange rate means you can afford a bigger drop to sell quickly and make the difference on the exchange rate.

I would go and talk to your favourite agent and ask for advice- and also ask them to filter prospective buyers more carefully.

Can you afford to sit it out, somehow? We promised ourselves that if we ever sell this house, we would give ourselves time and not have to sell quickly- but unfortunately this is not always possible. Bonne chance.
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  #44  
Old 26.01.2015, 16:39
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

We bought a new property in CH & have been paying for both houses for over a year.
No one even considered the market would suddenly grind to a halt then.

The agents all have different opinions. One says auction it off or sell by highest bid in sealed envelopes to *get rid of it".
The 2nd one says take adverts off, drop the price & put it back on again (which we did once already).
The 3rd says stop flapping, be patient & wait for the right people to come along.

Yes, playing with smileys indicates that sanity has departed.
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  #45  
Old 26.01.2015, 17:00
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Why don't you advertise it here with good photos. Although it never helps in getting a good price if the audience knows you are finding it difficult.
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Old 26.01.2015, 17:06
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

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We bought a new property in CH & have been paying for both houses for over a year.
My sympathies.
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No one even considered the market would suddenly grind to a halt then.

The agents all have different opinions. One says auction it off or sell by highest bid in sealed envelopes to *get rid of it".
Won't work. Unless you have a couple of Russians interested that start a mindless bidding-war.
Next.

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The 2nd one says take adverts off, drop the price & put it back on again (which we did once already).
Won't fool the experts, who might actually be interested.
Next.

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The 3rd says stop flapping, be patient & wait for the right people to come along.
I'm afraid, that or a serious price reduction is what you're going to end up doing.
Either way, it looks like you'll lose some money in the process.
I hope you didn't tell any of the prospective buyers that you basically *need* to sell the house.
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Old 26.01.2015, 18:20
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

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It's been repainted Swiss white. The only personalisation are "focal points" to give a little character so it sticks in the buyers mind.

I watch sweetie Plaza too. It's one of my fav programs. I do think it gives false expectations to people though of what to expect. House is blandified to hues of mud, snot & snow, 5 people visit & they all want it 'cos he's there with his gleaming smile & little bum.

Maybe I should e-mail him & see if he fancies a fondue for a change instead of his Parisian frogs legs.
Who is sweetie plaza Never heard of it.

Anyway good luck selling - as has been mentioned, post some pics on EF - might be the answer.
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Old 26.01.2015, 18:47
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Maybe it could be an option for you to rent out the house for, say, a year (fixed contract) and then sell it? That way you'd have some "income" on it and (if the renter does actually stick to the contract and leave at the end of it, go ahead and sell it without the renter. If you were to rent out for an indefinite period of time, the renter would "go" to the buyer of your house so you could still sell it. Of course you can also terminate the open-ended lease but that might turn into a can of worms depending on the renter etc. And it would probably be more hassle to sell with a renter in the house than without. Also taking pictures of the house while rented might become a problem if the renter doesn't want you taking pictures of his abode, so make sure you take them beforehand.

https://www.mieterverband.ch/mv/miet...usverkauf.html
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Old 26.01.2015, 19:03
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

"sweetie plaza"
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A9phane_Plaza

I do not want to post pictures here. This is where I need to talk to people who can share their experiences with me & prop me up until this nightmare is over.

The problem with renting is that renters destroy a place. At the moment it is semi-virgin. One very careful owner who has treated it gently. Renters are not generally gentle. We have a time constraint based on retirement & if the general trend is for prices to go down, we can't hang on to it waiting for an upward trend without serious problems.
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Old 26.01.2015, 19:34
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

One of the best options, at the moment, is to rent it out.
If you price realistically to cover your repayments, with a cushion for maintenance, you should be able to find a solution to over stretching your finances.
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Old 26.01.2015, 19:48
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

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...The problem with renting is that [the wrong] renters destroy a place...
FTFY. Not all renters destroy the property. Yes, there will be some wear-and-tear, but that would happen even if you live there. Some people want to rent a house with charm and take care of it. They want a place of their own without the long-term commitment of a mortgage. You just need to find them.
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Old 26.01.2015, 19:54
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

.... and then ensure the contract is very clear about damage and responsibility- I imagine you can also insist they take out damage insurance?

That's what I would do. Even better that you still live locally, so can keep an eye yourselves.
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Old 26.01.2015, 19:59
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

I've been lucky my tenants - we rent to them privately, and I cover any maintenance (unless specialist).

We leave them alone, and they seldom require anything doing.


We knew that they had three dogs, and we know that 12 lots of clawed feet will be taking their toll on the floors, but both parties are happy with the status quo, and are mutually happy with the fortuitousness of the situation.

We're not making money, but just covering costs, whilst still maintaining an investment.
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Old 26.01.2015, 21:18
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

How many posts have we seen here on EF of newly arrived folks desperate to find housing but who will likely struggle given their 'baggage?'

So market your property as a rental to the kind of folks who have trouble competing against 'perfect' Swiss tenants - folks newly arrived, folks who do not speak the local language, folks with children, pets, etc.

A single family home with a garden in the GE area for a reasonable rent? You shouldn't have much trouble finding good tenants. And if you are local-ish you can save quite a lot by doing the property management yourself.

You can still keep the property on the market for sale - and who knows - with a history of attracting tenants you might find a buyer who is looking for an investment rather than a primary residence.

Thumbs pressed for you...
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Old 27.01.2015, 08:35
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

How can you have a house up for sale with people looking around whilst someone is living there? They will be disturbed continually & the place would have to be kept clean & tidy. We were told no one wanted to see our mess so it's best to clear out, have it redecorated & ready for someone to move in immediately.
We do not want to rent it out. We have to pay back the money borrowed off a pension before retirement & have a time limit.
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Old 27.01.2015, 09:10
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

? is it difficult to keep the house clean and neat enough to have guests over? when i was selling my house (about 6 years ago) i had people coming to visit and see just about through each weekend- i scheduled them to be in a block and lived in the house the whole time. i kept the house normally clean and organized/neat and that was it. if you have so much stuff that it isn't neat, then clear it out anyway- for your own good. but rents in the areas around geneva (coppet, etc) are high and in demand, so there really isn't a good reason it's not selling (unless it is in bad condition, price is unreasonably high, etc)

good luck with the sale
maybe post the info here in case people are interested
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  #57  
Old 27.01.2015, 10:29
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

I think I shall put this up on the front door. Obviously no one has read it in Switzerland.
http://caroltallon.com/importance-ho...ers-etiquette/
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:32
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

Why so negative? I think this is common sense and have seen this done in any country
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:50
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

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"sweetie plaza"
http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/St%C3%A9phane_Plaza

I do not want to post pictures here. This is where I need to talk to people who can share their experiences with me & prop me up until this nightmare is over.

The problem with renting is that renters destroy a place. At the moment it is semi-virgin. One very careful owner who has treated it gently. Renters are not generally gentle. We have a time constraint based on retirement & if the general trend is for prices to go down, we can't hang on to it waiting for an upward trend without serious problems.
I am so curious what a cutie pie house is now!

Oh and renters aren't always bad, I have had bad renters in a property I owned but I have also owned and never did any damage. I have 2 kids so it was very hard to rent in the UK because everyone expected them to cause damage but they dont. Not everyone is a bad renter
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Old 27.01.2015, 10:50
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Re: Selling a cutie pie house but ...

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I think I shall put this up on the front door. Obviously no one has read it in Switzerland.
http://caroltallon.com/importance-ho...ers-etiquette/
Some of this advice is good for a first or maybe even second viewing. But before I actually make what may possibly be the biggest investment of my lifetime I think I am entitled to check that the loo flushes, that windows close and open smoothly, that the dark patch of floor under the sideboard has nothing to do with damp ... and many other things. I do have the courtesy to ask before testing, but if the seller refused, Caveat Emptor and I might well assume the worst. If that offends my agent, so be it.
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