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Old 16.05.2017, 16:31
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A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

We have seen a house we want to buy. It needs work, so got an architect to look at it.

The estate agent says it is first come first served whoever has the Finanzbestätigung from the mortgage provide for the full asking price. He said this to us, and to the (Swiss) architect.

We are first but now he also wants us to send in a letter to the owners (via him, of course). The house is being sold by the family of a man who dies last year, probably adult children, but possibly not.

Any advice? I really really want this place.
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Old 16.05.2017, 16:46
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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We have seen a house we want to buy. It needs work, so got an architect to look at it.

The estate agent says it is first come first served whoever has the Finanzbestätigung from the mortgage provide for the full asking price. He said this to us, and to the (Swiss) architect.

We are first but now he also wants us to send in a letter to the owners (via him, of course). The house is being sold by the family of a man who dies last year, probably adult children, but possibly not.

Any advice? I really really want this place.
Send the letter (get the estate agent to draft it) and get the mortgage - quickly.

Your bank should be able to agree a mortgage in principle pretty quickly.

At least it's probably that the adult children just want as much money as possible and aren't emotionally attached to the house (i.e. they don't care who it goes to) which is a good thing for you.

Good luck!
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Old 16.05.2017, 16:52
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

We have the mortgage in principle (The finanzbestätigung... I did that last week and was first to give it to the estate agent). Now that we are first in line, he ALSO wants us to write the letter.
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Old 16.05.2017, 16:56
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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We have the mortgage in principle (The finanzbestätigung... I did that last week and was first to give it to the estate agent). Now that we are first in line, he ALSO wants us to write the letter.
I've heard this before. Tell them why you want the house, what you really love about it, what you want to do with it. Some people need to feel the new owner cares when passing on their family home.
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Old 16.05.2017, 16:57
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

what do they want this letter to contain? I'd be very wary sending anything that could be seen as some kind of contract and used against you. Having dealt with swiss estate agents I'd also be really really suspicious of one that was being proactive and pushy
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Old 16.05.2017, 17:07
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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what do they want this letter to contain? I'd be very wary sending anything that could be seen as some kind of contract and used against you. Having dealt with swiss estate agents I'd also be really really suspicious of one that was being proactive and pushy
No I don't know what they are looking for. As far as I can make out, laying it on thick about how much you love it is good. (And it would, genuinely, be perfect for us). But presumably also being a good buyer by having our ducks lined up in terms of money/lawyer/architect will make it easier to choose us.
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Old 16.05.2017, 17:09
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

Can't agree with that, Bigblue, my estate agent was really good.

When I was selling the marital home last year, one of the prospective purchasers sent a full PDF with biographies about themselves and their pets, photoshopped photos of them in the garden of the house, why they wanted the house etc. Had all the offers been equal, the fact they put in that effort would have had them in pole position with me. Unfortunately for them, someone else ultimately offered 100k more when it went to sealed bids, which couldn't be turned down.
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Old 16.05.2017, 17:45
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

maybe as a seller they are a bit more professional, as a buyer I found them to be , lazy arrogant morons, one asked us to wait 3 weeks for a 2nd viewing as he was going on holiday and didn't want to do it before, but thats just one of a long list of experiences.
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Old 16.05.2017, 17:58
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

Ask the estate agent what is expected in the letter.

If as, others are suggested, the adult children are emotionally attached to the house, then don't mention the architect any more, at all. If someone is attached to something, they generally don't want it changed.

First hand experience - we got our current place as the previous owner really did love place but was upgrading. The other prospective buyers who were first in line got turned down as they marched in when being shown around and told everyone what they were going to change.

Whatever plans we had, we kept to ourselves. We got the place. We're friends with the previous owners now too.
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Old 17.05.2017, 07:49
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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The estate agent says it is first come first served whoever has the Finanzbestätigung from the mortgage provide for the full asking price
Which means effectively, whoever comes nearest to the full asking price (and is still interested) when the owners realise that the place is overpriced (and the house has become a burden to them), which is why no-one has offered the asking price.

If you think it's worth the asking price, then good, but never be hurried into spending that amount of money.
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Old 23.05.2017, 08:42
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

We are in the same situation, i.e., are the first offering the Finanzbestätigung and have the house reserved. But we did not bring an architect/expert with us at the time of viewing and would like to ask to see the house again before committing.
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Old 23.05.2017, 11:17
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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We are in the same situation, i.e., are the first offering the Finanzbestätigung and have the house reserved. But we did not bring an architect/expert with us at the time of viewing and would like to ask to see the house again before committing.
How old is the place?

An architect isn't necessary and I wouldn't bother with a surveyor either unless the house is really old, made of wood or has something quirky with regards to it's situation that could cause problems such as it being built on a steep slope etc.

The people who bought our last place hired a surveyor and I walked around with him.
The first thing he said was "Ooh, this place is beautifully maintained, it won't need much of a check" and he gave everything a cursory glance - which is not what I would have done and I'm not a surveyor.
I would have been furious if I had been the one paying for the surveyor.

At our new place (new to us not old), again, I did not use a surveyor but did a check myself which resulted in the roof being taken off and on again but that surveyor would not have picked up on the problem either, I'm sure.
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Old 23.05.2017, 11:25
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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How old is the place?
70 years. Looks in good conditions to us, but given the costs, paying a few hundred chf to get a (supposedly) expert's advice sounds the right thing to do....
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Old 23.05.2017, 11:42
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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70 years. Looks in good conditions to us, but given the costs, paying a few hundred chf to get a (supposedly) expert's advice sounds the right thing to do....
Have a search on the forum - it looks like most people have had money well spent employing a 'building engineer'.

Such as in this thread
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Old 23.05.2017, 14:10
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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70 years. Looks in good conditions to us, but given the costs, paying a few hundred chf to get a (supposedly) expert's advice sounds the right thing to do....
You may want to ascertain it's not subject to the Heimatschutz, 5-10% of all buidlings are. Not very likely at that age yet well worth the effort because the whole picture changes if it does. If it's in Zürich city you can check online Inventar Denkmalpflege, otherwise ask your commune.
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Old 23.05.2017, 14:37
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

We have had friends in this situation. I think that you need to say you really love the place and that you can imagine your future there. If it's been a family home then mention of any children (actual or planned) certainly wouldn't go amiss either. As previous poster said, don't mention any major changes as it may seem like a criticism of the house. However, things like working in the garden and enjoying the outside etc. would be nice touches.
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Old 23.05.2017, 14:37
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

and for a house of 70 years old, I would take someone to check it....
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Old 30.05.2017, 23:30
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Re: A letter to the owner of the house I want to buy

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and for a house of 70 years old, I would take someone to check it....
We had it checked and the expert agreed that the house will likely need some renovations here and there with time, but that it was kept very well and that nothing seems needed to be done soon.
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