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Old 10.09.2019, 21:18
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Translator: notary for house purchase

We are looking for a person who can accompany us to the notary and translate us what is explained in German.
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Old 10.09.2019, 23:48
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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We are looking for a person who can accompany us to the notary and translate us what is explained in German.
Have you confirmed with the notary that he will accept this? From experience I can tell you that some will not agree to you signing a legal document that you do not understand yourself.
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Old 11.09.2019, 00:04
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

Taking Jim2007's comment into consideration, I might be available, if you could send me the date/time of the visit so I could confirm if I'd be indeed available.
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Old 11.09.2019, 05:28
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

Perhaps find a notary that can speak English. There are plenty in the Zurich area. Also, as the buyer, you have the right to choose the Notary, and this is very important since the seller may put in clauses that could be detrimental to you in the future, and they may not be disclosed if you don't have a legal background to understand them or are glossed over in the reading of the deed.

It's much easier and cheaper for the seller to use his Notary but even if he offers to pay the notarial fees, do not accept and use your own.

A final piece of advice, if he wants you to pay a deposit, only pay it to your own notary, not to the seller or his notary.
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Old 11.09.2019, 07:13
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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Perhaps find a notary that can speak English. There are plenty in the Zurich area. Also, as the buyer, you have the right to choose the Notary, and this is very important since the seller may put in clauses that could be detrimental to you in the future, and they may not be disclosed if you don't have a legal background to understand them or are glossed over in the reading of the deed.

It's much easier and cheaper for the seller to use his Notary but even if he offers to pay the notarial fees, do not accept and use your own.

A final piece of advice, if he wants you to pay a deposit, only pay it to your own notary, not to the seller or his notary.
Second this. When we bought our property we asked the estate agent for a notary who spoke English. When we went to sign the contract with the seller the notary went through each paragraph of the contract translating it himself for us to make sure both we and the seller knew what our obligations were.
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Old 11.09.2019, 09:06
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

The buyer gets to choose the notary, so yeah, just make sure you choose one who can do all the explaining in English. It's absolutely normal, and absolutely part of their job to ensure that you've fully understood everything, so using an interpreter is just going to complicate things. Not the way it's done.
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Old 11.09.2019, 09:18
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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Have you confirmed with the notary that he will accept this? From experience I can tell you that some will not agree to you signing a legal document that you do not understand yourself.
Our notary spoke English perfectly, as did our vendors, but legally we had to have along a translator who signed a document that he had faithfully translated the discussions and other documents, and that we had a proper understanding of them.

The notary then went through all the documents again, in English, and we signed. That of course is BL. Who knows how it is done abroad?
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Old 11.09.2019, 09:22
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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. Also, as the buyer, you have the right to choose the Notary,
Is this the case in Zürich?

In SZ, there is no choice - you use the official Notary at the Grundbuchamt in the Gemeinde where the property is located.

That person is a neutral party. He or she is not looking out for either party's interests, ascertaining whether any part of the contract unduly advantages or disadvantages one party or the other is outside his or her remit.

The only question that concerns the Notary in SZ is whether the contract is legal, and whether both parties have the capacity to enter into it. He or she is there to ensure that the change of ownership meets the legal requirements.

'Capacity to enter into the contract' includes understanding the language. If the Notary feels one of the parties does not have sufficient functionality in German to understand the preceedings, he or she may require that party to bring a translator. But this is more 'do you understand these words?', not 'do you understand how these words will affect you?'. The latter is something each party is expected to have worked out before finalising the contract, before coming to the Notary.

In SZ if one is concerned about being disadvantaged by any part of the contract, if one doesn't not have sufficient understanding of property law one needs to engage one's own lawyer to review it, and then accept it as it, re-negotiate, or walk away. All that happens well before you get to the Notary.

I suspect this is one of those YMMV by canton things. Can any of you who have bought in ZH comment?
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Old 11.09.2019, 09:39
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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The buyer gets to choose the notary, so yeah, just make sure you choose one who can do all the explaining in English. It's absolutely normal, and absolutely part of their job to ensure that you've fully understood everything, so using an interpreter is just going to complicate things. Not the way it's done.
For reference not all notaries are the same in Switzerland, Zurich has public notaries so you will be directed to the closest one relating to the business you require, in your case the house for sale. The notaries (in Zurich at least) are neutral so they have to ensure you understand what you are signing but they are not advisors on the ramifications of what you agree too. I have a good friend who is one and some so the stories he tells are quite alarming both from dodgy sellers to misinformed buyers. Buyer beware is never more apt than here but it is difficult to find out what to be aware of, it is a bit of a cultural thing not to offer advice unless specifically asked in the correctly phrased question. For example, capital gains tax liability stays with the property EVEN if you have paid it correctly at the time of transfer so there have been cases where the buyer has had to pay this twice.
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Old 11.09.2019, 10:23
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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Have you confirmed with the notary that he will accept this? From experience I can tell you that some will not agree to you signing a legal document that you do not understand yourself.
how will you sign any legal documents then....

contact the HAUSEIGENTÜMERVERBAND - they can recommend someone.

https://www.hev-zuerich.ch/


they usually work closely with these folks. in fact the Notary may be able to recommend someone who can translate the documents and go over the contract and point out all of the main points which you may not be accustomed to
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Old 11.09.2019, 17:08
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

just bought an apartment.
The notary was speaking english and the vendor (representative) was also speaking english.

We couldn't signe a contract we couldn't understand so the easiest was to give power of attorney to someone (working for the notary).

The reading of the contract was mostly in english and we did translated (google) the contract before the meeting.
Also the bank helped us with question we had.

The funny thing is we signed a document giving power of attorney but we could't read it 80()

You should already know the contract before you see the notary.

Also notaries are not lawyers, everything is square. this is why you do not need one for the buyer and one for the seller.

Edit: reading other messages :
neutral is a much better word than square
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Old 11.09.2019, 19:30
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

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The funny thing is we signed a document giving power of attorney but we could't read it 80()
That is a new one on me. I've had one occasion where I had to draft the power of attorney document in English for someone to sign, where the Attorney could not understand English....
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Old 16.09.2019, 16:34
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Re: Translator: notary for house purchase

It depends when you need this done, as I'm working abroad until mid October, but I do this fairly frequently.
There are two variants different notaries' offices in Zurich use; option 1 is that they will accept that you get the documentation professionally translated into English so you understand it, the interpreter accompanies you to the appointment(s) and you sign on your own account. Option 2 is that you give the translator/interpreter a power of attorney to sign the documentation on your behalf. You don't get to choose, it's what the notary wants done and I've experienced both.

FWIW I've been a professional translator and interpreter for 26 years, the last 19 in Switzerland, I'm a full member of both UK professional associations and a Chartered Linguist. If I can help after mid Oct, I'd be delighted to do so and feel free to drop me a PM. I could translate the documents before then, but in-person interpreting would have to be afterwards as I'm physically out of the country until then.
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