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  #121  
Old 27.05.2020, 15:09
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Did the bank price it up for you? UBS have a very good tool taking everything into account including renovations, they give an lower and upper limit and there recommended value of the house, that figure could be used for negotiations, showing the seller this is what a bank thinks of it. Of course market price is what someone is willing to buy it at but a proper valuation from the bank might make them think twice about their asking price (provided the banks valuation is in line with yours and not the sellers)
when does the bank has the time to evaluate it? if you see a house and next day it is gone, how many sellers will wait for the bank to evaluate it?
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  #122  
Old 27.05.2020, 15:11
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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You'd think that would be the case but apparently not in Switzerland - at least not in our experience. We fell in love with a house just outside Zurich which needed a little remedial work and offered the asking price along with 10 other people. UBS said it wasn't worth the asking price and would only give us a mortgage against their valuation. We had a brilliant rapport with the agent and she was coaching us how to make our best and final offer etc. Despite all of the above the house sold for 250k more than we could offer and nearly 400k above the bank valuation.
Why would anyone offer a higher price than requested? Is competition for property X so fierce?
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  #123  
Old 27.05.2020, 15:39
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

Lots of people with maxed out mortgages will be forced to sell once interest rates go up, and lose a large part of their own invested money in the process. Wonder when this will happen...
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  #124  
Old 27.05.2020, 16:04
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Lots of people with maxed out mortgages will be forced to sell once interest rates go up, and lose a large part of their own invested money in the process.
Not sure why the one presupposes the other, unless banks were stupid enough to start foreclosing mortgages and selling property off, thereby reducing prices, which would hardly be in their best interests.

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Wonder when this will happen...
Not soon, I hope...

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when does the bank has the time to evaluate it? if you see a house and next day it is gone, how many sellers will wait for the bank to evaluate it?
You normally make an offer conditional on the bank agreeing with the validation/price, so if the bank doesn't agree to lend on the offered amount you can drop out with no penalty.

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Why would anyone offer a higher price than requested? Is competition for property X so fierce?
In some places, at times of increasing demand, it can happen, which pushes up house prices of course. It's just like any other market, subject to external pressures of many types, and when people think it's going to go up they'll pay more than the current value based on future expectations.

Google Property Bubble to see what this can lead to.
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  #125  
Old 27.05.2020, 16:34
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Lots of people with maxed out mortgages will be forced to sell once interest rates go up, and lose a large part of their own invested money in the process. Wonder when this will happen...
Likely true, but surely won't happen for a while. That's why whenever I looked for properties to buy I favored ones with "hidden potential". For instance, with our main house there was a decently sized raw attic space which I finished myself as a cool DIY project (well had to hire a firm for making a hole in the wall and installing a triple glazed panoramic window - costed ca. 10k) so now the livable square footage has been increased which at least will be a compensation if rates shoot up.

Same with the apartment at a ski resort - I saw potential when viewing, and after we bought it I knocked down a wall to open up a service closet cavity of a few m2 which enabled me to create additional floor space to fit a double bed, night stands and a bookcase, thus turning a 2-bed studio into a L-shaped apartment which can sleep four.

But even without the additions the price of the ski apartment nearly doubled since 2010 and the main house price could be up at least 25% since 2011, plus we've been saving on rent so it's been definitely worth it. But to be buying now, way above asking price and with little or no potential for adding, I probably would think twice...
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  #126  
Old 27.05.2020, 16:46
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Would you prefer to goto the appointment, make an offer, and then be rejected because the seller had already agreed/sold it?
Happened to me... made an appointment on a Thursday to view on a Saturday morning, arrived and knocked the door, and told it was sold already! Would have been nice if they had cancelled.
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  #127  
Old 27.05.2020, 16:56
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Not sure why anyone would want to pay 20% above market. When a property is priced for sale it's usually at market and if you've done your sums you know what the correct price is and what your finances will bear. If mortgaging this could also mean a much higher deposit and/or a tranche of the mortgage at a much higher interest rate.

This is why it's best to keep emotions out of any property purchase!
Not true for Zurich in my experience ... often the offer price is substantially exceeded for desirable properties. Sometimes, as in my case, had to go through two rounds of blind bidding.
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  #128  
Old 28.05.2020, 09:41
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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when does the bank has the time to evaluate it? if you see a house and next day it is gone, how many sellers will wait for the bank to evaluate it?
Unlike other markets like the UK where the bank requests a survey before finalising the mortgage offer that doesn't exist here. They buy the valuation data from a third party and this is not always accurate or up to date. A mortgage offer is made on the basis of this dataset they buy - they won't physically inspect the property.

The market here is designed to encourage one to live in the same house for a long time - thus you don't get the turnover of properties like other markets meaning the data is often out of date and in need of a refresh.

As I understand it property data is also not centralised but spread over districts within the canton with no central land registry. Indeed the GrundBuch (Land Registry) in our district Affoltern was only digitised in 2017. As a result of this decentralised approach the data needed to enable fair market value valuations is often missing.

When you add this into the mix of the arguments already listed in the thread I believe this all helps to distort and confuse the valuations and means the final sale price is sometimes way above/ below the asking price.
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  #129  
Old 28.05.2020, 11:25
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

Feeling the need to express my frustration at the lack of communication in our situation. We were supposed to hear back from the realtor/owners with a response to our offer by the end of tomorrow, but on Monday the ads for the house were taken down, and we still haven't heard anything. I can only assume that they have signed a deal or are going to sign a deal with someone else and that we won't hear anything until the absolute last moment possible (being tomorrow) OR, in what I would see to be even more typical Swiss fashion, we won't hear back at all. Oh the Swiss. My local friend actually thought it boded well for us that the ads had been taken down, her assumption being that they were going to accept our offer tomorrow, but I am not so optimistic.
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  #130  
Old 28.05.2020, 11:34
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Feeling the need to express my frustration at the lack of communication in our situation. We were supposed to hear back from the realtor/owners with a response to our offer by the end of tomorrow, but on Monday the ads for the house were taken down, and we still haven't heard anything. I can only assume that they have signed a deal or are going to sign a deal with someone else and that we won't hear anything until the absolute last moment possible (being tomorrow) OR, in what I would see to be even more typical Swiss fashion, we won't hear back at all. Oh the Swiss. My local friend actually thought it boded well for us that the ads had been taken down, her assumption being that they were going to accept our offer tomorrow, but I am not so optimistic.
I had a similar experience. I answer the advert the minute the advert was available. Viewed the property immediately and put in an offer for full asking price immediately. The seller/agent went quiet and no response (playing for time) a week later, they confirmed sold to another buyer. They didn't want to communicate anything to us before it was signed as they wanted to keep us in reserve.
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  #131  
Old 28.05.2020, 12:04
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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I had a similar experience. I answer the advert the minute the advert was available. Viewed the property immediately and put in an offer for full asking price immediately. The seller/agent went quiet and no response (playing for time) a week later, they confirmed sold to another buyer. They didn't want to communicate anything to us before it was signed as they wanted to keep us in reserve.
That’s what I figured, they’re keeping us hanging in case their other deal falls through. Annoying but understandable. I’ve scheduled other house visits anyway for the coming weeks (different real estate agency of course )
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  #132  
Old 28.05.2020, 12:52
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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A house we were very interested was advertised 2 week ago, I contacted the agent immediately and got one of the first appointments to view it (this coming Friday).

We had finance with the bank etc all arrange and were good to go if we liked it

The agent emailed me this morning, saying they have sold the house already. Is the system here so bad for its lack of transparency that when an appointment is made for a viewing you do not even get the opportunity to view it and make an offer yourself.

Hi Kilns,
We were looking for four and a half years and often had the above experience. Frequently houses are sold privately and frequently estate agents have list of people interested in buying in area x so when the get a house on a certain street in a certain town it can be gone in less than an hour.


I also found - unlike Ireland and the UK - that sellers here are often interested in the buyer and would far rather sell to someone they "liked" (by like I mean meets their criteria for the neighbourhood, they have a good feeling about) than driving the price up to someone they dont know. This is actually quite lovely if you think about it (far less gazumping here than Ireland and the UK) but v. tough as it isnt easy to get know people in swiss communities.



Because of all this Ill pass on the 2 pieces of advice I was given (by a swiss architect) that did ultimately work for us.


1) Get involved in the community that you are interested in moving into. That isnt easy always, it might be going to that church, attending those gemeinde meetings, being involved in the local fetes, fastnachts, shows etc. Talk to the people. This architect told us they got their house as his wife got chatting to a lady after church and mentioned they were trying to move into the area (she had been thinking of downsizing, one thing led to another etc.)


2) write a letter (get it translated to german) introduce yourself (your family if you have one) and express interest in buying their house. Copy the letter many times and drop this letter into the houses you like - that are not on the market. On the road I live in now, thats how all the houses have been sold, none of them have gone to estate agents. This is attractive to the seller as you are giving them insight to yourself and it cuts out the estate agent and the associated cost.



A final piece of advice based on my experience is to widen your search. We originally had our hearts set on Oerlikon. We widened our search and are now based in Wallisellen. I think we would have been waiting another 4 years for Oerlikon.



Best of luck.
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  #133  
Old 28.05.2020, 13:01
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Why would anyone offer a higher price than requested? Is competition for property X so fierce?
It has been known for properties to change hands with the book price being somewhat lower (tax advantage on the selling side) than the total sum of monies paid.
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  #134  
Old 28.05.2020, 14:24
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Hi Kilns,
We were looking for four and a half years and often had the above experience. Frequently houses are sold privately and frequently estate agents have list of people interested in buying in area x so when the get a house on a certain street in a certain town it can be gone in less than an hour.


I also found - unlike Ireland and the UK - that sellers here are often interested in the buyer and would far rather sell to someone they "liked" (by like I mean meets their criteria for the neighbourhood, they have a good feeling about) than driving the price up to someone they dont know. This is actually quite lovely if you think about it (far less gazumping here than Ireland and the UK) but v. tough as it isnt easy to get know people in swiss communities.
this. both points. When the neighbours of my parents moved, the house was never publicly advertised. The estate agent had a list and suggested 5. Three made an offer and they chose the one they thought fits best into the neighbourhood (and the one that did not want to alter too much to the house) and not the highest bidder.
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  #135  
Old 28.05.2020, 14:36
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Get involved in the community that you are interested in moving into. That isnt easy always, it might be going to that church, attending those gemeinde meetings, being involved in the local fetes, fastnachts, shows etc. Best of luck.
Yeah get yourself over to church and fetes to find your house

It could work but I would never be able to bring myself to do that. Maybe that's why it took me 9 years to find a place haha
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  #136  
Old 28.05.2020, 14:47
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Yeah get yourself over to church and fetes to find your house

It could work but I would never be able to bring myself to do that. Maybe that's why it took me 9 years to find a place haha

I get as an approach that it is not for everyone, and it is very hard to "put yourself out there" and very hard to integrate when you speak a foreign language or "just" high german. But it is the answer to the OPs original question. Thats why the houses go so quickly. The individuals are known (via the approaches listed above) to the seller or the estate agent. Buying a house here is far more intricate than other countries.
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  #137  
Old 28.05.2020, 14:48
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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A house we were very interested was advertised 2 week ago, I contacted the agent immediately and got one of the first appointments to view it (this coming Friday).

We had finance with the bank etc all arrange and were good to go if we liked it

The agent emailed me this morning, saying they have sold the house already. Is the system here so bad for its lack of transparency that when an appointment is made for a viewing you do not even get the opportunity to view it and make an offer yourself.
I had a neighbour a few years ago, who wanted to move because of age had a problem with stairs. She found somewhere that suited and price was right. She then put her flat for sale with the same agents who she was buying that flat through. They knew she wanted a quick sale and priced it accordingly. They had a few viewings set up. The very first couple to view offered the price it was listed. She agreed and asked what would happen with other viewers. The Agent said ok, he would inform them it was off the market.

Could she have got a higher price, possibly, but then she may have lost the flat she wanted to buy.
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  #138  
Old 28.05.2020, 17:55
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

Sucking up to the whole town... man so there's no hope when you're an introverted b@st@rd not interested in neighbours or people in general...
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  #139  
Old 28.05.2020, 18:44
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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Sounds like the ex-owner had severe liquidity problems and needed the money from the sale as soon as possible.
Or, as happened with us, they'd recently bought the house and couldn't sell it for more than they bought it. Then you'd take the first person who offered the asking price.

What was nice about our situation is that our vendors had bought the house for about 20% below market value. Our house is semi-detached. They moved into the other half which has a more enclosed garden. We benefited from the their purchasing skills.

They didn't sell to the first person who came along. They chose us. Fifteen years later we all get on very well. We even do renovations at the same time to negotiate a discount.
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  #140  
Old 28.05.2020, 19:39
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Re: House sold before even viewed it

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I know how exactly it works and I accept the system, I am just saying its a shitty system.

No, there was appointments scheduled and once they finish, everything is fair game then, get your bids in. If I was selling a house for 1.5m and 3 bids came in at that price, arent the chances are someone will go to 1.6m. I am just surprised it doesnt work like that, considering where we are.
You keep talking about bids...in many cases there is no bidding process. There’s an asking price and you either pay it or make an offer. If you pay the asking price, mostly that’s that. If you make an offer that is lower, the owner can take time to decide.

We made an offer on a house and were then told someone had offered more. We asked if we could make a counter-offer and were told no! So, it’s not always about getting the most money...although I find that very strange, but I lie not. That is what happened...
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