Go Back   English Forum Switzerland > Help & tips > Housing in general
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03.11.2010, 09:25
AJJ AJJ is offline
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: ZH
Posts: 27
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
AJJ has no particular reputation at present
Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

We are in the process of buying our first house here in CH and everything in going well.

Today the estate agent has informed me that we have two options when we go to the notary to sign the contract in a few weeks.

1. Get someone to translate the contract (approx 1kCHF), we sign.
2. Give authority to a German speaker who will sign the contract on our behalf.

Option 2 sounds strange to me and I was wondering if this is normal and if anyone has had a similar experience.

Thanks

A
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03.11.2010, 09:41
Glendyn's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: ZH. Horgen area
Posts: 776
Groaned at 12 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 933 Times in 385 Posts
Glendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Get the contract in german beforehand. Get someone to translate /go through it for you sowly - make notes, ask questions etc. One you are happy you can go to the Notariat and essentially make sure the contract is the same as the one you've been through. And take someone along you trust who speaks German. Don't trust the agent to do any assistance or translating or accept any 'oh that's normal here' etc
In our case the contract was based on standard text generated by the Notary based on a form found here to fill in with the details ("Formular für die Übermittlung von Kaufvertragsangaben") and the Notariat makes the actual contract from that - you could maybe get a copy of that as well from the Notariat in advance so you can see what the other side has proposed, especially where there are choices etc. You can also then notice any extra sections etc added that weren't in the form. In our case the agent was a pain and the Notariat wonderfully helpful in the days leading up to the signing, with lots of docs being emailed around for review etc.
Be aware also that any Reservation contract with deposit etc is not legally binding (on either side). Although they are common practice we refused to pay tens of thousands of CHF's to a third party based on a non legally binding contract, where they have a big chunk your money and then negotiate contract terms. The only legal contract for a house purchase is the one done at the notary.
__________________
For sale: Baby Equipment & Tissot Swiss Watch
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Glendyn for this useful post:
  #3  
Old 03.11.2010, 09:52
Mrs. Doolittle's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Aargau
Posts: 5,838
Groaned at 157 Times in 109 Posts
Thanked 6,756 Times in 3,201 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: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
We are in the process of buying our first house here in CH and everything in going well.

Today the estate agent has informed me that we have two options when we go to the notary to sign the contract in a few weeks.

1. Get someone to translate the contract (approx 1kCHF), we sign.
2. Give authority to a German speaker who will sign the contract on our behalf.

Option 2 sounds strange to me and I was wondering if this is normal and if anyone has had a similar experience.

Thanks

A
I would not sign anything you do not understand. An estate agent is not somoeone I would trust at all and I do not believe option 2 is posssible.

Has your bank seen the sales contract? I would assume you are dealing with someone who speaks English regarding the financing of your house.

My first suggestion would be to ask someone from the notary's office to translate it for you. The second would be to sit down with the financial advisor at your bank.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mrs. Doolittle for this useful post:
  #4  
Old 03.11.2010, 09:53
zazu888's Avatar
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Lufingen
Posts: 55
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 31 Times in 19 Posts
zazu888 has no particular reputation at present
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

We were in the same position last year, and made a power of attorney to my boss and she signed the contract for us... unfortunately we still get to pay the mortgage ourtselves she wouldn't take over that too
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank zazu888 for this useful post:
  #5  
Old 03.11.2010, 10:00
AJJ AJJ is offline
Newbie 1st class
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: ZH
Posts: 27
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
AJJ has no particular reputation at present
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
I would not sign anything you do not understand. An estate agent is not somoeone I would trust at all and I do not believe option 2 is posssible.

Has your bank seen the sales contract? I would assume you are dealing with someone who speaks English regarding the financing of your house.

My first suggestion would be to ask someone from the notary's office to translate it for you. The second would be to sit down with the financial advisor at your bank.
Thanks all for the advice.

Yes, the bank manager speaks perfect English as he is Swiss/Irish and has already suggested some changes that the estate deemed 'normal'.

I guess estate agents are the same everywhere - even in CH
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03.11.2010, 10:00
Mica's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Zurich
Posts: 674
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 824 Times in 362 Posts
Mica has a reputation beyond reputeMica has a reputation beyond reputeMica has a reputation beyond reputeMica has a reputation beyond reputeMica has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
1. Get someone to translate the contract (approx 1kCHF), we sign.
2. Give authority to a German speaker who will sign the contract on our behalf.
The notary public needs the person signing the contract to understand what he is signing. So either the contract gets translated and you can read the translation and sign the contract yourself, or if you want to spare the cost of translation and trust a German speaker, you can give him a limited power of attorney to sign the contract on your behalf.

At the end of the day, if you are paying hundreds of thousands of Swiss francs for a property, I would not be to stingy on the translation and I would have a German speaker along for the appointment before the notary public.
__________________
The Swiss Code of Obligations, Civil Code, Criminal Code and Civil Procedure Code (now in English!) - Liability for any statements herabove excluded!
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Mica for this useful post:
  #7  
Old 03.11.2010, 10:07
Glendyn's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: ZH. Horgen area
Posts: 776
Groaned at 12 Times in 6 Posts
Thanked 933 Times in 385 Posts
Glendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond reputeGlendyn has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Just keep in mind each party has a different interest. Including your bank. They care that the house is not so overvalued that they are exposed if you default on your debt, and that you can likely pay it off.

Get someone on your side who knows the house buying game here.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Glendyn for this useful post:
  #8  
Old 03.11.2010, 10:10
caz's Avatar
caz caz is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tuggen SZ
Posts: 251
Groaned at 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanked 240 Times in 99 Posts
caz has an excellent reputationcaz has an excellent reputationcaz has an excellent reputationcaz has an excellent reputation
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Our Notary provided a translator and also sent the contract out ahead of time in English so we could properly review it with the bank (first time buying in Switzerland) Our sellers were doing it alone though so no confusing agents to deal with. The cost of the translator was negligible and certainly not 1000chf. The notar spoke better English than the translator but has to be impartial. The translator basically read us the English copy we had in front of us. The bank had already confirmed that both copies were the same etc etc. It really doesn't have to be so complicated. Maybe you could ask the bank to speak to the Notar and see what they advice (I am sure they have a list and can have it trabslated pre signing)

hth and good luck (it is scarily easy in the end)

Caz
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank caz for this useful post:
  #9  
Old 03.11.2010, 10:35
NotAllThere's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Baselland
Posts: 10,121
Groaned at 150 Times in 132 Posts
Thanked 14,195 Times in 5,758 Posts
NotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond reputeNotAllThere has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Don't waste your money getting an official translation. Unless you're an expert in Swiss law, it won't add any value.

We took the German contract to our lawyer. She went through the terms with us, explaining what they meant in simple English, and made a few recommendations. Total cost ~150CHF.

The recommended changes were agreed with the vendor, who redrafted the contract.

We then went to the Notar's office, with a friend who agreed to be our translator. His signature meant that there was someone fluent in German, representing us, who had explained the contract. It prevents us claiming that the contract is invalid because "we didn't understand".

As it happened, the Notar and the vendor were all fluent English speakers, so we did the whole thing in English. The Notar even went through the contract and explained it in English. However, it was necessary for our friend to be present for all to be legally valid.

All very simple.
__________________
Conspiracy theory is how idiots get to feel like intellectuals.-D. Baddiel
Reply With Quote
The following 3 users would like to thank NotAllThere for this useful post:
  #10  
Old 17.02.2015, 15:15
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 474
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 143 Times in 105 Posts
standardgirl has earned some respectstandardgirl has earned some respect
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

It sounds like negotiation of the actual/exact terms of the contract doesn't happen until after a price has been agreed upon and a reservation (Vorverkauf) signed (perhaps even with reservation fee paid).

Question - how do you feel comfortable signing a Vorverkauf and paying a reservation fee when you haven't negotiation the terms of the contract? Or is the reservation fee refundable (usually) if the buyer and seller cannot later agree to the contract?

I already ready from EF that one can negotiate the exact terms of the reservation payment, so again, the same question - do you make an offer first before this? or do you set out the terms on reservation payment with your offer?

It just seems strange to me that you would give an offer without knowing the terms of the reservation payment or the actual contract wording. I'm confused.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank standardgirl for this useful post:
  #11  
Old 17.02.2015, 15:40
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery, but not the SoT one
Posts: 18,919
Groaned at 318 Times in 247 Posts
Thanked 13,867 Times in 7,968 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: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
It sounds like negotiation of the actual/exact terms of the contract doesn't happen until after a price has been agreed upon and a reservation (Vorverkauf) signed (perhaps even with reservation fee paid).

Question - how do you feel comfortable signing a Vorverkauf and paying a reservation fee when you haven't negotiation the terms of the contract? Or is the reservation fee refundable (usually) if the buyer and seller cannot later agree to the contract?

I already ready from EF that one can negotiate the exact terms of the reservation payment, so again, the same question - do you make an offer first before this? or do you set out the terms on reservation payment with your offer?

It just seems strange to me that you would give an offer without knowing the terms of the reservation payment or the actual contract wording. I'm confused.
After 5 years I'd hope he/she got it sorted out by now.

Can't help a lot as we bought our place with only 2 weeks before the handover so didn't need to put down a reservation fee. But there are some threads here on the forum about the subject iirc.

Also ask for a notary who speaks English and can go through the contract with you at the signing. That's what we had and he was very careful to make sure we understood each section before we moved on to the next. We had a few minor changes which he had his staff alter before we did the final signing of the contract.

Last edited by Medea Fleecestealer; 18.02.2015 at 11:13.
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank Medea Fleecestealer for this useful post:
  #12  
Old 17.02.2015, 15:49
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 474
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 143 Times in 105 Posts
standardgirl has earned some respectstandardgirl has earned some respect
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
After 5 years I'd hope he/she got it sorted out by now.
I thought it'd be better to use an existing thread of similar question instead of starting a brand new one. Obviously I've gone through many threads here (wouldn't have found an old thread like this otherwise ), but unfortunately have failed to find information on the exact sequence of things and hence my questions
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 18.02.2015, 11:01
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 410
Groaned at 16 Times in 14 Posts
Thanked 189 Times in 112 Posts
poot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeable
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Our reservation contract also had terms.....you can check those before you sign it. What is standard is;

-pay money as a reservation
-if for some reason the deal doesn't go through (seller or buyer), you get the reservation money back: usually minus an admin fee

That give you plenty of time to check the full contract
Reply With Quote
This user would like to thank poot for this useful post:
  #14  
Old 18.02.2015, 11:11
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Zürich
Posts: 474
Groaned at 3 Times in 3 Posts
Thanked 143 Times in 105 Posts
standardgirl has earned some respectstandardgirl has earned some respect
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

But when you make the offer, presumably you haven't seen the reservation terms. So you would make a written or verbal offer and then once seller agrees, you'll get the reservation T&Cs before making the transfer of the money?

Quote:
View Post
Our reservation contract also had terms.....you can check those before you sign it. What is standard is;

-pay money as a reservation
-if for some reason the deal doesn't go through (seller or buyer), you get the reservation money back: usually minus an admin fee

That give you plenty of time to check the full contract
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 18.02.2015, 11:12
Mrs. Doolittle's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Aargau
Posts: 5,838
Groaned at 157 Times in 109 Posts
Thanked 6,756 Times in 3,201 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: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
It sounds like negotiation of the actual/exact terms of the contract doesn't happen until after a price has been agreed upon and a reservation (Vorverkauf) signed (perhaps even with reservation fee paid).

Question - how do you feel comfortable signing a Vorverkauf and paying a reservation fee when you haven't negotiation the terms of the contract? Or is the reservation fee refundable (usually) if the buyer and seller cannot later agree to the contract?

I already ready from EF that one can negotiate the exact terms of the reservation payment, so again, the same question - do you make an offer first before this? or do you set out the terms on reservation payment with your offer?

It just seems strange to me that you would give an offer without knowing the terms of the reservation payment or the actual contract wording. I'm confused.
I would negotiate all the terms before signing and paying anything.
Reservation deposit can be very difficult to recover, and the penalty fee can be quite hefty.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 18.02.2015, 14:55
eng_ch's Avatar
Forum Veteran
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Up where the air is clear
Posts: 1,442
Groaned at 4 Times in 4 Posts
Thanked 1,268 Times in 673 Posts
eng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond reputeeng_ch has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
Today the estate agent has informed me that we have two options when we go to the notary to sign the contract in a few weeks.

1. Get someone to translate the contract (approx 1kCHF), we sign.
2. Give authority to a German speaker who will sign the contract on our behalf.

Option 2 sounds strange to me and I was wondering if this is normal and if anyone has had a similar experience.
Just for anyone else who might stumble on this, I've experienced both options as the interpreter, the most recent one I worked on had option 2.

Given the length and complexity of these contracts, I'd be really surprised if the translation alone were as little as CHF 1k. You're probably looking at CHF 300-500 for the interpreting for the notary's meeting, depending how long it takes. A package including full translation and interpreting generally comes in around CHF 3-4k. Not much really, considering the amounts of money involved in buying the property, the notary's fees are often more!
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 18.02.2015, 16:30
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Zurich
Posts: 410
Groaned at 16 Times in 14 Posts
Thanked 189 Times in 112 Posts
poot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeablepoot is considered knowledgeable
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
But when you make the offer, presumably you haven't seen the reservation terms. So you would make a written or verbal offer and then once seller agrees, you'll get the reservation T&Cs before making the transfer of the money?
Yes exactly. You'll agree on an offer and then get the chance to view / sign the reservation contract. Then if you're ok with that, sign it and transfer the money. This is all done far before the 'main' contract, and it's generally still easy to get out of actually buying the place.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03.07.2017, 15:20
borntough's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Horgen
Posts: 230
Groaned at 0 Times in 0 Posts
Thanked 135 Times in 72 Posts
borntough has earned the respect of manyborntough has earned the respect of manyborntough has earned the respect of many
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Any references for translators whom we can use for this service?
a google search has given some results but hoping for some personal references .
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03.07.2017, 15:40
Medea Fleecestealer's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Misery, but not the SoT one
Posts: 18,919
Groaned at 318 Times in 247 Posts
Thanked 13,867 Times in 7,968 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: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Option 3: find a notary who speaks English and will go through the contract with both seller and buyer making sure both parties understand what they're signing. Our notary did this for us and it didn't cost extra. Went through paragraph by paragraph making sure we both understood our obligations. We even negotiated a couple of changes to the contract with the seller and the notary had his staff change the contract there and then. When we were happy both parties signed. We didn't have a reservation contract though as we signed then got the keys a couple of weeks later.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03.07.2017, 15:56
Treverus's Avatar
Forum Legend
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Luxembourg
Posts: 10,713
Groaned at 262 Times in 221 Posts
Thanked 19,608 Times in 7,158 Posts
Treverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond reputeTreverus has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Translation of house purchase contract at Notary Question

Quote:
View Post
Option 3: find a notary who speaks English and will go through the contract with both seller and buyer making sure both parties understand what they're signing. Our notary did this for us and it didn't cost extra. Went through paragraph by paragraph making sure we both understood our obligations. We even negotiated a couple of changes to the contract with the seller and the notary had his staff change the contract there and then. When we were happy both parties signed. We didn't have a reservation contract though as we signed then got the keys a couple of weeks later.
That's one helpful notary you got there. I went through the same process in Germany and while I am a native speaker did I have to hire a certified translator for the session to translate for my wife... in order to make sure she is not signing something she does not understand. Not sure what the legal requirements are in CH, but I'd bet it differs from Canton to Canton if not one Gemeinde to another...
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
Is there a Notary Public in the house (ZH) Louis Wu Daily life 27 15.11.2014 14:37
notary question for US docs phdoofus Daily life 4 17.09.2009 10:03
Notary Fees question PTKate Housing in general 10 10.03.2009 11:47
Rental Contract Translation DeeBee Housing in general 1 27.10.2008 12:38
House purchase Volketswil Velofellow Housing in general 0 17.06.2008 17:29


All times are GMT +2. The time now is 12:00.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
LinkBacks Enabled by vBSEO 3.1.0