Selling a home is a time-consuming business and poses enormous challenges for sellers. Professional estate agents can handle much of the work. Comparis details what appointing an estate agent could cost you and highlights what to watch out for.
Ensure the commission is in line with market rates
Estate agents usually charge a commission of 2-3% of the sale price achieved. The actual amount depends on the type of plot, the location of the property and the sale price. As a rule, the higher the sale price, the lower the commission. You can get an initial estimate of the value of your home using the Comparis online property valuation tool.
Sellers normally pay the estate agent commission after the notary has certified the purchase agreement. This commission may be deducted from the capital gains tax on property.
Some estate agents charge monthly fees of several hundred francs for their services, irrespective of how successful the sale is. The problem with this type of remuneration model is that the estate agent may be less motivated to sell the property quickly.
Tip: choose estate agents who only require payment of commission once the property has sold. You can find a Comparis-approved estate agent here.
Ask for a breakdown of fees
Estate agents perform a range of tasks throughout the selling process. These include a comprehensive property valuation, production of complete sales documentation including professional photos, plus advertising the property on online property portals. Estate agents also organize viewings with potential buyers, negotiate sales and, if required, attend to notarial tasks. Professional estate agents don't charge extra for standard property selling activities and provide a clear list of their services.
Tip: check which services the estate agent’s commission covers and where additional fees may be charged. You should ask for a breakdown of these costs in writing before signing any contract. This should prevent the estate agent from charging fees retrospectively for other services provided.