Home ownership

Selling your property: should you draw up the selling file yourself or not?

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Mission accomplished: a good sale is something all property owners looking to sell their house or apartment are keen to achieve. Source: iStock

How can I describe my house accurately and concisely? Which photos will show its best side? And what price should I set for it?

These are just a few of the many questions that come up in relation to selling a property. A central factor in all of this is the selling file: after all, if you can manage to whet the potential buyer’s appetite, he or she may well be prepared to pay more. Which is why it is worthwhile investing in a professional dossier.

What belongs in a full selling file?

If you present your property well, you will often be able to sell it for a higher price. For that reason, sales documentation should include the following elements:

  • Details of the seller (name, address and contact details)
  • Brief outline of the property being sold (e.g. number of rooms and floors, areas, year of construction)
  • Sales conditions (e.g. price, availability)
  • Detailed description of the property being sold (e.g. breakdown of apartment, room sizes, special features such as chimneys and patios, general environment)
  • The facilities that come with the property (e.g. lift, parking space, garage)
  • Plans (construction, site, floor, zone and land register plans)
  • Current, professional photos of the rooms, the property from the outside and the environment
  • An extract from the land register (copy)
  • Proof of buildings insurance (copy)

 

Do not underestimate the work involved

The more professional-looking the selling file, the stronger are the seller’s arguments vis-à-vis the buyer. Numerous templates are available on the Internet for people who want to create the file themselves. It is important to bear in mind that the wording of the synopsis should be objective and neutral and not too “salesmanlike”.

The problem, however, is twofold: not only does putting together the various documents involve a substantial amount of work; it also poses a certain risk, such as that of getting the price calculation wrong. “A property cannot be offered on the market numerous times at different prices. If that happened, it would be marketed to death and would ultimately go to the next owner for far too little,” says Michael Kohlas, Real Estate Expert from comparis.ch.

A further consideration is that potential buyers have to be looked after, any doubts they have must be dispelled and they must also be checked to ensure that they genuinely have the funds required to buy the property. Price negotiations are not everyone’s cup of tea, either. 

Professional support with the contract

If you have entrusted the task of selling your property to an estate agent, you don’t have to worry about compiling the dossier as this service is included in the sales commission of any serious estate agent. That said, it is still advisable to perform a final check on the agent’s dossier to make sure that it really does contain all the required documents and that the text reads well and is free of errors.

Estate agents also take care of advertisements and represent the seller’s interests when it comes to drawing up the sales contract. But what would a service like this cost?

Estate agents: often a worthwhile expense

Depending on the region and the type of property being sold, estate agents generally cost between one and five per cent of the sales price. With a few pieces of information about the property, estate agents can produce an initial estimate and take care of the complicated sales process with the goal of generating optimal proceeds from the house or apartment.