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Buying a Property in Switzerland

Switzerland is a beautiful country and many foreigners want to buy a property here. However, there are certain regulations regarding property purchase for foreigners in Switzerland.
Anna Ledenyova

Houses in Switzerland

One of the more heavily regulated areas of Switzerland's assets and industries is the housing and real estate market. Particularly regarding foreign buyers is when laws and regulations become highly stringent. Each of Switzerland's cantons feature a different regulation and legal framework for foreign real estate buyers.

Investors who are interested in purchasing a home in Switzerland are required to lodge applications for residency as well as acquire residency permits and other documentation to legally allow them to purchase a Swiss property.

We have more information on this topic on our website or you are able to speak with our consultants and request that they research the required housing information and applications for you. This assistance can also extend to purchase agreements.

Foreigners allowed to buy properties in Switzerland

There are a few foreign nationals which are able to purchase property in Switzerland, and those are people who are EU and EFTA nations with a Swiss residence permit, or a holder of a C or B permit. For those who are holders of a B permit, you may purchase a Swiss residence, but solely for residency and not for sale or to rent.

Those who are normally unable to purchase property in Switzerland are:

  • Non-Swiss residents
  • Foreigners in Switzerland without work permits
  • Seasonal workers with work permits
  • Short term work permit holders
Although, if any of the above are interested in purchasing property in Switzerland they can do so with a purchase license. This means an application must be filed for this license.
There are additional restrictions, however, and depending on the canton, there is a limit of homes or properties a foreign investor is able to purchase. There are also restrictions on property sizes in each canton. On top of this, there are also often restrictions on the resale timeframes, so an investor may be unable to flip a home in a short period of time.

The property purchase procedure in Switzerland

The first step for a foreign investor purchasing a Swiss home is requesting the services of a notary. Simply put, the procedure for buying a home in Switzerland is effortless and normally very simple and the notary's role in the procedure is to act on behalf of both seller and buyer. The notary's job is to draft up the purchase documentation, which is required for the purchase to be completed and agreed upon. Normally when the purchase agreement is concluded a 10% deposit is made and the purchase is complete.

A number of taxes and fees apply to those selling and buying a home in Switzerland and it is vital to understand and know each one. Some of the fees and taxes include; registration fees, notary fees as well as real estate agent fees.

For more information on the purchasing procedure of a Swiss home contact one of our consultants. This will ensure you avoid being overcharged, charged additional fees or caught up in laws and schemes.

Company management in Switzerland - check full guide.