When your home is up for sale, many people overestimate their own sales talent. You can succeed in changing the ownership yourself if you do not get too caught up in emotions and use your expertise.

The real estate market in Switzerland has been booming for many years now – however, selling a property is not as fast a process as laypersons perhaps hope. You should take note of the following advice when selling your property:

Step 1: define processes

If you are selling, the whole process should be defined in advance and carefully structured. Otherwise it will appear unprofessional and untrustworthy to potentially interested individuals.

There is an alternative, which is to have your home valued by an expert and then use this market value to put it up for sale. It is essentially different if you want to go through a bidding or auction process: in this case you put together the most important documents on the property, conduct visits and then invite interested individuals in one or even several rounds to submit their bids. In a bidding process, it must be evident from the beginning that the highest bid will win in the end.

Step 2: marketing

An important decision is to decide exactly how to publicise the sales offer and which target group to gear it towards. Nowadays there are countless channels and types of media through which to do this: the internet or online platforms, magazine adverts, flyers, mailings or word-of-mouth advertising in the area. In particular, it also depends on the location of the property and its price category. Exceptional or particularly expensive properties should be advertised in other ways. In the top segment, prospective buyers for example place more value on discretion, or it may be worthwhile contacting certain potential buyers in person.

Step 3: professional presentation

Very good sales documentation with a detailed description, floor plans, general site plan, details from the land register etc., is essential. This also includes a factual presentation of the pros and cons of the property, for example, information about already completed or still to be completed structural renovations. The first visual impressions of the property are decisive. When during the viewing, dark walls and dark colours characterise the image, this generates negative feelings in a lot of potential buyers. Tip: ripping out old carpets and giving the walls a fresh lick of paint pays off many times over! It is advisable to do a simple “touch-up renovation” rather than a comprehensive renovation.

Step 4: stay business-like rather than emotional

It is important to reason rationally and realistically in the whole process. However, it is precisely in this aspect that individuals sometimes make the most crass blunders. They might regale episodes of the family story, or praise the kitchen furniture they made themselves.  In these situations, the potential buyer is much more interested in land register details and blueprints, or simply just wants to know which could make a children’s room or a craft room.

Step 5: factor in enough time

Bear in mind that selling a property requires patience and commitment. Once the initial contact has been made, the actual negotiations and sales work begins. With very sought-after properties it can be that the buying process is complete after two to three months. But in most cases, it takes at least half a year from the first advertisement until the transfer of ownership at the notary office. Conclusion: in addition to plenty of knowledge, a successful sale also requires a good dose of patience.