Being in the business for 15 years, having good knowledge of the sector we asked Steve Hardy for some comprehensive and valuable advices.
We questioned the reality of the market and the best way of getting an agent.
- How do you see the Swiss property market at present?
Tense! Supply is increasing, objects take longer to sell and buyers have more choices. This is typically become a buyer's market ... There are still projects for which the land was purchased in the best years .. and who are struggling to sell due to high prices and a market that has lost 10%. The rental terms, it is the opposite .. In general, people continue to settle in Switzerland thanks to the excellent work of the Department of Economic Development to attract companies in our region of Romandie. However, our approach in regard to the granting of building permits and the land area change does not follow the trend ... and ends up creating a kind of cap. In the end, as there are very few apartments for rent, prices are high and the only affected are the tenants. To give just one example, Geneva faces a high demand for housing and the shock waves propagate throughout La Côte ... rents rise or remain high …
- What changes have you seen in 10 years?
Following the banking restrictions in recent years, the dynamism fell. There are slightly fewer players in the property market besides the big merge or think about new strategies. Do not forget the emergence of direct sales or the arrival of new technologies which make it easier to sell yourself. Therefore and to remain competitive, real estate agencies must redouble its efforts and bring real added value.
- Is it time for you to invest .If so, what type of investment would you have in mind? (Commercial, off-plan …)
To my mind this is the time to borrow indirectly .. So yes, it's time to invest in real estate. Given the historically low mortgage rates, I urge that can afford it, to raise the necessary capital and enjoy borrow with a low rate ...If your life plans allow, block longer term.
- What areas gathers Switzerland the most favorable investment criteria?
I'll answer with my personal strategy, I do not know if this is the best, but it is mine and it works. I invested locally in a property market that I know and master. I shall above all the growth potential of the region. For example, would a new hospital will settle, it is the labor market dynamics around my apartment...?
My logic suggests that if there are job opportunities, we will need to host those workers. So if these points are positive, the area is favorable...
- Why should we call a real estate agent to sell, buy or put the property for rent?
Determining the right price is not easy when it comes to a sale or a major purchase. If one is not the art, and that the slightest mistake is made, it can cost much more than the amount of commission.. An agent can also save you a lot of time .. either for visits or to filter clients or facilitate notaries actions .. and avoid many problems ... If the service is good and done by an expert, it is a genuine added value which will be very useful.
- What should we check with the agent before giving it a mandate?
Its local propery market knowledge, credentials and his seriousness. Maybe you know a relative or a neighbor who could advise and to share its good experience?
- What advice would you give to a reluctant particular?
To learn from friends or acquaintances who have experienced it, and conversely, those who have not done to make a wise decision and notified.
- Why Switzerland?
The majority of expatriates who I asked this question answered:
The Swiss is the best place in the world to grow his children, safety, education, comfort, health ...
I believe that there is no more to say.
- What tax advantages relating to properties does Switzerland offer ?
Clearly, the mortgage interest deduction and part of your LOB. Do not forget the report the rental income, mortgage rates...
- What is the most significant story of your career?
A villa that did not sell despite the vain attempts of several agencies, there was always something wrong. I even remember that potential customers had brought a dowser few days before the signing and finally retracted ... It is after lengthy discussions with the couple seller the realtor discovered whence the problem: the couple's financial situation was unclear for both. After a long evening with a realtor and many tears, the woman understood the situation and finally put all his energy into the sale. Five days later, the villa was sold ...
I hope these tips will be helpful and good luck in your search.