When buying a used car today, it is standard practice for the new owner to receive a one-year guarantee for damage that occurs after the conclusion of contract. What has long been commonplace in used car transactions is now available for property: A real estate warranty covers damage to insured building components that were not visible at the time of sale and which occur within the first two years after commencement of insurance cover.
The sale of properties overdue for renovation
Some 40,000 houses and apartments are sold in Switzerland every year. Around half of this real estate is over ten years old. In addition, there is a growing renovation backlog in Switzerland, and more than 30 percent of the buildings are overdue for refurbishments. The consequential damage caused by overdue renovations is often discovered only years later. It is also not unusual for buyers to have to deal with damage, which was not foreseeable at the time when they bought the house or apartment – and the cost involved can be far greater than the cost of repairing a car.
Protection for buyers
In the event of a loss, warranties for new buildings are extensive. When buying a "second hand" property, however, the seller is generally not liable for defects. This is where a Real Estate Warranty comes highly recommended, which will cover the functionality of all important components of a single-family home or condominium for two years after purchase. These includes, for example, the roof, heating, ventilation, washing machine or oven, as well as the jacuzzi or winter garden.
Better sale prospects
A real estate warranty also has advantages for sellers. It increases the appeal of the offered property on the market, which in turn enhances its sales prospects. In addition, the seller is protected from unpleasant after-sale disputes with the buyer due to unforeseen damage. With the Zurich Real Estate Warranty, the seller will also save on administrative costs involved in dealing with any damage: The buyer will be able to contact Zurich directly in the event of a loss or damage.
Checklist buy house
Love is blind – even when it comes to buying houses
Have you fallen in love with your dream house? Is everything perfect? It's still important to take a look behind the facade. If there is a lack of substance, the dream is quickly shattered.
Here are the seven best tips for your house purchase:
- Substance before status
Do not allow yourself to be distracted by looks and location. This also applies when it comes to houses. It's therefore important to take a good look at the fabric of the building.
- Feel free to scratch away at the surface
If the rain is getting in then the fun will come to an end. Check the condition of the roof and membrane.
- A peek behind the facade
Luckily, a look at the facade is enough. Look out for cracks, chips and damp patches on the facade.
- Is it still completely watertight?
When it comes to silicone joints, this is the right question to ask: check all of the building's joints for watertightness.
- There is something rotten about it
Check the condition of wooden window frames. Are the wooden frames rotten or have the plastic frames become yellow?
- A warm home
Love, a sense of security and fondness are the foundations for a warm home, but heating plays a very important role in this too: thoroughly check the heating system so that you don't get cold feet later.
- Hillside location or slope?
Lots of sun and a lovely view. Houses located on hillsides are particularly popular. But many hillside constructions have problems with surface or stratum water. Inspect cellar walls for dampness and signs of mold.
Good to know
- Warranty period
There is generally a legal warranty period of five years. Within
this period, the buyer may find fault with any uncovered damage and demand a price reduction or withdraw from the contract.
- Exclusion of liability
But liability for defects is often excluded in the contracts. However, if the seller fraudulently conceals defects, they can still be held liable for them for ten years from the date of sale. The purchaser does have to be able to prove it, which is often very time-consuming and costly.
The seller is not liable for defects which were easy to spot during a viewing.
- Our insider tip:
When buying a house, definitely protect yourself with a real estate guarantee and, already on the first viewing, take a construction expert along with you. The Zurich Real Estate Warranty is available in different variants, with the sum insured ranging from CHF 20,000 to 150,000. The deductible is CHF 500 in the event of a loss, irrespective of the type of insurance package. This offers peace of mind to the buyer, who has already spent significant amounts of money on buying the property.