The pros and cons of selling or letting your home
Most homeowners will agree that it is not an easy feat to sell up a home. Real estate prices are continuously rising, which begs the question whether it is better to sell or to let. Both options have their pros and cons.
Property is a coveted commodity. Depending on the region, prices for single-family homes and condos in Switzerland have almost doubled in the last 20 years, with current prices for single-family homes being as high as never before. According to the latest stats published by real estate consultants Fahrländer Partner AG, selling prices increased by 1.5 percent from Q1 to Q2 of this year, and by a whopping 7.5 percent compared to the same period of last year. Selling prices for condos increased by 3.8 percent since mid-2020, and homeowners are the ones profiting from this development.
Our RE/MAX real estate agents recommend that “even though the real estate market is booming and properties are seen as a rare and valuable commodity that should not be traded, it is a good idea to sell now and to bequeath part of the proceeds to children or grandchildren.” It is not always an easy decision to let go of one’s home, as it is associated with emotions and memories. However, at a certain age, a property can get a bit too much to handle, for instance if it comes with a big garden. The proceeds of a house sale can go towards purchasing a small apartment, they could be invested otherwise or may come in handy when wanting to fulfil a long-standing wish.
Effort for landlords
Another option for homeowners is to hold on to their property and to rather sublet it, which, however, comes with certain disadvantages. The time and effort spent on managing a property should not be underestimated - and neither should the money invested: Repairs need to be organized, rent needs to be checked and invoicing needs to be handled. There may be tenants’ complaints that have to be dealt with. Tenant turnovers may cause additional time and labor. And last but not least, letting a property may cause it to decrease in value, which is due to the fact that tenants are generally less careless as they do not own the property. Properties in need of renovation or reconstruction are costly and may lead to financial straits if the owner does not have the required reserve assets. “Being fed up with being a landlord is no valid reason to terminate a rental contract,” say RE/MAX agents and they add: “You have to consider certain time limits.” Tenants might well dispute a termination, which will lead to delays. Anyone not ready to deal with such hassles should consider selling their property.
Property remains in the family
However, letting has its benefits too: The property remains in the family; it can always be utilized for personal use at a later stage and coming generations can profit from such a set-up. A regular income generated by rent is another plus of letting one’s property. However, part of this income should be set aside for the property’s upkeep, while the remainder could be invested in a pension plan or similar. Letting is a good option for people looking for a continuous and long-running source of income while not shying away from the time and labor caused by managing the property. The basic question remains: Should I sell or let my property?
It is a question that also arises if someone has inherited property and has no plan of inhabiting it. The supposed “gift” can thus turn into a burden. As RE/MAX real estate agents point out, “for a community of heirs it can often be difficult to fairly divide the property between the separate parties. In such cases it may be worth selling the property and dividing the proceeds.”
Personal wishes, requirements and circumstances of life are as individual as life designs and housing types. It is a good idea to discuss all questions relating to selling or renting one’s property with an experienced real estate agent. Thanks to their experience, expertise and detachment they can offer valuable advice and support.