The Rights of Pre-emption, First Refusal, and Redemption

In Switzerland, the validity of a real estate transaction hinges on the creation of an authentic deed formalized before a notary in the presence of the parties, i.e., the buyer and the seller, or their representatives with a power of attorney. The authentic deed, essential for any real estate sale, is crucial to ensuring the legality and validity of the transaction while providing precise documentation in the land register.

Sales Options and Associated Legal Concepts

Several options are available to parties involved in a real estate transaction in Switzerland. Let's delve into the key concepts of the right of pre-emption, the right of first refusal, and the right of redemption.

The Right of Pre-emption:

While a direct sale is the simplest method, it may not be suitable for all situations. The promise of sale offers an alternative, though without an immediate transfer of ownership and without registration in the land register. An intermediary solution is the sale with a term, accompanied by a right of pre-emption, thereby ensuring the buyer's security. This right, registered in the land register, allows the purchaser to carry out the transfer of ownership on a predefined date. The duration of this sale with a term cannot exceed 10 years, and the right of pre-emption can be transmitted by inheritance, although it is not transferable without mutual agreement.

The Right of First Refusal:

The right of first refusal grants a buyer the privilege of being informed and having priority over the sale of a property. The owner must notify the beneficiary of this right, who then has three months to make a proposal. This right, registered in the land register for a maximum of 25 years, can be acquired contractually or legally, especially by a co-owner.

The Right of Redemption:

As for the right of redemption, also known as a sale with a right of repurchase, it allows the seller to repurchase the property after selling it, subject to certain conditions specified in the sales agreement. Particularly useful in financial difficulties, this right can be recorded in the land register for a maximum duration of 25 years. Although not transferable, it can be passed on by inheritance.

In summary, understanding these legal concepts is crucial for all stakeholders in the Swiss real estate market, ensuring legality, transparency, and the protection of rights in real estate transactions.