On the web you will find various free tools and real estate agencies that offer free online property valuations. All you have to do is fill in the required fields, enter a few compulsory details, such as the precise address of the property, sometimes even pictures and there you go; in a flash you will receive your free property valuation by e-mail. Fantastic! Of course, this method would be great if the range between the maximum and minimum market price were not so wide.
And what about your personal data? Have you ever thought about that? Where does it go? Who can use it and how?

The real estate agent who gives a free valuation without obligation

Our aim as real estate agents is to find properties and convince the owner to sign a sales contract with us. It goes without saying that we look for all available means to achieve this. However, a comparative evaluation of properties for sale is quite different from an accurate analysis of the property market. If property valuations were so easy to compile, and even free, certified valuation experts would starve! A true real estate appraisal, which reflects the market price, costs between CHF 1’300 and CHF 1’500 for a so-called “normal” property and can even double that when we are talking about multi-family houses. So, have you ever wondered why an estate agency would risk such a sum if the other party, our client, then decided not to commit to a sales contract? An agency that proposes a valuation, a true appraisal of the property, only does so with a signed sales mandate. It bears the costs because it is in its interest to give the potential buyer all the information about the property for sale, so that even the bank of reference for any mortgage has little reason to object to an official document.

The market for personal data

In Switzerland, too, there is a market for our personal data. Some companies offer to sell e-mail addresses, traditional mail addresses, telephone numbers, and much more. It is possible to buy the personal data of our potential clients, based on the characteristics that best suit the product we want to sell them. Have you ever wondered where this data comes from? How is it possible that we sometimes persistently receive communications from companies we have never contacted? Why do they know our name and even where we live?
We have long since entered the era of so-called ‘big data’ and it is up to us to protect our privacy and that of our family. Free offers from online services that look like harmless promotions sometimes conceal very insidious intentions.