Swiss Real Estate
After my dad had been living in Switzerland for a few years, he expressed interest to his landlord to purchase his apartment. The start of the process was to actually sell a property in the U.S. and send the money to Switzerland, which was straightforward enough.
The real estate purchase process in Switzerland is much different than in the U.S. Firstly, I spoke to the bank that had the funds, and they agreed to act as an escrow agent. Secondly, I had to review the purchase contract that by law had to be in German (in that part of Switzerland). Upon determining that this was satisfactory from our point of view, both parties had to go in front of a magistrate. We sat a table with the other party, and the magistrate went paragraph by paragraph to determine whether both sides understood what was expected of them. Again, by law, the entire conversation had to be in German. If the magistrate at any time felt that one of the parties did not know or fully understand what they were signing, he had full legal authority to void the transaction.
In the end, we did understand everything, the contract was signed, the word went out to the bank to transfer the money the seller, and the sale was recorded with the magistrate.