Steiger & Cie

an Encyclopaedia of Mountain Real Estate

Text Claude Hervé-Bazin / Photo Yves Garneau / Haute Montagne
Date of publication Winter 2019-2020

Zermatt’s real estate market is one-of-a-kind, as are Steiger & Cie’s unique brokerage activities. This exceptional agency leaves absolutely no rock unturned, handling every detail with the utmost care.

In the early 2000s, when high-end luxury real estate development in the Swiss Alps was well underway and the popularity of contemporary alpine style on the rise, an ambitious young man saw an opportunity. Florian Steiger, a former CEO in the music industry, built a rock-solid team directed by Oliver Herweg in Zermatt and Nicolas Koch in Verbier, and Steiger & Cie was born. More than a typical agency, Steiger & Cie has always had ambitious goals: from the beginning, they sought to build an interconnected ecosystem that met every single one of their clients’ needs, both during and after a real estate purchase, using a vast network of reputed, highly-skilled professionals.

Beyond Brokerage
Today the company has offices in Zermatt, Verbier, and Crans-Montana. When it comes to property brokerage, Steiger & Cie’s close and exclusive partnership with Cardis | Sotheby’s International Realty ensures this core part of their business resonates on a global level and is up to the highest international standards. In posh ski resorts where the luxury market is key, Steiger & Cie manage all kinds of real estate assets, from small apartments sold for less than one million francs, to rare chalets that can go for 25 million or more. Finding and presenting real estate assets is one thing; knowing how to truly highlight their real value is another. Steiger & Cie take great pride in their stunning (but never misleading) photography of featured chalets and apartments, and avoid using extensive retouching or deceptive wide-angle views in their images. The company stands by their belief that ensuring authenticity and establishing trust from the offset is the best (and only) way to build a business relationship. Both clients and partner notaries use the same key words to describe Steiger & Cie: honest, reactive, and highly professional. But establishing trust is just the beginning: in order to close a deal, one needs an extremely thorough understanding of every element involved in the decision making. Being able to find the right asset for the right client, means taking both a client’s nationality and budget into account, as the canton of Valais has imposed strict regulations on real estate purchases by foreigners, something Steiger & Cie are well-versed in. The company also has strong ties to the canton’s largest architectural office. Can we expand the building? Will the undeveloped neighbouring parcel stay that way? Have redevelopments already been planned? Steiger & Cie will look for and provide the required information. How can a foreigner obtain a residency permit? How can I finance my purchase? How can I benefit from a tax package? Once again, you can count on Steiger & Cie. Yet another of the company’s strong selling points: to answer all the questions that might arise, even the uncomfortable ones. But it’s not all about selling points. Unlike many other agencies, Steiger & Cie is not here to simply push a sale and benefit from a short-term commission. The company looks further into the future with every decision they make to ensure they maintain their excellent reputation among current and future buyers. They will even go as far as to setup short-term rentals for clients interested in certain properties, so they can see firsthand if the property is a fit before making their purchase. And once the deal has been closed, Steiger & Cie is still available to coordinate workers and artisans for any needed renovations. Their vast network, which also includes relationships with local authorities, shifts the company identity beyond the realm of simple real estate brokerage and makes them a valuable community partner. In short, they are an engaged and committed companion, able to handle complex cases from start to finish, without mishaps and without wasting any time.

A blessing to buy in Zermatt
Why buy property here? “Because we love Zermatt, its atmosphere, its slopes, its year-round lively character, and, of course, for its view of the Matterhorn,” says almost every buyer. Some have dreamed of owning property in Zermatt all their lives, but once they’ve made the leap, they still need to find the right object to fit their needs. The market is incredibly limited. There are rarely more than 5-10 chalets for sale at any given time among the 50 or so real estate options available. Compromise is almost always part of the deal. Additionally, the process for foreign non-residents is not always straightforward: one can either invest in a hotel property or go through the process of obtaining legal Swiss residency, which sometimes means selling all other properties owned abroad. This policy was designed to ensure Zermatt’s future as a true living village, keeping property owners engaged in the local community and avoiding too many empty homes and “closed shutters,” as the village continues to evolve.