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Sight Unseen

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As I write this, I’m on the train down to Nice. It’s a lot more booked up than I thought it would be. While most people are respective of the requirement to wear a mask, not everyone is complying. Even if we all try our best, we must remove them to eat or drink. So it’s simply not a perfect world, but at least now we can travel outside of our 100 kilometer restriction and for more than just business or family matters.

On May 7th, France announced that French borders will remain closed to non-European Union countries until at least June 15th. Soon, we should have more information about this, but my daughter is flying from Los Angeles to Paris on July 2nd…at least that’s the plan. But she holds a 10-year resident card, so entry should be easy. For those of you hoping to make a property purchase while the market is just coming out of confinement — what we think is a good time to buy — then you don’t necessarily have to wait until you can travel here.

Two Properties Purchased Sight Unseen

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.comWe have lots of clients who have successfully made a purchase “sight unseen.” That might seem shocking to you, to spend hundreds of thousands of euros, maybe even millions, without having stepped foot in the property first, but people do it all the time with our help. The trick is trusting your representative — us.

If we’ve done our job by thoroughly understanding the parameters ofyour search, we can find properties that would suit you. It’s our job to know when we’ve seen a good property, and it’s our job and “raison d’être” (reason for existence) to ensure you make the best investment you can make. That’s why you hire us in the first place.

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.com

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.com

The way it works is this: First we consult with you to nail down the parameters to be as detailed as possible. The tighter the wish list, the better. Otherwise, we’re looking for a needle in a haystack and being successful doing that is against the odds. One thing of note: we can’t invent the property, only find it, so the parameters have to be realistic. This is where we are essential in acknowledging the possibilities. “Tout est possible” cannot be our mantra, because it’s not true in real estate. There are limitations and searching within those limits is what will lead to success.

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.com

Next, scour the market and ferret out suitable properties. When we come across one or more we think suits you, we’ll send you photos, videos, etc…anything and everything that puts you there virtually, if not physically. We’ll let you know every single minute detail to outline its assets and liabilities so there are no surprises.

Once we’ve identified a property, we’ll negotiate on your behalf, pull together all the documentation, and do the due diligence, just like we do for every property our clients are purchasing. You’re with us every step of the way, or better said, “we’re with you every step of the way.”

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.com

The Notaires will prepare the pre-sale agreement and it can be signed with proxy or “à la distance.” It can take weeks to get all the documentation together in time for the signing. And ever since Covid-19 sent us confined to our homes, the Notarial offices have devised new ways of accomplishing the transactions virtually, or “à la distance,” even if that means we were across town and not across an ocean!

Until that time, when this first document is signed, you have no legal obligation to purchase the property. There is a 10-day “cooling off” period AFTER the signing of the pre-sale agreement within which you can retract your purchase offer with no ramifications. That’s French consumer protectionism at its finest.

Sight Unseen - French Property Insider | AdrianLeeds.com

What that means is that you have plenty of time to come visit the property if you can and want to, to ensure it’s THE property for you! Or maybe you have a friend in France you can also trust to have another eye on it. Either way, you can trust us to be 100 percent above board and honest about every detail of the property so that you will know exactly what to expect.

The one caveat to all of this is how the real estate agents may feel insecure about a purchaser committing to a property without being present. But in the past, we’ve been able to convince them that our clients are fully on board with the plan and when they see that we’ve been hired to do the job, they are normally quite impressed.

You will be, too, with your new property in France.

A bientôt,

Adrian in Nice | AdrianLeeds.comAdrian Leeds
Adrian Leeds Group

Postmarked from Paris | AdrianLeeds.com

P.S.  For those of you still at home more often than not and dreaming of a move to France, or even a property purchase or rental, I’m happy to connect with you on Skype or by phone. We can talk about a strategy to change and enrich your life by living or investing here. To schedule your time, contact us here.


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