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Due Diligence

An apartment building in Nice

Monday, before I boarded the TGV back to Paris, I visited three properties in Nice with our illustrious interior designer, Martine di Mattéo, and her best architect, Nicole Champagnol, along with her contractor and carpenter. We were quite a group, adding Ella Dyer to the mix, one of our Nice search consultants.

The purpose of the visits was to scope out what was possible and feasible to do to renovate and reconfigure the floor plans of two of the apartments. The third one was our Fractional Ownership property, Le Palais du Soleil, which only needed a few last minute touches they could get done in a short time.

Martine de Mateo in La Palais du Soleil

Martine at work in La Palais du Soleil

This is the norm for what we do on behalf of our clients to ensure that the property will live up to their expectations—bring in our various resources to provide ideas and opinions so that they are not taking responsibility for the decision-making without having the facts. None of this preliminary work costs the clients any money, even though it costs us our time and expertise.

I have an uncanny talent for seeing the skeleton of a property, not what’s there, but what could or should be there. I guess I must have been an architect in another life—it’s like having X-ray vision. My brain goes straight for the jugular and can imagine the space completely differently than it actually is. In these cases, I couldn’t wait to impart my ideas to Martine and Nicole. They always validate my ideas, which gives me the confidence to continue doing what I’m doing. They did this time, too.

This is the team that redesigned and decorated Le Palais du Soleil, one of our Fractional Ownership properties—one that underwent complete renovation that required taking down every single wall!

This time around, we found a problem in the building with flooding in the basement. There was an odor coming from the cellar that was extremely unpleasant. The questions were: What is the cause? Can this be fixed? If so, when? And how much will it cost the owners?

If someone were buying the property on their own, they would not have this kind of advice and protection. Perhaps they would have smelled it themselves and questioned it, but how would the agent have managed it? The seller’s agent would not likely advise them against purchasing the property, or at least getting all the answers, like we are doing in this situation, as that would clearly hurt the sale. In this case, we are giving the buyers a real assessment and advice on how to proceed.

The point is that we do the Due Diligence. According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Due Diligence in the context of law, is the “care that a reasonable person exercises to avoid harm to other persons or their property,” and in the context of business, is the “research and analysis of a company or organization done in preparation for a business transaction (such as a corporate merger or purchase of securities).”

What this also entails, for us, is the thorough reading and reviewing of the diagnostics, three years of the building assembly notes (known as the “Procès Verbaux,” written records of the official proceedings), and the building bylaws, or “Règlement de Copropriété.” We do this for every property our clients consider purchasing. It replaces what is known as an “inspection” in the U.S. All the documents are in French, but because you have us, you don’t need to have them translated, which can be time-consuming, if not expensive.

Now, do you really want to look for properties on your own? Or do you want some “insurance” that you’re buying the right property? You decide.

A la prochaine…

Adrian LeedsAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. To learn more about our property services, visit our services page, or complete our online form for a consultation!

Clary sageP.P.S. Thanks to researcher extraordinaire, Patty Sadauskas, the “wildflowers” shown in Monday’s Nouvellettre® were actually “Clary Sage”—AKA “Salvia Sclarea”—a biennial or short-lived herbaceous perennial in the genus Salvia native to the northern Mediterranean Basin, along with some areas in north Africa and Central Asia. The plant has a lengthy history as an herb, and is currently grown for its essential oil.


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