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“We Fell in Love with It and He Made the Offer!”

Photo of a house for sale by owner in France
House for sale by owner

I have a great story worth sharing with you…

One of our clients came to us with a property he had found online that he wanted to pursue purchasing.

This is not an unusual request. We know that passing the time visiting real estate websites is one of life’s greatest pleasures! Particularly this past year-and-a-half when we were confined to our homes with time on our hands and our big imaginations. Many of you armchair travelers and live-in-France wannabes couldn’t resist perusing the web for hot properties.

Fortunately we have a “Purchase Transaction Assistance” service designed to be your liaison through the entire buying process on a property you have already found on your own…or through another source. Once you’ve identified the property, we can take it from there, to ensure you’ve made the right choice, are paying the right price and everything in between.

But here’s the catch: you must have identified and committed to this one property, as the service eliminates the “search” element, which is what we excel at most of all.

This particular client had identified a property, but he was in the U.S. and the property was a complete unknown located in the Occitanie countryside. We agreed to jump on it and see if in fact it was every bit as fabulous as he thought it would be. One of our top search consultants based here in Nice, Jennifer, is very familiar with the area because she was once resident there and working in real estate. She hopped in her car and headed to the area around Uzès, a three-hour-fifteen-minute drive.

As it turned out, the property wasn’t at all right for the client at all. We gave it a thumb’s down. Within moments, the client agreed to change the Purchase Transaction Assistance service to a full search, allowing Jennifer to really do her thing! They got on the phone immediately and together they ferreted out other properties in the area that might be good candidates.

One in particular looked like the perfect answer. The specific location was unknown. Jennifer contacted the agent for a visit by herself with a virtual visit for our client in the U.S. The agent refused to allow Jennifer to see the property if a virtual visit was involved. She was against it in no uncertain terms as she didn’t believe it worth her time and a whole host of other reasons. Jennifer pleaded with her to no avail. The client even sent an email himself to the agent to convince her. She wasn’t budging.

But, neither was Jennifer. She got on the phone to other agents in the area she knew to try to learn the absolute location of the property. One agent was pretty sure where it was—in one of the small villages about 15 minutes drive from Uzès. Our client got on Google Earth to try to pinpoint it. Together they were successful in finding it and Jennifer headed there wasting no time.

Google Maps satellite view of the property

Upon arrival, Jennifer discovered an “A Vendre” sign (For Sale by Owner) and a phone number. She called and found the owner, who was very pleased to allow Jennifer to see it the next day and do a virtual visit for our client. Jennifer stayed overnight in a hotel nearby (costs of the hotel and transportation paid by the client).

“And of course,” she wrote, “we fell in love with it and he made the offer!”

View from the house that was for sale by owner in France

View from the house that was for sale by owner

The offer was accepted! Because Jennifer was able to see the property directly with the owner, the price was reduced by the agency commission, so our client saved quite a bit of money in the process and the seller got her full price. Everyone won, except of course, the agent who refused to do the virtual visit!

Real estate agents in France behaving this way isn’t a surprise to us at all. We encounter such unwillingness to make an effort all the time. They aren’t always familiar with dealing with straight-forward North Americans or agencies such as ours which are more than willing to go to great lengths to take care of their clients. This certainly isn’t true for all, as we work with others who are quite upstanding and industrious. But on the whole, you won’t find the same kind of zealousness to make the sale as you would in the U.S.

This is the kind of story we love to hear and love to tell even more. It illustrates what is possible, as long as you can trust us to do our job. The Purchase Transaction Assistance Service starts with obtaining our “Seal of Approval” by visiting the property that you found on your behalf and give you our honest assessment so you can be sure it’s worth the investment.

If we give it a thumb’s up, then the service kicks in full speed ahead. If we give it a thumb’s down, then we can find the perfect property for you by allowing us to do the search. We’ll negotiate with the seller or their agent to ensure you’re paying the best price. If there is the possibility of sharing the commissions with the seller’s agency, then we refund that back to you!

Meanwhile, we can assist you in securing a mortgage if needed. We will engage a Notaire we trust so that you have your own French notary to administer the transaction on your behalf. We’ll perform the due diligence by reviewing all of the documentation including the diagnostics, the annual meeting notes, the building’s by-laws, and other important documents related to the purchase. Just before closing, we will visit the property to ensure the current condition of the property is good, because in France, the buyer buys “as is.”

For absentee buyers, we can sign the purchase contracts on your behalf with proxy. Even if you are present, we always attend these meetings with you. Then, even once you have the keys, we provide “Après Vente” services, such as connecting you with our renovation/decoration teams, doing the utility hook-ups, and other important tasks new properties need. And we advise all along the way. We are always on hand to guide you through the process.

Special note: with the Purchase Transaction Assistance service, you have only one shot to get it right. If that one property isn’t what you bargained for, then you can’t ask us to chase down another…and another…and another that you’ve found yourself. But, like our client for whom Jennifer performed a search, not only was she able to find a jewel of a property within 24 hours, but she was able to save him the amount of the agency commission—about five percent of the total price, and that can amount to a large sum in your pocket.

If you are interested in learning more about these services, just visit our website:

Purchase Transaction Assistance

Inside a luxury apartment with gourmet kitchen

Custom Search for Purchase

View of a Paris Building Copyright Lisa Anselmo

And don’t hesitate to email us!

A la prochaine…

Phot of Adrian Leeds in NiceAdrian Leeds
The Adrian Leeds Group®

P.S. If you are considering a property purchase in Nice, or anywhere in France, don’t do it lightly. Let us help you make the smartest decisions to ensure you make the best investment you can. We can also expertly advise you how best to create a profitable rental. Contact us at to learn more.

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