Sunday, 26 February 2017

Making the Difference

One property sale agreed last week has provoked me to analyse the difference between us and a typical French agency. So there will be some self-congratulations in this piece, but for that I make no apology!

Situation – one very attractive 4 bed detached Maison de Maître, with a heated pool, set in extensive gardens of 4 ha, competitively priced just below 250,000 €. On the market for a year or so, a few visits, one offer but nothing ever signed. The French agents had the usual A4 display in their window, an advert on-line on their own website, plus a few on-line adverts on generally free websites in France. At this point, I would add that there is generally a reason that websites are free, and it isn’t because they sell lots of houses. The wording / descriptive for the property ran to less than 5 complete lines, a selection of images, some of which were duplicated.

Our involvement – I contacted the owner, who does not live in the property but in Holland, and by e-mail we arranged to take a mandat for the sale, after I convinced him that we had potential buyers for the property. Because of the distances involved, it took a full week for the property to be properly registered on our books, and a few more days for me to gain access and a key. In the interim, I started to contact our active buyers with that sort of budget, sending images taken by the owner, (and smartened a bit in Photoshop). Over 150 e-mails later, and many phone calls, there were clearly some very interested clients who were “pre-registered” with us. Then the property was loaded on to the AF website, pictures optimised, and a thorough descriptive prepared. The property was featured in a newsletter going out to 20,000 registered customers, and then an advert was placed in French Property News.

Within 24 hours of obtaining the key, we had 6 viewings booked over the period of a long weekend, another agent working in collaboration with us, and we fielded 10 calls on the first day for this property. The 1st viewing took place on Friday morning, and within an hour a full-price offer was on the table, with no strings attached, thereby securing the deal. By the afternoon, a Proposition d’Achat had been signed by the buyers, and countersigned by the vendor.

The other agent is now puzzled as to how we concluded a deal so quickly……….

The owners comment:
“It is surprise for me to receive a bid in line with the asking price. And so quickly! I thank you for being terribly efficient.
Buyers comment before the visit:
“Thank you for sending us the 2 series of pictures, we appreciate to be able to see it as it is now and the owners pictures from the summer, but we can see in winter the location is beautiful. We look forward to the visit and meeting you as arranged”.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

A flat in London or Paris, or a château in S W France?

The financial centres are amongst many looking closely at where they have their international offices based following UK’s Brexit decision. HSBC are rumoured to be amongst many banks planning to relocate many staff from London to Paris, but where do those staff decide to live?

For the price of an apartment in the suburbs of London or Paris, you could escape the crowds and own a château of your own in the recently renamed Nouvelle Aquitaine, in the suburbs of Brive-la-Gaillarde, serviced by Brive-Vallee de la Dordogne International aéroport. 3 flights per day each way ensure that can you opt for a relaxed lifestyle away from the stresses of big city life. At the weekend you can relax at the theatre, watch Top XIV rugby, or just chill out at home.

Brive is a wonderful city with a bustling market, 2 Michelin star restaurants (Castel Novel & La Table d'Olivier), a wonderful theatre (Les Treize Arches) and so much more to offer, such as the Lac du Causse nearby. All this for £775,000 – amazing! 

Full details can be found here :

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Introducing Adam Stickland

Introducing our new agent - Managing the Périgord Noir is Adam Stickland. For a long time, the Périgord Noir has been a bit of a black-hole for our company. Nikki & Richard Morford cover the area to the north, (Périgord Vert & parts of Périgord Blanc), whilst to the west Dan Arnold covers the Bergerac area (Périgord Poupre & parts of Périgord Blanc). To the east, Peter Elias manages the properties close to Brive and the Dordogne Valley.

Previously a sales and marketing consultant, Adam speaks English, French, Spanish and some Japanese! Having previously worked as an agent in Andalusia, he now services an area including popular favourites, with villages such as Domme, Saint-Cyprien, Le Bugue, Les Eyzies-de-Tayac-Sireuil , Montignac, Terrasson and, of course, the world-famous Sarlat-la-Canéda.

Consequently, we are on the lookout for quality properties, (price range starting at 250,000 Euros and above).

Contact details - Adam Stickland: 0780 33 76 89 or e-mail


Sunday, 5 February 2017

Gîtes for under 450k€

We've been putting together a selection of properties in certain groups - these gîtes are all priced under 450,000€ and for sale in south west France.

For any more information - please email me

Bargain price for this small gite complex, close to Elephant Haven — in Saint-Yrieix-la-Perche.

Thursday, 2 February 2017

Top of Form!

The France Show held at Olympia in London always kick starts the year for French agents, so we expect to be busy in the months ahead. What is encouraging from our perspective is that we are already busy, and receiving plenty of enquiries from clients with excellent budgets. Most are from the UK, and determined to make their move to France regardless of Brexit, but many are also from the USA and Continental Europe.

We are matching those clients’ expectations with some wonderful new listings, and in the first 10 take-ons this year, we have 3 below 250k, 5 in the sector between 250-500k, 1 over 500k and one whopper at 14.9 million ... More of course, are in the pipeline, and several are exclusive to our agency.

Many clients are rate aware, and think that the £ is low currently (1.17 at the time of writing). It is important to point out that the average rate over the past 5 years has only been 1.20 and the days when rates were above 1.40 were very brief. However, it is that rate of 1.40 odd that many remember too well. Our dedicated currency dealers can assist here with a range of contracts, some for today and some for the future. Adam Bobroff and Tom Taylor will help you with your specific requirements.

Don’t forget to give us plenty of warning for your viewing visits. We can ensure your success by helping organise your visit. Too many clients try to fit too many properties in to their schedules, and often fail to appreciate the distances between houses sometimes. Talking to your Allez-Français agent in plenty of time will help your success rate. We may even have a cash-back reward for you, if you remember our previous offer!!

image © BrianAJackson