Sunday, 26 February 2017

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”.

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