Oh the joys of Parisian real estate agents

My current mantra: the perfect apartment is out there somewhere waiting for you to find it.*  The only catch is finding it by the end of February. =)

Looking at bonapart consulting archives, I came across this gem that made me feel much better about the current state of affairs (or lack thereof, having no prospects):

When is a realtor not a realtor?

…………When he’s in Paris.

Glad to know it’s not personal.  My family was at first concerned with the way we were conducting the search, “so you’re not working exclusively with one broker?”, but that’s just not the way it works here.  Instead I pop into every realtor’s office I see and make dozens of phone calls daily.  But the fun doesn’t stop there:

Even when you do call up they’ll be dismissive on the phone and very rarely call you back to follow your search (if you even suceed in getting them to register the details in the first place). You have to usually physically plant yourself in their office and threaten to squat there before you can get them to discuss that. Inevitably they apply the most repellent Parisian sarcasm when you give the budget, it is NEVER enough for what you want, (especially if you know very well the price per m² and are not prepared to pay over the odds). Sometimes they give a nasty little smirk and laugh at this point.

Oh hai me.  This sums up the past month, except for those rare occasions when I meet an optimistic agent who takes me and my requests seriously.  Note to self: follow up with those rare angels!

Finally, I had a funny 1-minute conversation with a realtor about a 500 sq ft one-bedroom in the 8th (another unexpected neighborhood, very posh), in an old building, on 5th US floor, with elevator.  I did the usual, “hi I’m calling about a listing I saw for X apartment for Y euros, I have a few questions” and before I could even get to my questions the realtor jumped the gun and said “oh this is a very *particular* apartment, it doesn’t get any light at all.”  I followed up, “ah so there is a vis-a-vis, or it looks on the courtyard?”  “en fait vous verriez même pas un rayon de soleil dans cet appartement.”  hmmm, I would never even see one ray of sunlight you say?   Sounds perfect. . .for a rabid twilight fan.  NEXT.

p.s.  just confirmed that the bedroom of our current rental only has one outlet.  and one FRENCH outlet at that – so literally ONE socket.  I wanted to put a reading lamp on my side of the bed but we have a power strip plugged into the one socket and already supplying other lights and electronics on the other side of the bed.  Our living room, on the other hand, has a whopping 4 (sarcasm; when we were getting quotes for electricity on the Gobelins apartment, apparently 4 outlets is the bare minimum per room).  I’m an American, get me outta here!

*this is hard because I was so so sure that the Gobelins one was the one the minute I stepped through the doorway.  That I forget about it and stop imagining scenarios where the first bidder drops out!


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One Response to “Oh the joys of Parisian real estate agents”

  1. Struggler Says:

    Wow, the market in Paris is obviously quite bizarre if the agents can behave like that. I do hope your persistence on this quest pays off!

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