I’ve got my spiel down to 1 minute flat

In the past 3 days, I have met with 27 different real estate agents.  Twenty-seven.  The agent-buyer dynamic is completely reversed here in Paris as the buyer must do most of the work and court the agent.  On Day 1 I walked from Montparnasse to Les Gobelins and stopped in every agency I saw along the way.  On Day 2 I walked from St-Marcel to Hotel de Ville, and then today I walked from Filles du Calvaire to St-Paul.  Of these twenty-seven agents, 5 were PHENOMENAL, 7 were great, 6 were disappointing and the rest were just ok.  And I even met an American agent who is also from the South!  That was a lot of fun.

None of them have anything available that meets our criteria, but now they have my contact info and will call me up or email me as soon as they do.  I feel like I’m getting a more positive response from agents now – maybe they can sense that I know what I’m talking about, that we’re serious buyers?  Or maybe I’m just getting lucky and running into the right people.  One agent had some kind advice for me about missing the Gobelins apartment: “You’ll lose out on an apartment once but never twice because now you’ve learned your lesson!  Make an offer first, then get estimates for work, since you’ll always have a week to back out of the offer.”

I have kept all their business cards and I promise once this darn search is over I will post a list of the agents who were awesome, even if I don’t end up seeing any apartments with them.

I was also seriously seriously tempted by this listing:

Completely renovated (the interior looks NI-CKEL) one-bedroom at Abbesses with 15m2 terrasse.  150 sq foot terrasse yes please!  I bet it’s on the ground or first floor, but that’s ok because, hello, terrasse!  But. . .  it’s in Abbesses (the 18th near the Sacre Coeur, thus all the disadvantages of the Jules Joffrin apt we passed up).  Repeating to myself – it’s in Abbesses, it’s in Abbesses, it’s in Abbesses. Ok now I don’t feel so bad about passing it up.  If it had been in any other neighborhood* I would have called up and made an offer immediately, les yeux fermés.

*ok, *minor* exaggeration, but in any other neighborhood we are considering.

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5 Responses to “I’ve got my spiel down to 1 minute flat”

  1. Janell Beals Says:

    Don’t give up! As you describe walking down the different avenues meeting the agents I was thinking, yes, that is a lot of work but just think, she is walking down the streets of Paris! Enjoy! Janell

  2. Struggler Says:

    If it’s true you have a week to back out of an offer, then that may be a sign that you can afford to take a few more risks with the ones you pick. And yes, if you now have a crisp ‘elevator pitch’ of what you’re looking for, the agents probably do sense your seriousness.

  3. Maria Killam Says:

    Wow very different there than here, is it because everyone wants to live in Paris 🙂 So lucky, I love it there!

  4. househuntinginparis Says:

    You know it, thanks for the encouragement everyone! Today I had an experience that trumps all other: I was the first person to see the apartment – I called at 10 am when I got the email alert and the realtor couldn’t show it to me until 4 pm – and I was still too late! By the time I met her she had already received an offer at full asking price sight unseen. French real estate agents are not authorized to sell above the price listed in the mandat (at least, not the honest ones), so game over. There weren’t even any photos in the listing, but it had the “bones” – phenomenal location in the 7th near Invalides, 5th floor with elevator, concierge, cave. And the cherry on top – the interior was completely redone and needed not even a fresh coat of paint. I couldn’t help but laugh about the apparent futility of this search! I’ll just keep on keepin’ on. . . fingers crossed, knocking wood.

  5. La Bonbonniere Says:

    How different to have to get the agents to work with you! Best of luck!

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