No two clients are the same and each brief has its own challenges. These are examples of three very different searches
• A romantic holiday apartment in Nice with terrace. Budget: €300,000 Seattle professionals Don and Franklyn had been struggling to find a suitable apartment in Nice. Our search agent met them for cocktails. They immediately clicked and she understood exactly what they were looking for. This was a tough brief, but she lined up some good potentials for their viewing visit. On the last day, she got a call from an agent who had a brand-new listing that he was keeping off-market for the time being – an apartment on the top floor with two terraces. Don and Franklyn were the first people through the door to see it and the deal was agreed on the spot. When not using the apartment, the couple rent it out successfully.
• A five-bedroom family home in the centre of Aix-enProvence. Budget: €1.5 million This French family had lived in Africa for a long time and had chosen Aix-en-Provence as the place to settle in France because of the climate and choice of international schools. They had friends in Aix who had tried to help them find something suitable, but soon came to realise that large family houses with gardens near the historic centre of what is a small city are rare. The couple decided that they needed a property expert on the ground, and many Skype sessions and reports later, only three houses made it onto the shortlist. One was in the perfect location, with stunning views, but over budget. It needed a lot of vision as the decor was unusual to say the least, but the clients saw the potential. We negotiated an excellent price, and I then arranged builders and gardeners to carry out the work needed. The house is now stunning!
• A large main house with lots of land for horses and up-an-running gîte business. Budget: €550,000 A professional couple from London with a young daughter were looking for a more balanced lifestyle in south-west France. Lacking the time to search themselves, they also needed advice on the best area for a gîte complex and schools for their little girl. Our search agent in Bergerac steered them to the best areas and pre-screened 65 properties for them. Only six made it onto the viewing list. One private sale was significantly over budget, but the agent knew from a local contact that the owners were very keen to sell. The couple fell for that property and the agent negotiated the price down to within their budget, with two donkeys, two goats and €26,000 of furniture thrown in. It is now a thriving gîte complex near Bergerac.