No two clients are the same and each brief has its own chal­lenges. Th­ese are ex­am­ples of three very dif­fer­ent searches

Living France - - THE ESSENTIALS -

• 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.

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