14 September 2016
You may be wondering what happened to Mr Wearing, did the couple buy the dive and are people still buying in France following the UK's ill advised and potentially catastrophic decision to leave Europe (you will note I am pinning my colours to the mast here)?
Well, Mr Wearing did manage to complete all of the paperwork, get all of the monies over to the notaire, and come and sign and purchase .... at the end of last month when we were still in the UK. I stepped back from the dossier when they started arguing over the furniture and left them to sort it out. So job done and cash in the bank. Happy times.
The couple were horrified at the dive and are still looking - the Pound has fallen against the Euro - down from 1.44 when they first started looking and as at yesterday 1.19. They are still fixed on having a lake and gites. The lady is still terrified of all air and water based forms of transport. But it is the man's dream...
Speaking of dreams; you may not be aware but when a buyer starts talking of dreams, an estate agent's heart sinks. This estate agent wants a realist in front of her - someone who will know what they want when they see it and has cash in the bank to buy it.
This week has brought realists and dreamers. Yesterday's couple were definitely of the second variety.
We had arranged to meet at 11 am. Time ticked on. Commune workers were dismantling the marquee from the weekend's concert. People came and went from the Mairie and the Tourist Office. The sun started heating up the tarmac. After 30 minutes and no answer from the client's phone, I started to think of going. An English car drew up outside of the Tourist Office and a man staggered out. I went over and stood next to the car. The lady in it smiled and carried on looking at her mobile. I tapped on the window. Are you Linda? It was.... I said that I had been ringing her and she said she had had the volume turned right down on her phone. She didnt like the ringtone.
There was a massive Hound in the back of the car. Her husband staggered back out of the Tourist Office. I had a bad feeling
They had got horribly lost. Despite having the full name of the commune, they had only put the first of the three words of the name into the Sat Nav. It had given them a choice of six communes. It was by sheer chance that they had arrived in the right one. By the end of the day, I was wondering how they ever made it out of their front door.
We were now very behind schedule so I said we would walk to the first house. They got the dog out of the car. The mercury was heading for 30 degrees and it was panting like a steam train. The house was only 200m but it took about 20 minutes as the man seemed incapable of walking and talking at the same time. Finally we got there and I let them into the garden and opened up the house. After 20 minutes, when it was apparent that the lady hated the house and the man wouldnt stop talking, I went and got my car and we drove back to theirs and onto the second viewing.
We were there a very very long time because they couldnt take the dog in and I had to show first one and then the other and they said they loved it. I had had another couple who had also loved it until they had discovered the existence of an American sect just up the road (thanks a bunch, Google) which was news to me.
We went for a drink in town. There were a lot of wasps about and I suggested that water would be a good idea rather than coke. They ordered coke and fanta and we spent the rest of the time together being attacked. Was aghast to find that they have not actually sold their house, despite having been told that they had, and that they had had no visits since May. I asked to look at it. I have seen Phil Spencer Secret Agent and Selling Houses with Amanda Lamb. Surely it cant be that difficult to give some helpful pointers....
The man found the agent's ad on his phone. The facade was attractive if you like Mock Georgian but oh dear, the interior. Downstairs was plain to the point of austerity. Upstairs was madly floral with the most bizarre beds. Were they four posters for midgets? Had he ran out of wood? They certainly drew the eye. The windows were infested with Laura Ashley's finest. The garden was just lawn and paving slabs.
They looked at me expectantly. The man actually stopped talking for once. The Boxer panted in my direction. I was thinking 'oh shxt, why do I get myself into this situation?' I had to draw on my very slight reserves of tact and diplomacy. Some quick thinking was required. I started off by asking them who were their target market - a young couple with children... OK what style of decoration would they find appealing - contemporary. Yes. I showed them the picture of the front room with its vast expanse of olive coloured carpet and the furniture shoved back against the walls and the tiny fireplace, like a pimple on the wall.
It is good for the dog to run around and I dont like clutter; said the lady. Yes but we have to see it from the view of a potential buyer; said the man.
I told them they needed to inject some character into the front room - delineate areas of activity, cut up the expanses with furniture and rugs. Put a seating area into the garden (they drew the line at any form of plants or trees because of the dog), tone down the bedrooms and put the midget four posters into storage. What the MFP actually needed was a quick trip with a chainsaw...
They left and I got back home and OH had gone fishing. Made a huge omelette with onions, green and red peppers, chorizo and mushrooms. Green salad. White wine. Sat outside together and noticed for the first time in an age that there were no swallows. We had all been going South. Dragonflies still overhead like small helicopters.
The evenings are drawing in and there is a smell of storm on the air.