21 September 2016
Sunny 20 degrees
After the violent storms of last week, all of the sticky heat has gone and the air is delightfully cool with the temperatures hovering between 16 and 20 degrees during the day.
When we came back from the UK, our batch of swallows had departed. I missed being dive bombed by them in the evenings and their chirruping conversations on the phone wire next to the bedroom window. However, a few days later, a new crowd arrived and they are fat and healthy and fill the skies above our house; like tiny flecks of soot from a lively wood fire.
Work wise has been busy but most of the contacts have not even put their houses on the market. And they dont want to raise bridging loans. They want to get a 'feel' for the market. They can go and feel someone elses properties. The thing is: I tell my vendors that I will only bring around clients who have cash in the bank or know that the bank is willing to extend credit. Why do other agents show house after house to people with no money? In the early days, we used to charge people 100 euros to show them houses and if they bought, we refunded them. If people didnt want to pay, they went and got a feel elsewhere. 99% of people who paid the fee then went on to buy. The market, alas, has now changed. There is a lot of stock and far fewer buyers. Properties can take years to sell. OH is lagging about doing the necessary work in our house and I wont put it on the market without it being in top condition. I do very, very sincerely hope that it doesnt take years to sell. I am sad without the children and I cant face doing the garden. I have a visceral hatred of housework. Being in the UK gave me the longest break I have had in 13 years and it was bliss.
Back to the moutons....
1. The Swiss couple who came to see a house in the north of my area. Very tall. I felt like I was standing in a hole. Came back within the week and said they wanted to show it to their children. I thought this was just a formality and so did the owners. The children came and hated it. Went away feeling very depressed. Since then the parents have come back to me and are waiting for the Mairie to answer their queries about building loose boxes on the land.
Yesterday the owners rang and said they had another person interested and he had been shown by an agent who hadnt got around to dropping the price of the house from its rather startling starting point. I tell the Swiss couple this and they say they will not make a decision until they have heard from the Mairie and the owner is free to sell to whomsoever he wishes in the interim.
Why do people never believe agents? I am not making up this other buyer and feel miffed they were shirty. Then, when as often happens, the other interested party goes aheads and secures the property, my clients are then very upset.
2. The French couple who offered on the scary Chateau. Are we any further ahead on this? One year after he contacted me originally, the potential purchaser has discovered that the French banks wont lend him any money at all and especially not the 700k he wanted to borrow. So he is selling all of his property around the world in order to finance the purchase. How long will all this take? I hope they are in places where properties sell very, very quickly. I have a few 'buyers' who live in these places. God knows, I would prefer being an agent there rather than here. Wherever it is....
3. The French couple who offer on every house they see. These people are bad for my nerves. I showed them a house near the coast. They loved it. They wouldnt find better than this; said the lady. We will make an offer; said the man. I negotiated and we came to an agreement. We will come back; said the man. We must see other houses to make sure; said the lady.
One week later they came back and told me that they had offered on a couple of houses near the coast but had been knocked back. Within minutes, they had gone off the first property I had shown them. There was too much work to do. The decking was buckling. Was the house also structurally unsound?
We stood outside and they smoked many cigarettes. I got on the phone and found another house to show them. They loved it. They wanted to come back to see it. And they did and they still loved it and actually signed a written offer.
I can just see myself here; said the lady. She was wearing the colour of lipstick which makes a very young Goth look good and someone of a certain age look like an autopsy subject. Her jewellery rattled and she waved her cigarette expansively in the direction of the flower borders. So little work to do; she sighed. Has this woman never gardened? Gardens around this neck of the woods are beasts which are just waiting to spurt in every direction.
4. The retired French couple from my town. After having sold to Miss Tea, I showed them a flat belonging to another agent in town. Compromis set for next Friday but bxxxxd notaire is insisting on seeing us in a town 60 kms away.