FINDING AN APARTMENT
What is it like to buy an apartment in Paris? It’s actually not very different from buying in the U.S. or in other countries: You find a place, you make an offer, you have a due diligence period that usually takes several weeks and sometimes months as the purchase needs to go through the State’s notarial office, you sign a promise after which you have a very short period of retraction, and then the final closing (“signature”) can happen fairly quickly, if all your ducks are in a row and it’s not around August, December or May – the three slowest months for getting anything done in France!
If the process of buying is fairly easy, the process of finding an apartment can be a lot more challenging. An already competitive real estate market is made even more difficult by the fact that there are no multiple listing services in France. Because every real estate agency is independent, you actually have to visit each one to find their listings. And not being on the ground in Paris is a huge disadvantage, as Ann learned the hard way when she bought her first apartment, from the U.S.
After looking for months at every listing that came on the market, waking up at 5 a.m. to catch the newest arrivals and making multiple offers that were rejected because the apartments had sold, she hired a buyer’s agent to help her secure the deal. Having memorized almost every building in her favorite neighborhood, she became a rather difficult client and was surprised when her agent called her one day and fired her! The very next day, Ann spotted her dream apartment online and begged the agent to go look at it and make an offer, which she did … and the rest is history. But all this was extremely stressful and could have been handled more smoothly with better guidance.
If you are looking for an apartment, we will help you find it. We are not realtors but we have a very good network of real estate agents in Paris who know what we like and have the connections to make it happen. You just have to be patient because even the best search agents can be up against difficult odds, when there are multiple full-price cash offers with no strings attached.