Monday, February 7, 2011

The Reality of Real Estate

I'm definitely not in the market for any real estate in Paris but that doesn't stop me from looking at the ads posted in the windows of realtors.  One can always dream, right -- of having your own little piece of Paris or of having enough cash to actually consider such an act.

If you've ever sold a piece of real estate in the U.S., you know that there's a certain amount of staging involved.  You clean like a crazy person, empty closets and cupboards to make it look like there's more storage than there actually is, put away the personal momentos, buy flowers, and bake something to give your home a nice cozy feeling.  And while normally the photos I see posted here in Paris suggest that that's also the case here, apparently not always.  Take a look at these (with apologies for the quality of these photos.)

First the set up.  Yes, this place is already off the market.  Happy the family that snapped up their three bedroom spot in the 16th.

And if you were wondering what over a million euros gets you in Paris, take a look:

Yes, there's a half finished plate of something on that coffee table.

Is that laundry on the bed?

I can only assume that buyers in Paris are desperate.


Lost In Cheeseland said...

Oh goodness. Apartments are a hot commodity so I guess sellers don't think they need to do much in the way of presentation. But a plate with a half-eaten meal? The real estate agent should have discouraged them from using that photo just on principle.

Anonymous said...

OMG! How tasteless. And the prices is astronomical. That's 8778€ per square meter! Scandalous. You have to be a millionaire to be able to buy a family sized apartment in this city.

Ksam said...

@LostInCheeseland - I'm pretty sure it was the agent who took that photo - they just have no idea of home-staging whatsoever!!

And I would like to buy an apartment here some day, so I often stop to look at ads, just to keep an eye on the market. You wouldn't believe the number of for sale ads here that show just a picture of a random window or of a wall or of a decrepit staircase. And I always wonder "WTF?? How is that in any way helping sell the apartment?" But I guess like you said, the market is so tough here that people are desperate and will buy anything!!

Anonymous said...

Not only do sellers not have to stage their apartment, but RE agents don't have to have the legal/financial education that we, as Americans, rely on to make a good RE estate decision. You'll see this once you start working with an agent here. They are simply matchmakers...most have never even seen the product they represent and can't tell you the advantages/disadvantages/school district/tax implications of the place you are considering. The onus is on the buyer to find out EVERYTHING. (You don't even have home inspectors here, leveling the playing field for the sellers/buyers.) The person who oversees the deal is the notaire, not the RE agent, which kills me because the RE agent gets a commission nonetheless (tho nothing like the RE agent in the USA which is 6% in my home state). I always prefer to buy from an individual, because at least they know their apartment and can tell you about things like heat system, schools, taxes.

RE agents seem to be a pool of amateurs largely make up of women who are bored at home and like viewing other people's places. I have never worked with an intelligent one in any of my transactions. In fact, the last one who sold me an apartment showed up to the signing three sheets to the was shocking.

Catt White said...

I see the same thing in postings for rental apartments. Laundry hanging up in the living room or bathroom, food on the kitchen counters. Hello?

Cynthia said...

We were in the market for buying and even bid on some 250 000€ / 40 m2, decrepit apartments in bad neighbourhoods but the market is such that everything gets sold and those who pay cash "win" the apartment! We have resolved ourselves to renting even though we have a big cash down (more than 30%)!

I also second everything emmabovary has said about real-estate agents!

Jean(ne) in MN said...

Re: staging--my husband's aunt owned apts in Marseille to rent out. They were so empty, including the kitchen, that she took her own light bulb when she showed it and then didn't leave it behind. Guess she held all the cards.

Peter said...

Surprising! If I were the seller - or the agent, I would defintely have tried to clean up a bit, take away the wall decorations... , but if you are a buyer, you should not let yourself be influenced by this; you have to imagine what you can make out of it! Some 8-9000 € per m2 in this area of Paris is - unfortunately - "normal"!

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