Friday, 1 June 2007

Offer Accepted!

It was a surreal evening last night, drinking champagne and shakily toasting our future as property tycoons in the making. But to start at the beginning....

We had arranged a meeting with our Immobiler (Nicolas Roques) for mid-day in order to discuss various questions and also to get some feel for whether our planned offer would be in the right ballpark.

First miracle of the day - he phoned us at 11:45 to explain and apologise because he was running about 20 minutes late - would we be still OK to meet? A very rare occurrence I can assure you! Most never phone to warn you and commonly do not turn up at all. We originally spent about 18 months looking for our current house and got to know every Immobilier in this part of Herault (and there are loads!) - and would only recommend about four as being truly professional. Well, now we can add one more to that short list!

We settled down in a cafe and he very clearly and carefully explained the whole process, including the fact that the crucial Geometre report was not due until next week and so any initial offer would be dependant on our reading and being happy with this. Between us we drew up a two-part offer: one if the apartment was only available for final signature at the end of the rental season (with us not requiring the contents) and the other for if it was available 6 weeks earlier in which case we would pay a little extra for the contents in order to fulfill the bookings already organised by the current owner. It was refreshing to find that Mr Roques did not attempt to inflate the value of the contents but in fact proposed a figure less than our view - and also that our 'certainly lower than the requested purchase price' offer was not dismissed out of hand. He had no hesitation in agreeing to speak to the owner as soon as possible to find out her reaction, and promised to get back to us via e-mail.

Back home and a couple of hours later, the promised e-mail gave us the good news: the owner was happy with our offer and our willingness to be flexible with timing - and the apartment plus contents could be ours before the end of the season. Would we like to select a date in 2 weeks time to draw up and sign the compromis de vente?

Hence the champagne, the shakiness and discussions with the children about how impending two-property ownership would effect us all - ie increased poverty!

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