First Impressions? Who Cares, It’ll Sell Anyway.

Want to sell your home at a great price? Make sure it sparkles. Tidy it from top to bottom, get rid of clutter, fill it with fresh flowers and brew a pot of coffee. Sell a lifestyle others aspire to be part of. That’s what real estate agents, lifestyle TV, magazines and blogs tell you to do when selling an apartment. Maybe the Parisians are too busy, too lazy or just too cool to care, but none of that advice seems to strike a chord with the average Paris seller. The truth is, central real estate is so valuable that tidy or not, it’s going to sell.

If you were safe in the knowledge that your flat would sell at asking price within days, would you bother to get under the sofa with a hoover, clear out the cupboards and replace your personal belongings with arty objects? These sellers certainly didn’t. Unfortunately, I deleted a lot of the photos I took of the other apartments we viewed but here are some of the “lifestyles” we were sold while on the hunt for our little piece of Paris.

One apartment we went to see was crammed full of musical instruments; another was the 20 sqm home of approximately 10 bicycles. Of the 15 or so places we viewed only one was done up to standards similar to what I would expect in Norway or the UK and it had been bought as a renovation project to sell afterwards.

In Norway, where I live, it is imporant to try to wow potential buyers. They bid against each other until the apartment is sold to whoever puts the highest offer on the table. In Paris, prices are based on a square metre calcuation depending on area and it is not typical to bid much below or above the asking price. Property moves fast, often selling the same day it goes on the market and it’s usually a case of first come, first served. By the time we stepped foot into the apartment we would end up buying, there were already a number of other interested parties. It was by no means the worst, but at the time of viewing it looked like this:

When out searching for your Paris home, you have to see beyond the clutter. Picture what the space will look like after you have taken over, added your finishing touches and turned it into the apartment of your dreams. With a little imagination, we could see that this one would do just nicely…and it did.



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