Wow! Today is the middle of the year and I can assure you that anyone connected to real estate in Piemonte is already exhausted. I know I am. I will be taking some days out soon and hope to come back full of energy and ideas.
Now I want to give you some free advice on how to write to an agent. I'll make a list, let's call them rules. They're not but you get the point. I'm going to be straight but know this is good advice!
1. Don't tell your life story in your first email. At this point, no one has the time to read a long story, you need to get to the point. Get to know the agent first, then they will do all they can. I filter out long emails as I don't have the time to read them.
2. Be specific. Tell the agent what house/s you're interested in and ask specific, relevant questions about it. Unless you are upfront about wanting to pay me a consultancy fee, I can't comment on houses other agencies have.
3. Show you are dead serious. We get a lot of casual enquires. 'I'm here anyway, I'm curious to see this house'. Hmmm, this is not good. We are not free tour guides. You will get filtered out if you do this. No one has the time.
4. Don't get angry with the agent if they're busy. The market here has exploded. Maybe buy a house in Kazakstan if you want all the attention (not sure why I picked on Kazakstan..). If you tell the agent he or she shouldn't be so busy they can't do everything for you, they will drop you because your advice is spot on. We're too busy, it's true. Be patient and understand you are way behind in buying here. You should have done it pre-Covid.
5. Be nice. By far, the majority of people I deal with are. We've made some great friends over the years and continue to. We are peacemakers, we want solutions and answers to problems. We are helping you buy a house, not decide on personal details. Work out what is relevant to the agent and what isn't. That will get you far.
6. Get to know the agent. I love people and love getting to know new people, some aren't so open and not so interested. If you don't trust the agent, maybe walk away. If they have to ask for a signed contract before you even start, well... that's maybe a sign they're not easy to deal with. This will all become part of your experience of buying - like the courtship before marriage - kind of.. Make it a nice experience for everyone, get to know the agent.
That's about it! Just one question I get asked is - am I too late to buy here? Well, allhouses are selling. Some have been on the market for 7-8 years and now are selling. You are late, but not too late. You might just have to wait until the right house comes along and you might have to compromise a little. But here's a thing, I live in a house that most people would say 'no way' but we love it. For us it's about living here, enjoying the sun, the people, the food and wine. I have people with €100k to spend and people with millions and equally, they can both end up unhappy because they feel they didn't get exactly what they wanted. Buy what makes you happy, not what looks good on social media. If you feel the house is not quite right, no house will be right for you.
I was writing this and thinking about what photo to use - I'll use a photo of my house (below with white arrow - and header photo). We've been in it for 18 years, we paid €150,000 and we love it even more now than that exciting day we moved in. I've been so busy it's lacked some TLC these last 2 years but after a short break, everything will be put right.
Enjoy your summer. Come to Piemonte..!! You can buy me lunch ;-)