April and Don Baggs are a semi-retired British couple living in Normandy wanting to move to the beautiful upper Dordogne valley in Corrèze, to replicate the landscape of the lower Wye Valley, from whence they came. They share their experience of having a ‘virtual tour’ of their property during lockdown!
“We placed our house on the market in February with one of FrenchEntrée’s bilingual partner agents, Claire Plaziat, and left it to her to undertake viewings on our behalf whilst we took an early spring break in Spain. Missing the Spanish lockdown by a matter of days we returned a similar few days before the beginning of our now two month lockdown ….. thus far, in Normandy.
So be it, we thought, if our sale takes several months longer. Even if it takes a year we’ll wait it out the best we can, so we hunkered down and spent a lot of time doing things we have never had time to do before. The garden and veg patch are now pristine – weeds just dare not grow !
However, as soon as the ‘Stay at Home’ rule was relaxed interest in our property immediately increased. We had enquiries from England, Holland, Scotland and France – the only problem of course was, and still is, that the French borders are closed and French residents are only permitted to drive a maximum of 100 km.
Our first ‘Real-Time Virtual Viewing’ took place on 14th May, for an Italian couple living in Paris eager to buy a second home in the countryside for week ends and holidays. Claire and her daughter arrived fully kitted in mask and gloves, armed with a new smartphone with a decent camera. They toured the house showing the prospective purchasers each room from every angle of the room, whilst we stayed one room behind to preserve ‘social distancing’, but be available for questions or clarifications.
The emphasis of this type of viewing is, of course, to make it as close as possible to a real life viewing and this was amply demonstrated by the clients themselves who had no hesitation in asking to see rooms again or ask whether certain fittings or equipment were included in the sale, or indeed asking if we were leaving any of our furniture. So the couple got to see everything they asked to see, from different angles and in some cases in close up. Both the agent and we were present to answer any and all questions immediately. Often a buyer will have to phone the agent to contact the seller to find an answer to a forgotten or new question, or worse still, bandy emails back and forth over several days, even weeks.
We covered the entire garden, what was next door, the crop in the field at the end of the garden and the cows at the end of the lane, the outside and inside of the garden shed / workshop, after being asked how much ‘kit’ one could get in it and the space available for storage, …. and yes, the veg patch.
The live viewing was booked for the first week after the 100km travel limit in France is removed.
So, as a seller this is an ideal way – even after all the COVID-19 rules are relaxed – to promote a property. As a buyer it allow you to have that oh-so-valuable chance to see an entire property in as much detail as you wish, before you book an expensive and possibly time wasting viewing trip.
It is worth noting that although immobiliers are working for the property seller to achieve the best possible price for their property, they are at the time of the real-time Virtual Viewing also working for the buyer because their livelihood depends upon selling properties.”
April and Don’s lovely property in Normandy can be see here.