You won't believe what happened to this estate agent in France
PUBLISHED: 10:37 20 August 2018 | UPDATED: 10:38 20 August 2018
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The sunshine, wine and way of life are wonderful but there are days when you wonder why you chose to be an estate agent in rural France. Here are some funny things that have happened to agents at Beaux Villages
One glorious day we had a viewing arranged for a lovely, big country property. Magnificent views from the house and the landscaped pool were key features that had tempted the clients. Crunching up the lavender-lined gravel drive, we looked across the neighbouring fields dotted with grazing cows.
Grazing all bar one.
There was an awful lot of mooing coming from behind the house.
Turning the corner we came to the swimming pool where a large and energetic cow was cooling off in the water. An excited cow can change the water quality in a pool pretty quickly. There was no way this animal was going to leave via the steps so we called the pompiers who arrived and cheerfully winched her out and reunited her with the rest of the herd.
The pool took a little bit longer to recover.
Death becomes her
It’s a routine part of the job to visit people wishing to sell and get their property on our books. Marine, from our French sales team, had such an appointment with a local couple. Monsieur answered the door and asked Marine to excuse them as they were a little disorganised owing to his wife having died the day before. Condolences were expressed along with an offer to come back at a better time.
“No, no,” Monsieur le vendeur said. “Come on in.” He showed her the salon, then the kitchen. At the dining room door he paused before flinging it open and inviting Marine to “come in and meet my wife.”
There on the dining table was the open casket with the recently deceased madame. What is the etiquette in that situation? Marine held her nerve, bobbed her head, repeated condolences but declined the offer to photograph the room.
Bringing home the bacon
A château viewing is always a treat and as we rolled up the gates swung quietly open and we drove on down the tree-lined drive. At the château entrance we pulled up in a big stone archway to be greeted by a massive pig looking very interested, with the chateau owner trotting behind wielding a big stick.
“Come on in. This is Doreen and she’s very friendly,” he called. “I’ll just walk between you and her in case she gets too playful.”
We entered the medieval château and started our viewing with the owner pointing out original features, suits of armour and sympathetic pieces of renovation.
Halfway round the second floor a massive crash echoed up the stairwell. “The wind,” said the owner. “Blowing the door shut.”
Arriving back on the ground floor it was clear that the noise was pig-related. A huge picture lay smashed on the floor, a standard lamp was upended, and there was other...evidence. The buyers looked perplexed, and we didn’t get an offer on the property.
Can I pee here?
We had been viewing for 10 hours. The last visit of the day was a house I knew well with lovely buyers. And buying signals! Diet Coke and adrenaline has quite an effect on my middle-aged bladder. I left my clients mentally placing furniture and found the owner.
“Do they want to buy it?” he asked.
“Maybe. Can I use your loo?”
“I beg your pardon?”
“Please! I’ll come back and talk about what they might want to do... afterwards, if you know what I mean?”
“Why do you need my loo?”
“Really?!” I snapped back. “Never mind, I know where it is.” I pushed past him and, feeling a bit aggrieved, called out “It’s alright, I only need a wee.”
We concluded the visit. Buyer and seller looked like lifelong friends and hugged each other. The seller refused my outstretched hand and just stared at me. As we drove off, buyers chatting excitedly, I replayed the strange events of the last few minutes. I felt the colour drain from me, from top to toe, as I realised I had asked to pee in his dishwasher.
Glossary: Le WC (pronounced le vaysay) = toilet. Le lave-vaisselle = dishwasher