If you are going on a viewing trip to France soon, no matter what region of France you visit, you need to know how to read your French Estate agent, so here we take a light-hearted look at body language:
Will the Frenchman do a deal?
1. One shrug – won't accept your offer.
2. Huff and puff – maybe he'll accept your price.
3. Throws hands in the air and walks away – he believes the house is being 'given' away.
4. If he keeps smiling – keep haggling.
5. If he speaks English to you – it means he feels confident and will drive a hard bargain.
6. Beware the hard sell – the boring 5 minute repetitive sales pitch, just give one word answers.
7. Despite what they say, the French are not yet politically correct - But flirt with his wife and the price will go up. Take your beautiful daughter and he'll be in a good mood.
8. The French usually have two dogs – the big guard dog and the little lap dog. If he brings the former, expect a difficult purchase with little haggling. On the other hand you may well save yourself a bob or two if you show you like his dog.
9. If they don't shake hands – they don't want you to have their house.
10. Get the kissing right – two touches on each cheek is good for Normandy. You should try and be on this kissing basis before the deal is struck!
Good luck and watch for the signs!
Fraser Blake, 70, author of 'Dear Chips' and 'A Rant Too Far?' grew up in Africa, was at school in Scotland, and worked for the British South Africa Police in Southern Rhodesia. He has taught English in Saudi Arabia and sold and renovated hundreds of properties in Northern France.
In 1998 Fraser was selling houses in the Mayenne department of the Pays de la Loire region and so was the obvious choice, when Cle France was started, to be their first agent on the ground in France. In retirement he writes, blogs, cooks, drinks wine, and hosts to dinner unlimited numbers of ex-pats.
Always on hand with a viewpoint, Fraser is going to share his views on France, the French and the British, and other people who buy in France. Sometimes informative, sometimes funny, painfully true, outrageously opinionated but always entertaining so we hope it adds a slightly different dimension to the usual normality of searching through the fantastic properties for sale on the Cle France website.
If you want more? then follow the links above where you can buy Fraser's published books.