Houses For Sale - the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Just creating this thread to avoid a spanking for dragging the one about gîtes even further off topic :slightly_smiling_face:

As mentioned in that thread, we’re looking to buy a property now that we’re settled in our little corner of France, so I’ve been spending way too much time recently browsing Se Loger, Bien Ici and Le Boncoin. I’ve been surprised at just how bad many of the adverts are, especially when they’re posted by actual estate agents not just particuliers.

I understand that estate agents often don’t post the exact location of properties to avoid people bypassing the agent, but I can’t stand it when they don’t even include a photo of the outside of the property. Maybe it’s me that’s different but I’m just as interested to know what a house looks like from the outside as I am about the insides.

Also, why do so many use so few photos? And while I’m at it, another gripe is when they take photos showing the owner’s belongings instead of the room… I’m buying their house, not their dining room table.

Take this one, for example…

I’m interested in seeing the bedrooms not their choice of bed linen :person_facepalming:

PS - a bonus point for anyone who can spot the photographer of that property :grin:


And just to show that I’m capable of supporting when it’s done well, I’ve fallen in love with this one already despite only having seen it online :heart_eyes: (wrong side of the estuary though, sadly)

It’s not just you, I feel your frustration. I was browsing this evening and groaning about the lack of photos as well. I agree the least they could do is show the outside of the home. No spoilers, except the bed linen!
Good luck with your search.


Glad it’s not just me :grin:

PS - Welcome to the site :slightly_smiling_face:

1 Like

Thank you! Happy to have found it.

1 Like

Easy, mirror above the fireplace :yum: interesting place to have an electric heater between two sinks as well.


In the cases of these bedroom photos, I think you will find it is a combination that the rooms are quite small and the agent took the photos themselves on quite a poor smartphone that only has a narrow lens.

I was surprised that agents take their own photos using phones - if the phone has a good ultra wide lens the results are pretty good.

Here are some photos we took recently that came out pretty well and reflect the true apartment:

1 Like

What I find amazing is the almost total lack of care taken when presenting properties.


They do, including the creases in the bedlinen. :grin:

1 Like

Creases do highlight themselves in photos which we often do not notice until looking at the photos later in the office.

This apartment had been prepared very well which does help - others are in desperate need to all sort of “adjusting” to create something appealing.

I really like this apartment- we live in the countryside but I can understand that living in a city could be fun with everything a short walk away.


Yes that Bordeaux one had been well prepared to maximise feel of light and air.

My favorites was some 23 years ago when looking go buy our first place here and visiting what could of been a charming flat. Except the owner gave her 2 pet rabbits complete freedom, so they were hopping around. And she had made no effect to clean up the rabbit poo, so the place stank… Not a good first impression,

Yes, made me think the house might be very cold during the winter months :cold_face:

Yes, you’re undoubtedly right about them using a smartphone camera. I think they’re perhaps not standing in the right place when taking them too. It happens so often though, as a potential buyer is very frustrating.

Your agency’s photos are much, much better - the difference is night and day (not just saying that cause it’s you). I’d put your photos on par with Leggett’s in being very high quality. Shame you’re in the wrong part of 33 for me :wink:


Eww… :nauseated_face:

People let their rabbit roam free inside the house?!? I imagine that as well as the smell it must chew the carpet too.

There was a TV series The Bridge and one of the lead parts Saga Norén a detective from the Swedish side of the bridge between Denmark and Sweden has a pet rabbit (long eared type) which she kept in her apartment… The rabbit featured in one episode when it was kidnapped and held to ransom against Saga’s compliance.
Was a good series.

1 Like

Did they tie up the rabbit to stop it escaping? If so, you’d think it would just gnaw its way free and make an escape :grin:

If you’re referring to Saga, she kept it in a large cage in the apartment but let it out as soon as she got home to roam free.

Congratulations @Gareth on beginning your search, and of course Bon Courage!

Depending on how much time you have for property surfing, I can recommend, which you may already be well aware of but thinking of other readers, a few techniques I found. And a caveat or two.

Wide consolidator sites like Green Acres, Le Figaro property ads and even Rightmove allow you to key in location and budget to edit your search but I would suggest free surfing. Be wary of applying for the agency to send details through the consolidator because you’ll never stop hearing from them, and all their friends.

First rule - create a new email exclusively for your property search. I created a pseudonym but that is up to you.

Also, your phone number is the immobilier preferred sticky contact. If you give it out it will be on their books and pass from one agent to the next, automatically sending no end of entirely unsuitable properties for the next decade. You can give a UK number. No one will ever call but you might get texts.

Any property pics you like online, style or content, are easy to use for a further image search. I used Tin Eye but now there is Google Image and others. I am sure your Chatgpt will be happy to help! This is also useful for tracking how long a property has been up for sale and if the price has changed.

The image search will also help you to find good agents in your chosen area. There are some! By ‘good’ I mean with honest photos and fairly detailed descriptions.

A problem for house hunters is that property agents don’t share listings. Indeed, they guard their individual areas and you need to find out all the agencies for your chosen area. Not all list on the consolidators, for various reasons. Some sellers prefer discretion, so only direct contact with the agent can help.

I really wish you luck and hope you enjoy the hunt!


I must have missed the first episode(s) but much was made of her autism I think which made everything matter of fact to her (including sex) with little emotion involved. What that has to do with rabbits I have no idea. :roll_eyes:

Back to estate agents and photos. When we first landed in this area with the caravan, and kept coming back, eventually storing the van here and sleeping in the car on the way down, it was Fran who insisted on going to an agent and we made friends with him. But the first place he sent a notice of was this place. I say notice because it wasn’t even a photo, but a sort of black and white photostat of what looked like a shed with a parasol over a table outside. All of the surrounds, including all the tall trees, were not included, just the blank white background, and no interiors, but Fran obviously saw something that I didn’t because we ended up buying it. :rofl:

1 Like

Although obviously many more people use estate agents now, good and bad, it’s still not a bad idea to look at the notaire’s selection if there’s an area you particularly like. Obviously not if you fancy a very big urban location of course but around us the notaire has an interesting range…