Hiring a real estate agent in Paris

Are you looking for a real estate agent in Paris who can help you find a nice apartment in one of Paris’ 20 arrondissements? We are Dutch- and English speaking househunters and we can help you realize that.

Finding a good real estate agent in Paris is not an easy piece of cake. Read further to see why.

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Parisscarabee Frank van Zelst and Annemiek Wortel

Do you recognize one of the following characteristic scenarios?

You consider getting into action, and realize that long wish: to buy your own apartment, flat or house in Paris. The hotels are romantic, certainly. But what could be more fun than waking up in your own bed? And wouldn’t it be nice to be able to get up at your leisure, because there is no cleaning team banging at your door in your own apartment.

You stay in bed for a while longer, as the light enters and the curtain moves gently. The sounds of the street vaguely penetrate into your cosy bedroom. Fortunately, your apartment is well laid out. You can see the street from the living room, while your bedroom is on the quiet courtyard, the so-called ‘cour’ of the building.

You’re starting to know the neighbourhood

By now you know that the neighbours opposite the street walk their little dog every day and then neatly take a bag to clean up behind him. At the bar on the corner they know you by your first name and the ‘patron’ gives you a hand when you come and get your glass of wine. And a little further in the small supermarket the cashier says goodbye with a big smile.

Outside, the men dressed in green from the ‘Propreté de Paris’ come daily to clean the pavements and empty the bins. The cour, where various owners of the surrounding apartments are bickering about which plants may be there, is not very large. But you can see from your bedroom window that the sky is blue today ... so it's time to get up and go out!

But first we need to find that suited apartment

But ... before you get into this blissful state, things still have to be put to work. First you have to find the right apartment for the budget that you have in mind. And complete the purchase. Sometimes it needs quite a bit of renovating before it looks the way you want it.

Comfortable, but also cozy and typically Paris. Preferably with an original parquet floor or those antique red honeycomb tiles, ‘tomettes’. And plaster decorations against the ceiling, moldings. And it would be prefect if there is also a ‘cheminée’ with an elegant old mantelpiece.

Looking for that real estate agent who understands it and can help you

A logical first step seems to be: a Parisian broker. You have been eyeballing all those advertisements for a long time in the windows of the many Paris ‘Agences Immobilières’. There are an estimated 2,000 real estate agents in Paris. And indeed, there seems to be one on every street corner. Also in the neighbourhood that you like. And there are pretty nice pictures in their display cases. Apartments of around 300,000 and 400.00 euros.

You may not understand all the terminology in the ads, but it all looks good on those photos. And then, one day, you muster all your courage and step into one of those Paris real estate agencies. There is a good chance that you will end up in one of the following scenarios.

“ParisScarabee Househunters finds the apartment that fits your budget and meets your personal requirements.”

Scenario 1: the helpful, French, Parisian real estate agent

A friendly representative of the brokerage welcomes you. He or she listens with interest to your story and asks some additional questions. The apartment from the showcase that caught your attention has just been sold, but fortunately he or she has a number other of apartments in his portfolio that also exactly meet your needs!

He shows you some examples, and indeed, they also look nice. Do you want to visit it? You have time now? The helpful Parisian real estate agent enters your details and makes you sign a statement that you will not purchase the visited apartments through another Parisian real estate agent or directly from the owner. He jumps up, grabs his jacket, collects the keys, and walks directly with you to the addresses in question.

Endless stories in flats that all seem in need of a fresh coat of paint

Once upstairs, you are not that impressed. One of the three buildings visited might be nice. Although it is a long climb to the fifth floor without a lift. The other two are downright dark and small. Each time you shocked by the poor condition of the common areas and the stairwell. It all goes very fast, too.

The helpful broker would like to know what you think. There is some room in the asking price. Do you not want to make an offer? But you are not completely sure and want to think a little further and look around. The asking price is really high for what is offered. The helpful broker understands.

A handshake and that was it

You agree to keep the realtor informed of your considerations. And the real estate agent promises to call or e-mail you as soon as he or she gets other, newer apartments in portfolio that better meet your criteria. With perhaps a nicer stairwell. And a lift from the second floor. The agent totally understands. You say goodbye with a handshake in the street in front of the door of the last apartment you visited.

And that was it. After that you hear nothing more from the helpful Parisian broker. You wait a few more weeks for a phone call or message. You call a few times but the assistant assures you that nothing new has arrived that meets your criteria. And slowly you realize that you are right back where you started.

“By hiring ParisScarabee Househunters as your independent ally, you are sure to get value for money” p>

Scenario 2: The English-speaking international Paris real estate brokerage

This time you are prepared. You have seen a nice apartment in an advertisement. You have called the office of the selling Parisian real estate agent in advance. A large company with several branches, which focuses explicitly on buyers from outside of France. An English-speaking assistant has noted down your details and made an appointment for you to visit the apartment in the advertisement.

You will hear the exact address later: the appointment is somewhere in a street nearby. A nice neighbourhood! The international broker arrives by scooter. Real Paris! You visit the apartment in question. It is located in a very nice little street in the heart of Saint-Germain des Près. Such a beautiful large wooden door with a shiny brass knob in the middle. The staircase looks pretty neat and there is a lift.

Perfectly renovated

Inside the apartment everything is finished to perfection and it looks like it has just been delivered after the renovation. You can still smell the paint. You love the beautiful old beams in the high ceilings in the living room. The two opening windows have those nice French cast-iron balcony edges. And now you also understand what is meant by the term "mezzanine".

The idea is that you climb a ladder in the living room to reach a sort of intermediate floor. There are the mattresses on which you can sleep. And those two hot plates and that fountain under the mezzanine are the kitchen. You only have to stoop a little if you want to cook something. Optimal use of space!

But the price per square meter is very high

It dawns on you that the international real estate broker has included the mezzanine for his or her calculation of the living space and the number of rooms of the apartment in the advertisement. Because if you leave those meters out, you will come to a price per square meter which is very high. Too high. Paying so much for such a small area is really going too far.

The international broker is slightly disappointed; he even seems sore. But in the end he understands. He has another beautiful apartment in his portfolio. Just like this, everything is perfectly finished. And no mezzanine this time. But then you have to double your budget. That apartment is also too expensive per square meter for the budget you have in mind.

You sleep on it – and nothing happens

You decide to think it over first. You say goodbye with a handshake in the street in front of the door of the last visited apartment. And that was it. After that you hear nothing from the international Parisian broker.

You wait a few more weeks for a phone call or message. You call a few times but the English-speaking assistant assures you that nothing new has arrived that meets your criteria. And then you realize that you are right back where you started.

“With our personal commitment and involvement we turn your house hunt into an exciting and positive experience”

Scenario 3: The friendly unavailable real estate agent in Paris

You have spotted a nice apartment that is for sale at this local broker. On-line or in the Paris estate agent's display case. You have been at the door. But in the weekend of Ascension, when you were in Paris, this Parisian real estate agency was closed.

Once back home, you immediately start working on it. You call, you leave messages, you mail ... But this real estate broker in Paris is apparently never there. He or she will not call you back. Even if you leave a message in your best French that you want to buy an apartment in Paris. This broker has his or her hands full with local demand in the Parisian housing market.

Unfortunately, you missed it

Then, luckily, and kind of unexpectedly after all this time, you get the realtor on the line. What a pity, the apartment in question has already been sold. He tells you that it makes no sense to leave your details. It is best to call again if you see something else that interests you.

After that, you will not hear from the unavailable Paris real estate agent. You wait a few more weeks for a phone call or message. You call a few times but you can't catch him or her anymore. And then you realize that you are right back where you started.

“With a small, experienced and professional team, we are ready to service you at any moment in time”

Whats wrong? You’re not the only one!

In all these scenarios you deal with friendly and competent professionals. The Paris real estate brokers know their trade and they know what's going on. Then why does it seem that you can't get in?

The crux of the problem is the high demand for real estate in Paris, combined with the limited supply. Few apartments come on the market that are really good. And that are priced in line with the market. A Parisian real estate broker can sell such apartments three times and in a heartbeat.

So what is there to choose?

What remains are apartments that are harder to sell. Usually here is a lot wrong with it. Or it is a nice apartment, but the seller asks (way) too much for it.

And sometimes you run into a Parisian real estate agent who finds it difficult to do business with a non-French resident. Or who is not comfortable with the English language. He or she is busy enough with other customers. And you are not on call ... because you do not yet live in the neighborhood. So, then they prefer doing business with a potential buyer who lives nearby.

The alternative: Paris Scarabee Househunters

How then can you find and buy a nice flat in Paris? Contact us, Paris Scarabee Househunters.Experienced house finders with an outstanding track record. Dutch nationals who have been living in Paris for over 10 years. They understand what it’s like to deal and wheel in Paris being a foreigner.

For a start, we filter the available range of flats for you. We know how to read the Paris property advertisements and review and judge the photos. And with two or three additional questions that we ask - in fluent French - to the Paris real estate agent, we get directly above the table whether the apartment is really worth a visit.

An apartment or pied-à-terre that meets your wishes

This way we only keep those apartments that at least largely meet your requirements. We also draw on all the available offers. So we are not just looking at the apartments that that one Parisian real estate agent has in portfolio.

And, we also include the private offer. Indeed, there are also Parisian sellers who want to sell their apartment directly to you. Without the intervention of a Parisian real estate broker. You won't get there with a Parisian realtor. Or you sometimes do get there, but then you still have to pay the additional broker's fee.

A househunter that takes care of everything

We accompany you at all viewings and on the spot we ask all questions that you had not thought of. And when we finally find the apartment for which you want to make a bid, we will do that together with you. We ensure that the bid is timely, relevant and acceptable.

By engaging ParisScarabee Househunters you ensure that you do not pay more than the apartment is actually worth. We will also help you afterwards. Renovate? No point. We arrange the contractor and ensure that it happens. Always in consultation with you.

The ideal go-between you and the Paris housing market

We manage the utility connections and help you on your way with insurance, internet, telephone, the Parisian association of owners and the French property taxes. ParisScarabee is the link between your wishes and requirements and the offer on the Parisian housing market.

We are on your side, but we also understand how the game is played in Paris. Together with us you will come right where you want to be. So that, one day, you really wake up in that Parisian apartment that you always wanted to own. With a croissant and a newspaper in your own lazy chair.

“Real estate fans with a crush on Paris: we don’t rest until we got for you exactly what you wanted.”

The ideal scenario: a Dutch international househunter in Paris

With Paris Scarabee as your househunter you enjoy several unique benefits:

  • Value for money
  • Quickly find a flat with lesser effort
  • Meet all legal requirements
  • Personal touch and commitment
  • Experienced professionals
  • Small and dynamic team
  • Sharp negotiations and in-depth knowledge of the rules of the game in and outside France.
  • Choice amongst a wider selection of apartments
  • Transparent remuneration and no cure no pay

Request your free intake interview

Do you want to know more about our services? Or would you like to plan a free intake interview? Please contact us. You can reach us on +31 6 11 24 35 12 (NL) or +33 6 47 41 83 52 (FR). Or send us an e-mail or use our contactform on our website.

Free intake interview More information
Parisscarabee Frank van Zelst and Annemiek Wortel


Please contact us for more information. We are available by phone 7 days a week from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. You can also send us an e-mail or WhatsApp message.

Telephone and WhatsApp:

In the Netherlands: + 31 6 11 24 35 12

In France: + 33 6 47 41 83 52

Email: info@parisscarabee.nl

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