Since last winter, as you will probably have already read, Great Estate can count on some new real estate consultants, among who Caterina Caloni. After having told us about herself and the reasons why she decided to join our team, she is now going to tell us which of the sales she did before becoming part of our Group were, in her opinion, the most interesting ones.
A charming apartment in the historic centre of Cortona
As already said in my previous interviews, before joining Great Estate, I worked with another agency. Among its offices, this agency had an office in Cortona too.
I remember that, in March 2019 and while I was working in the office of Cortona, a really particular person came in: a Seattle citizen of Norwegian origins. He was holding a small block-notes on his hands. He said us that he had a € 400.000 budget and he wanted to invest them immediately in order to purchase an apartment and move to Italy. After having shown him our website, I searched in my personal memory too: indeed, I have been hearing rumors about some properties for sale. The following day, he came back with his wife and we visited about four apartments. They seemed very enthusiastic about Cortona, but not so convinced.
At a certain moment, it came into my mind that, some months before and while standing at a bar I used to go in, I had met a man – the owner of a B&B – who told me about the intention he had of selling his son’s apartment. I did not even know the name of that person, but while looking for his activity, I found his telephone number out. So, I phoned and proposed him to sell his property with us. I had never seen it before, but according to the owner’s description, I was sure it could have been the right one for my “strange” client.
We went to the property: a town-house in the center, very comfortable to reach. Paul and Zoe fell in love with it and immediately decided to purchase it. The price requested was of € 320.000. The owner wanted to sell it, so he would have accepted € 290.000 as well. Paul said that, according to him, that price was absolutely not fair, and that the owner would have to accept at least € 300.000.
Paul and Zoe are currently living in Cortona. We became friends and we are still in contract. Not to be inappropriate, but it was a very “lucky” sale: I think that, in this specific case, intuition and empathy were really fundamental.
A farmhouse in the countryside of Castiglione Del Lago
Another sale I remember about occurred during spring 2019. A Belgian client used to send us several requests. I have always replied to them with all the information needed.
After a couple of weeks, the client told me that he would have come to Italy and that he had selected three properties to visit in a day.
During that day, we started our “tour” with the visit of a farmhouse near Castiglione Del Lago. This property was owned by an English couple who had been forced to sell it after 30 years because of the husband’s illness.
During the visit, I noticed in the wife, Alison, a sense of deep sadness and concern: the person who has been sharing her life with, the same who has always been supporting her, was now going to need her in a completely different way. This situation “forced” them to leave their beloved home. They knew every single detail of the house and referred themselves to it as to a child.
I think that Patrik and Olivia – the buyers – had been amazed by both the farmhouse and the human aspect of this situation.
After the second visit to another property in Tavernelle, the clients asked me to stop in a bar to talk with me a bit. They wanted me to explain to them every single detail about the purchasing process and, precisely with this intent, we scheduled a meeting right at the office for the next day. In this way, they refused the visit to the third property. And so, it was.
During the meeting, clients proved to me their will of presenting an offer for Alison’s farmhouse and to meet her back.
Once back to the farmhouse, Alison understood that the moment had come: she could not refuse the sale, but her heart was in pieces.
During the following weeks, Alison wrote tons of e-mails to describe – with great attention – what “living in her farmhouse” would have meant, which furnishing would have left – changing her minds every time –, the utilities and, above all, the amazing relationship she and her husband had with the neighbors, something she wanted to leave as a heritage. From those messages, I could understand that every single one of them has been probably accompanied by a tear…
Finally, the day of the final deed of sale arrived: everything was “delivered” and, right the same day, that beautiful English couple took a flight back to London, where they still live while facing the new challenges of their life and remembering these 30 years spent in the calm Umbria.
A stunning farmhouse in Val D’Orcia
During June 2019, the owners of the agency with which I worked with proposed me a hard task: making some property visits with a “difficult” couple who had a “clash” with the agency already. This time, their request to visit some properties come to us through an intermediary agency. For this reason, giving the fact that they did not know me directly, I successively realized that they did not understand that I was working for the same agency they knew before.
This couple has been looking for a property in Tuscany for about two years, and at that moment they chose Cortona. We made the first property visit to a farmhouse surrounded by an incredible landscape. However, the clients did not like it. In that case, the owners were simply amazing: they immediately offered us a glass of wine a really pleasant chat.
I remember to have advised the clients about the fact that the second home they wanted to visit, even if in the municipality of Cortona, was particularly hard to reach. Probably, they should have understood it right from the GPS coordinates I sent them already. Despite this, they underestimated the 30 minutes of curves needed, but this revealed itself to be a great problem. For this reason, they eliminated that farmhouse from their list!
During the following days, I invited them to my office in order to understand what they were really looking for. Monika told me that they wanted to find a farmhouse similar to the one where they were standing, and she showed me a picture of it. At that precise moment, I had an idea!
The style the clients were looking for was precisely the one of a farmhouse located in the Val D’Orcia valley, owned by a Norwegian. A property that, by the way, was not on our website, it was overestimated and the price was higher than their budget.
However, in the end, those elements were not so important. Indeed, clients completely fell in love with the home and its location: this was what they were looking for and so they purchased it. In this way, Monika was able to “purchase” her dream!
A small farmhouse in Lisciano Niccone
The last sale that I want to share with you is – by an economic point of view – also the less profitable one. I closed it through another agency.
The object of this sale was a little farmhouse in Lisciano Niccone. I perfectly knew it because I went there with so many clients… It was a very particular farmhouse because, being it covered with different American vines plants, it used to change colour depending on the season.
It was owned by a German woman, Mrs. Ann, who, like many during the ‘70s- ‘80s, purchased a property on the Trasimeno hills.
At that time, Germans were even more thrifty than now, so living in a “rough” home was quite a habit for them. However, the following generations did not disdain a further bathroom or a modern kitchen but – willing not to invest too much – they have always preferred to sell these houses without having made any renovation.
Coming back to Ann’s farmhouse, it has been purchased by a young couple from Missouri during summer 2019. Clients did not move in there immediately, but it will become their new home in the future.
Even if it has been a sui generis sale, we “bypassed” the standard procedures: indeed, parties agreed to reach the final deed of sale giving to the agency the power of attorney.
However, because of a wrong information that the agency provided to the buyers and considering the timing of the money transfer from the US to Italy, we had to postpone the final deed of sale date. Obviously, to do it, the funds have to be deposited to the Notary’s bank account already. At the end of January, everything went well.
I would like to close this interview with a short reflection. The sales that I have just told you about have been characterized by some “favourable” elements: I met some really helpful buyers and sellers, and I was able to catch the right leverage aspects, precisely as for the case of the Polish clients who purchased Anne’s farmhouse in Val D’Orcia for about 2 million euros.