Home trading is like dating. Good presentation and flirting raise the odds if you don't look like George Clooney - or own a four-bedroom loft in Greenwich Village. Larner gets three or four unsolicited exchange offers a year, he said.
We got a half-dozen proposals from Belgium, Holland and the French hinterland after listing our Howard County place on HomeExchange in October. I made five or six offers to places in central Paris before one young family said yes.
"What on earth were they thinking?" more than one person has asked me. Paris and Ellicott City aren't exactly peers in culture, cuisine, architecture and coolness. (Ellicott City does have one of the world's most popular Outback Steakhouses, however.) But the French couple worry that we're the ones getting the short end of the deal.
"I would like you to note that our apartment is very small," wrote Laurence, my Parisian interlocutor. "I wanted to emphasize this point because I know that houses are usually big in the U.S. I do not want you to be disappointed."
Ca ne fait rien, madame. Two bedrooms and a bathroom in Paris are a palace anywhere else. And the price is right.
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