A New Perspective: “Stuck” in Paris | Real Estate Insights

How pivoting improves the journey. Or: when you’ve got broken eggs in the City of Light, time to make an omelette.

The personal stories of one Realtor’s battles and triumphs in the highly-competitive Bay Area Real Estate Market, seeking to illuminate and humanize the very real ups-and-downs of homeownership.

Bonne Annee! We’ve returned from the Cote D’Azur having had a truly wonderful trip in the South of France with our grown kids and significant others. Jill’s daughter, Anna, found us a fabulous 6-bedroom house in the heart of Menton Village and we quickly mastered the little town and its corresponding train system, which meant we could easily visit the nearby sites of Eze, Nice, and Monte Carlo, not to mention Bordighera, and Sanremo just across the border – all of which I highly recommend (breakfast in France, lunch in Italy).“Bon jour et buon giorno!”

Having never been much of an an intrepid winter tourist, Europe in December was a revelation  . . . The weather was certainly better than the heavy pounding California’s coastline suffered in our absence. Moreover, the crowds were notably scarcer in most places – WITH the exception of the airport. As per usual, the air terminals were PACKED, and can we just call “coach” seating what it really is? “Steerage.” (Exactly how many screaming toddlers are on this plane? I need deux Advil, s’il vous plait.)

Our return trip required a 40-minute car ride to the airport, a short hop from Nice to Paris, and a long flight home across the Atlantic, eventually landing in SFO via a stopover in Montreal. But as the morning flight was considerably delayed in Nice, and then again on the tarmac at Charles de Gaulle, those of us with connecting planes were pretty much hosed as we still needed to retrieve our luggage and clear customs before taking a shuttle to the international terminal on the other side of the airport. “Quelle catastrophe!” There was no way we were going to make it. (Next time, I’ll use a travel advisor to book the tickets.)

Now, firmly waylaid just outside of “gay Par-ee”, I hustled onto a phone call with a United Airlines representative only to discover that the NEXT available flight from Paris to San Francisco wasn’t until the following morning . . . Looks like Cristina, Tristan, Cliff and I were staying in Paris overnight. (Shucks, darn, too bad, I feel awful about this . . . )

“I guess we’re “stuck,” I said to Cliff, a smile creeping into my voice.

“Getting ‘stuck’ is being snowed-in in Fargo, North Dakota,” Cliff said. “But we’re in Paris . . . “

At which point, we quickly pivoted, counted our blessings, secured a couple of sweet rooms near Notre Dame, hailed a cab, and spent the next eight hours walking alongside the Seine, visiting the “sparkling” Eiffel Tower (it lights up at night), vintage shopping, and buying French soaps at the Christmas Faire across the Boulevard. We capped off the unexpected evening with the world’s BEST onion soup and dessert at La Jacobine, a “tres jolie,” petite bistro on a romantic, rain-dappled cobblestone street in the Latin Quarter, and eventually flopped into bed after 11:00pm to grab a brief few hours’ sleep before showering, and heading back to the airport early the next morning.

Even with some rain, the experience was magical – a serendipitous gift if there ever was one. In retrospect, I should have thought to include a few days in Paris as the exclamation point to our holiday travel, (another argument for letting the pros take over), but I hadn’t. Yet, here we were “forced” to stay the night, and paying for my mistake. (C’est la vie. Can you tell, I took 7th-grade French?)

Broken eggs (“oeufs cassés”)? No problem — voila une omelette!

This is my long way of getting to the punch line, but bear with me as “getting stuck” is where a good deal of our Sellers hit the wall, and it’s no wonder. Moving is an OVERWHELMING experience, no matter the underlying circumstances, conditions, or hurdles. Consequently, the ability to strategically “pivot,” is crucial to most successful transactions (and to everyone’s sanity).

If travel teaches us anything, it’s to expect the unexpected, AND then to roll with the punches, good, bad, or indifferent. If I can encourage you to flip the switch and recognize a move as an opportunity for change, for closure, or for a greater purpose, then it follows that selling often provides Homeowners the opportunity to reset, to recoup their investment, to reinvent, and to pursue the next chapter of their lives, whatever direction that may be.

That being said, change is most decidedly a GIANT LEAP of faith that requires us, in turn, to “leap” into action as well – often at a pace that’s truly unsettling (We understand this is painful, but we need to keep the process moving forward). Keep in mind that if Plan A doesn’t work, there’s always Plan B . . . we will fine tune as we go. Let’s make an omelette of those broken eggs!

For some Homeowners, that movement is upward mobility, while for others, they’re downsizing or heading toward an entirely different direction. Some will relocate out of state, out of country, or to the next town over, but whatever the motivation, the physical act of moving is a Herculean task no matter how you stack it. Whether it’s births, deaths, marriages, divorces, job transfers, graduations, advanced degrees, retirements, or some other significant “life event” that has created the impetus to change, ALL OF IT can be tough stuff – even the happy, momentous occasions, which is, frankly, why people get “stuck” to begin with. In my experience as a Realtor, as a mother, as a wife, and as a human being, people don’t necessarily like change . . . (They like giving up control even less.)

Please give us a call. Getting you “unstuck” is where we excel.

BTW, we’re not promising that the moving process is going to be pretty, OR comfortable, OR easy, OR without conflict, OR entirely stress-free (change never is) but our team of well-intended, highly-skilled, and incredible creative professionals will absolutely get you from point A to point B, to point C . . . with as much support as possible in order to meet your intended goals. If you want to hand us the keys and walk away entirely, so much the better. We’re a full-service crew who’s ready and willing. 

With the clear understand that we’re peddling “trust” here, if you can let go enough to “trust” the process, I can assure you that we’re all working towards the same goals. Granted, it may not be Paris, and the journey will definitely be longer than 14 hours, but it will be an excellent adventure just the same.

Et voila!

How can we help you?

Julie Gardner & Sarah Abel | Compass Realty

Not just Realtors, but consultants in all things house and home, we’re here to educate, explore, examine and refer . . . In short, you may count on us to take care of your home as if it were our own and anyone who knows us, knows we take pretty darn good care of our homes.

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