THOMAS NICHOLSON | PRESIDENT: NICHOLSON GROUP OF COMPANIES
"Michael Baynes has been an irreplaceable and trusted asset to our organization for many years. He has managed numerous large complicated real estate transactions of both commercial and residential properties along the Southern California coast. He has always represented us and advised us with exceptional honesty and integrity. He worked tirelessly reviewing every detail of an acquisition or sale and gave us candid unbiased advice every step of the way. His knowledge of financing, construction and property title gave us confidence in using his advice and recommendations for key decision making.
I cannot think of a more ethical, competent, level headed, intelligent and hard working member of his profession.
Anyone in business knows that problems and challenges can arise at any time. This is where Michael truly shines. There have been countless times where an issue or conflict has threatened the success of a deal and Michael’s efforts have been the key to getting things back on track. Anyone who has the opportunity to be represented by him in any type of real property transaction will be well served. He truly is a man motivated by the quality of work that he does for his clients and the reputation that he leaves behind."
THE ‘GEORGE’ FAMILY
"Our search for, and eventual purchase of, a beautiful house in the Dordogne was thanks in large part to the exceptional service we received from Kirsten Pollard of Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate.
My first contact with Kirsten was on the phone, having searched the agency website from the UK and telephoned to select some properties for viewing. She was extremely helpful from the start - very quick to understand the parameters of what we were looking for and very knowledgeable about the area we were looking in. She set up appointments in readiness for our trip and at every stage she went the extra mile – helping arrange accommodation for us for the couple of days we would be there and answering my (numerous!) emailed and telephone queries requesting exact information about the properties.
Once we were in the Dordogne we were very impressed by her care and attention – and her astute assessment of which properties we should go and view beyond our initial selection. She was endlessly patient with us, discussing with us the pros and cons of the properties we saw and encouraged us to see a property that was ultimately our dream house, but which we might not have considered without her insight into how well it met everything on our wish list and then her help in recommending people, such as a company to put the swimming pool in.
What was also impressive was the service did not stop with securing the sale – she continued to help us with meetings with the lawyer, helping translate for us, and in ensuring we understood everything that was going on. Buying a property abroad can seem quite intimidating and it was extremely reassuring to have her calm and ready assistance at every stage. All in all we would highly recommend Kirsten and the agency. She made the whole experience of choosing and buying our house very easy!"
HARRY AND PAM HODGDON | NEWPORT BEACH, CALIFORNIA, USA
" Michael was timely, professional and very good at “follow-through”. His positive attitude was infectious….. We formed a relationship with Michael that went beyond business. We would recommend him to anyone who desires a professional, who will work tirelessly to satisfy your individual needs. "
THOMAS AND ANNAMARIA RUSSILLO | ALISO VIEJO, CALIFORNIA USA
" It is with great pleasure to share our personal experience of working with Mr. Michael Baynes. Mr. Baynes’ extensive knowledge of the industry and his extraordinary commitment to detail resulted in a pleasant experience from beginning to end. Michael has a unique ability to offer direction and suggestions whilst maintaining and respecting your personal preferences. He restored our faith in customer service, and it is with complete confidence we recommend him for your real estate needs. He will anticipate your every need and surpass your expectations."
DW, YORKSHIRE, ENGLAND
" We viewed nine houses with seven different agents in eight departments and Kirsten Pollard from Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate really stood out above the others. Right away she was friendly, knowledgeable, seemed to care about our desires, and quickly gained our trust. We had many questions, which we often repeated more than once, but Kirsten is patient and took time to answer to our satisfaction without ever sounding condescending. When we asked to see the house a second time in the evening on short notice she obliged without question. After we decided to buy the house she was invaluable in translating French to English when dealing with the local notaire and other authorities. Kirsten tirelessly explained forms and procedures to ensure we were comfortable throughout the daunting process of buying a house in France. We highly recommend Kirsten and Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate as your agent for buying a property near Sarlat-le-Caneda! "
“There are three main issues which fundamentally affect the experience and outcome of a house-hunting expedition in France: sticking to the brief, the distances involved, and the language barrier. Our brief included “must be less than 10 minutes’ walking distance from a village centre”. On numerous occasions (with other agents) we drove for over an hour to view a property which turned out to be 10 minutes’ drive from the nearest village, and the agent would be amazed and upset when we refused to even look at it. This encapsulates our experience with all other agents; the only estate agent we found with the professionalism and intelligence to deliver the brief was Karin Maxwell from Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate. All the properties she found complied with our criteria and we bought the fifth one on her list!”
" Our experience of buying our Chateau through Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate was, in a word, EXCELLENT! Here’s why . . .
Professional. You know your market very well; during our very first conversation you took time to explain the nuances of buying in France and the key elements of such. You know your portfolio extremely well (it is amazing how many agents don’t actually know what they are selling!). Your position between buyer and seller has always been appropriate; you have never “crossed the line” in your engagement.
Customer Focus. Yourself and Karin Maxwell have maintained a very high standard of customer focus making us feel looked after, respected and important. Nothing has seemed too much trouble from responding when you said you would respond to assisting us in arranging the essentials with us being new to the French “system” – telecoms, utilities, insurances etc. Your recommendations of other necessary professionals have been top notch, for example Pierre Jean must be second to none in the Notaire world!
Property Selection. The portfolio on your website is clearly of a high standard and gives the buyer the confidence that you are selecting carefully. You listened to our needs/wants and selected the right property, right first time; so many other agents simply inundated us (and are still) with all and sundry with no consideration of our requirements, despite eagerly fishing for such in the first place – they should have just asked “where and how much”… We are overjoyed with our new property and the manner in which Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate assisted us in the process.
May we wish you every success for the future."
"I wanted to thank you and Karin for all the work you did in finding my wife and I the wonderful property in the Entre Deux Mers. We cannot say enough good things about the professionalism and expertise which Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate brought to this project. In particular, I would like to thank you for the many days you spent driving us around the region showing us different kinds of property which helped us immeasurably to refine exactly what we were looking for. Equally and perhaps more important, particularly for my wife, was the comprehensive introduction to the region as a whole which we picked up in your company. It makes a great difference for those of us coming to Bordeaux from the other hemisphere that we have a good sense of the restaurants, markets and stores of our neighborhood even before we arrive. In any case, this purchase and physical move to Bordeaux turned out to be the least stressful event in our rather stressful lives. I suppose it goes without saying that the actual negotiations and closing were handled masterfully. I cannot recall being at a closing before this one which I actually enjoyed. What struck me throughout the process was the quality of the team which you helped us put together, the notaire, the accountant, and the entire expert community which you seem to have access to. Now that we are well into the renovation of the Chateau and the landscaping I am impressed that all the people who have become involved in the project are people you either introduced us to or we met through you. My wife and I have no doubt that we have the best people in Bordeaux on the project as a result of your efforts. I could go on in this laudatory vein for considerable length. My only regret is that the consummate skills of Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate do not exist in the United States real estate market – as far as I am aware. Obviously, I look forward to recommending you and Karin to others who are looking to buy in Bordeaux and indeed I have already done just that. It is quite clear to me that it would be foolish to look for property in Bordeaux without Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate leading the way. Many thanks and warmest regards."
DAN D, LONDON
" Both my wife and I are Czechs living in London so buying a wine property in France (with no wine making experience) is probably one of the less sound ideas one may have in general but in particular in our circumstances. Originally we looked at a completely different property but we got to speak to Kirsten Pollard from Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate in April 2016 and a few weeks later were landing in Bergerac to look at a ten hectare estate in the Lot that Kirsten was marketing. While the property purchase fell through at the last minute, we kept in touch and ended up closing on the same property in July 2017.
Throughout the whole buying process, Kirsten was available whenever we needed her and helped us well beyond any obligations she had to us, which was particularly valuable to us given we are not French speakers and did not have much of a clue about anything. Her help did not just concern the buying process, but also included putting me in touch with the right people that can help me run the vineyard. We ended up meeting through her one of the top wine consultants in Bordeaux that is now managing the property for us, and the whole venture is actually starting to make sense. As worried as both my wife and I were back in July when we closed on the property, we are now as excited. I suppose the best testament to Kirsten as a person and a real estate agent is that it is now end of November 2017, and we just invited Kirsten for dinner when we are at our property in December. We have bought many properties in the past in a number of countries, and I must say that the last thing I would ever think about is inviting the real estate agent on the deal to a dinner, probably an experience and a view most people here would share with me."
CHRIS AND LISA | BORDEAUX RESIDENCE
" Thank you so much for all your help and advice. You truly offer an outstanding service which puts all other agents we have come across to shame. We wish you the best and look forward to dealing again in the future. Many thanks "
PATRICIA ROSS | FINDING THE BEST REAL ESTATE AGENT
Less than a year ago, while reading the New York Times, I happened upon an advertisement for a lovely stone house set in the countryside outside of Bordeaux. The house itself was impressive, the land upon which it sat extensive and serene. I was caught by both, and quite astonished when I saw the relatively modest listing price.
I am accustomed to the high prices of real estate in Manhattan and the Hamptons, but having investigated, and invested in properties elsewhere in the U.S. as well as abroad I was happily surprised, upon further research, to discover what surprisingly good value the region of Bordeaux has to offer.
The beauty of the homes and the land, from simple farmhouses to magnificent chateaux: the city itself; the villages and hill towns; the sense of history one feels at a every turn, the proximity to the pristine Atlantic coast, and but of course - the superlative wines and cuisine. To say nothing of the speed with which the TGV takes one from Bordeaux to the heart of Paris within 2 swiftly comfortable hours.This was, and remains, quite an important factor in our choice of this region of France.
I made contact with what I knew to be the most reputable, prestigious realtors- Maxwell-Baynes Real Estate, the names of which I had from agents of note in New York.
As I was not familiar with that particular region of France I was determined to be thorough in my investigation prior to making any commitment to purchase property, price notwithstanding.
Michael Baynes, with the able assistance of his assistant Sandra Kiel, together with Jerry Green, are, without question, the reason I am now the delighted owner of an historic, beautifully restored stone “manoir” in a village with a 12th Century Chateau a short bike ride away through fields of sunflowers, plum trees and, of course - acres and acres of vineyards.
On a practical level, Michael personally returned every one of the many calls I placed in the 2 months of research I did before booking my trip. He was patient, knowledgeable and unfailingly personable. He, or Sandra, replied in great detail to my every question on every property, complete with the pluses and the minuses of each i. e. state of repair, proximity to services, cost of maintenance. All very key points of concern. I was provided with maps, points of interest, information about accommodation and transportation. Sandra even personally intervened when I was having difficulty communicating with the rental car company to insure the exact model I sought for the trip.
We then set out on a meticulously planned, fairly exhaustive 5 day tour of the properties of interest we had identified together.It is no exaggeration to say that this selection had been so carefully prepared, I had difficulty leaving many of them….
Having made my decision, I was assisted in the process every step of the way.
On a personal level, I enjoyed making the acquaintance of Michael and his office staff and his regional agents. On a professional level I can unequivocally state that the services of this firm were quite above and beyond expectation.
Further, I have no doubt, whatsoever, that should I encounter difficulty of any kind in the future, I would be able to count on this firm to assist me in any way possible. That is rare indeed.