When we first called Jay Gulick, managing agent at Kentucky Select Properties, to chat about the current real estate market, we were surprised when he told us he was showing a house and he’d have to call us back. Once we spoke, however, and he texted a selfie of himself outside of a handsome Louisville property they’d listed, his smile shone through his mask.
While real estate and its associated services are deemed essential, companies like Kentucky Select are going the extra mile to keep employees and clients safe and engaged. We talked to Jay about new ways his agents are helping clients buy and sell homes, the temperature of the real estate community, and how new digital tools will help the industry post-virus. Whether or not you’re interested in selling or buying right now, this tenured realtor lends some valuable intel. Here’s how to safely buy and/or sell a home during the pandemic
If someone is considering buying and selling, what are some factors to consider during this time?
First and foremost, both sellers and buyers and their agents are focusing on safety. Be prepared to wear a mask and gloves as a buyer. As a seller, there is going to be an expectation you wipe down and disinfect surfaces, open doors and turn on lights and probably provide a reasonable amount of time in between showings.
In certain price points (under $300,000 in Louisville) and neighborhoods, our market was already woefully short on inventory. With some sellers reluctant to list, that has made those segments even more competitive, and we’re still seeing some multiple offer situations. Year-to-date, we’re only showing 3% fewer listings than this time last year. We’re only about seven weeks into this COVID-19 market, but I’m encouraged by how healthy the market is and how well many agents, buyers and sellers have been able to navigate things thus far. We had a good start to the year, but even with COVID-19, our number of transactions is up about 5% and our sales volume is up 20% from last year.
How have agents been getting creative when showing and marketing homes?
I’d say agents are getting more of an opportunity to showcase their personalities and customer service skills. Because agents are using things like FaceTime, it’s giving them an opportunity to connect and interact with their clients in a different way than if the client was simply looking at houses online. It’s a good reminder that real estate is first and foremost a people business, and technology is a great addition but not a substitute.
Do hopeful buyers have new virtual resources to use as they’re searching?
Our agents are utilizing tools like FaceTime, Zoom, videos and virtual tours to help buyers get a better feel for properties they are considering. We’re finding that a lot of what we do to help out of town relocation buyers works well in our current COVID-19 environment.
How have you seen the real estate community (and your company) come together during this time?
These are challenging times, to be sure, but Kentucky Select real estate agents have demonstrated an exceptional ability to safely assist their clients in the face of the new constraints we all face. Selling and buying real estate can be stressful in the best of circumstances. Seeing our agents rise to the challenges presented by COVID-19 and still offer wise and compassionate counsel to their clients has been inspiring and incredibly rewarding.
I’ve also been impressed with the real estate community at large in Louisville. From closing attorneys holding curbside or drive-by closings, to home inspectors going over inspections via Zoom, to agents making a concerted effort to facilitate showings and put safety first, so many people have done a fantastic job adapting to COVID-19.
Thank you, Jay, for the insightful and hopeful conversation about Louisville’s real estate market. And to all the agents at Kentucky Select for snapping great photos of their safe showings!
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