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Pandemic-era real estate frenzy hits central Kentucky

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Posted at 6:42 PM, May 24, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-24 19:50:54-04

BOURBON COUNTY, Ky. (LEX 18) — Central Kentuckians are experiencing the effect of the pandemic-era real estate frenzy as the value of homes and demand rise.

Realtor Amy Boone knows because she's been selling homes in Central Kentucky for 15 years. She says the competition for buyers right now is like nothing she's ever seen.

"There are just so many buyers who are ready and have the financing available but yet there's just not enough inventory, just not enough houses and so buyers are just scrambling," said Boone.

The Lexington-Bluegrass Association of Realtors estimates the average time a home is on the market in the area now is 36 days. That's compared to 59 days just a year ago.

"People are having to make such quick decisions, literally, they can look at the house and, you know, look at it for 15 or 30 minutes, and then they have to make a decision. Are we going to buy this," said Boone.

Boone says the small towns like Paris are no exception. She showed us a four-bedroom, three-bath house on 11.65 acres of land as an example.

"We put it on the market, it went multiple offers over list price within the first weekend it was on the market," said Boone

It needs some fixing up and was placed back on the market Monday: 872 Escondida Road

What's happening is referred to as a seller's market where the demand for housing is greater than the number of houses available.

"If you do a search in Bourbon County right now like under $250,000 I think there's three houses on the market right now," said Boone.

To put that into perspective, it's like 50 people lined up to get a piece of one house.

"It's almost devastating for buyers right now, because, just to give you an example and this is not a unique situation, but I had one lady, we lost eight offers in a row before we finally got under contract on the ninth one," said Boone.

That competition between buyers puts the seller at an advantage. They can increase their asking price and choose from their buyers.

"There was a house that went on the market, it was in a neighborhood. Pretty fast turnover neighborhood listed at $199,000. We had almost 50 showings in a weekend, so pretty much during sun-up hours every 15 to 30 minutes, we had new showings. We ended up with eight offers all considerably above list price, but the one who actually got it put an addendum in the contract that they would give the seller a $100 Gift Card celebratory dinner gift card to a restaurant of their choice," said Boone.

According to Zillow, the average value of homes in Paris is up 5.5% over the past year and up 12.1% in Lexington. The typical value of a home in Kentucky right now is around $165,000.

Here are some tips for buyers in this market from realtor Amy Boone

  • Be realistic. Understand that most move-in houses are going to sell for above the listing price and above appraisal price.
  • Increase your odds by writing an honest but heartfelt letter to sellers about why they should want to sell to you.
  • Be reasonable in your expectations regarding inspections. Many houses are selling as-is right now.
  • Don't get your heart set on a house until you are under contract because you are likely going to lose a few before you win one.