Shannon Lents loves the historic cottage she recently purchased in downtown Franklin and believes it will be perfect for her family even though she has never stepped inside — at least not in person.
Lents purchased the cottage after seeing it listed online and touring it via FaceTime. Her Realtor walked through the home with a smartphone camera while Lents watched from her home in Texas. It was a new experience.
“This is the first home we ever purchased without physically touring it,” said Lents.
She isn’t alone. Home buyers from other states who can’t travel because of the pandemic are still purchasing houses in the Nashville region.
Erin Krueger, Lents’ Realtor, has completed 10 virtual sales in the past month and a half with buyers from Texas, California, Chicago, New York City and other locations. They all bought their new homes remotely without ever visiting in person.
“They haven’t had access to come into town. We’re FaceTiming them not only the house but the community. We show them what that drive looks like, just like they were sitting in the car with us. Here’s where the grocery store is,” said Krueger, leader of the Erin Krueger Team at Compass Real Estate.
She can even show them details like “how the sun hits the house” at different times of day.
Some buyers are retirees moving to be closer to the grandchildren. Others are attracted by Middle Tennessee’s central location, relatively low cost of living or the lifestyle.
“One New York client said ‘I want to get out of here,’” said Krueger. “She can work remotely anywhere and she chose Nashville.”
Realtor Loren Murphy, a member of Krueger’s team, recently helped a couple from North Carolina use FaceTime to purchase a home in Cumberland Furnace, a community on the east side of Dickson County not far from Interstate 40 and Highway 840.
The 1950s cottage was listed for $334,900. It was on the market for 41 days.
“We try to create a showing where it’s like they are in the home, walking really slow with the camera and showing them details,” said Murphy.
“We’re creating a story for them,” she said.
Virtual sales have long been common in Clarksville, where military families continually transfer in and out of Fort Campbell. Now they are being seen more often throughout the region, said Jeremy Rash, a Realtor with Quirion Realty who represented the seller of the Cumberland Furnace property.
“I wouldn’t say it’s unusual. I’m seeing more of it because of the virus…