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In December 2003, Kelly Washburn started her real estate career as an agent at the newly formed Fayette County Real Estate.
Now, eight years later, she and her husband, Jared, are the owners.
"It's been one of my goals to own my own business," Washburn said. "I started with (former owner) Denise Chatham, and last fall, when she moved out of the area, she asked if I'd be interested in buying. I said 'yes'; the timing was right."
Along the way, Washburn earned her broker's license and her managing broker's license. So she was ready when the opportunity came along. It all came together last fall, and she took over the business on Nov. 1.
"It's exciting to be on this side of the business," she said. "You get to help put people in their own house. And you can follow the process from beginning to end. Our ultimate goal is to work for our client and what makes them happy."
Helping with that goal are three other staff members at the agency: Kris Nalley, broker; Jennifer Chatham (agent) and Susie Pontious (Kelly's mother, who helps in the office).
Fayette County Real Estate sells all kinds of real property – commercial, residential, lots and acreages. Most of their business is concentrated in Fayette County, but can extend into surrounding counties. Washburn said that her agency works with other agencies to find the best property for each of her clients.
"I joined Denise when she first started the agency," said Washburn, "so I have seen it grow from the very beginning.
"I'd like to continue that growth. There is more room to grow in the area, and we have several changes we'd like to make in the future."
The agency is located at 740 W. Orchard St., across from Vandalia Community High School. The phone number is 283-1776. Cell numbers are 322-5127 for Washburn and 223-0736 for Nalley.