Five Questions With: Janet Kermes

Janet Kermes, a top-selling real estate agent in the Narragansett office of Residential Properties Ltd., spoke recently to the Providence Business News about the market and sharp demand for homes.

A resident of South County for more than 25 years, Kermes works with sellers and buyers across the state.

PBN: What is the most challenging aspect of the market now? Is it negotiations in closing a sale?

KERMES: The market has changed so much. I’m at a house in Narragansett. It’s a beautiful old house. It’s historic. If I had had this house a year ago? I don’t know how many showings I would have had. But because there is no inventory right now, it’s crazy. I showed it six times yesterday. I’m showing it six times today. Basically, I’m giving everyone until Monday, at 5 o’clock, to put their offers in.

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PBN: So, is the most challenging aspect of the job that there is so much demand right now for houses?

KERMES: There is so much demand. It’s incredibly stressful. And it’s kind of sad. I don’t like calling people and saying, “Hey, I’m really sorry, but you didn’t get it.” And that’s basically what you have to do every single time. What people are doing to get these houses – I talked to a friend yesterday. She had a friend who … went in and put an offer down without a home inspection. I am dealing with a young couple now. We went to look at a little house in Warwick. The agent put it on for $315,000. You can see the water. She had 60 showings in one weekend.

PBN: For the South County market, particularly Narragansett, what has changed the most since you’ve lived in the area?

KERMES: I moved here from Manhattan. I worked for Ralph Lauren. I moved here in 1993. It was like, what did I do? It was so slow and sleepy, and everything closed after Labor Day. Everybody left. Now, people are selling their houses in East Greenwich and Providence and they’re moving to Narragansett. People are coming here from out of state.

PBN: Are there any good investment properties in your area or have they all been snapped up?

KERMES: They’ve all been snapped up. There are so many people looking for that right now. I just sold something on Robinson Street in Narragansett. It was a two-family. It needed a lot of work. It went under contract. It took a lot of time for someone to come along.

PBN: How has 2021 been so far for you professionally?

KERMES: There is just no inventory. For the first time in years, before I got this listing, I did not have a listing … in I don’t know how long. It’s a combination of [reasons]. The people who wanted to sell have sold over the past three to five years. And the people who bought have no reason to sell. In Narragansett, a lot of the homes are investments. They may rent them in the summer. And [offseason] rental numbers have gone up so much, partly because of [the University of Rhode Island].

Mary MacDonald is a staff writer for the PBN. Contact her at

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