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Realtor Kelly Knight of Village Properties wins Howard Gates and Community Service awards

Kelly Knight, a long-time Santa Barbara real estate broker and the founder of Knight Real Estate Group, an affiliate of Village Properties, received two prestigious awards Dec. 1 from the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors.

 

A full-time, licensed real estate broker since 2005, Knight is a highly respected local agent who is dedicated to serving both her clients and the community at large. She received the Howard Gates Award for coordinating the sale of a property gifted to the nonprofit Scholarship Foundation of Santa Barbara (SFSB), the nation’s largest community-based provider of college scholarships. The association judged the sale as the most “challenging and intricate transaction” of 2023 that demanded “exceptional perseverance, determination, diligence, patience, and expertise”.

 

Knight, an SFSB governing board member since 2017, also received the association’s Realtor Community Service Award for her philanthropic and volunteer work serving the Santa Barbara community. Knight lends her time, expertise, and financial resources to SFSB, and her real estate team at Knight Real Estate Group contributes regularly to the Village Properties Teacher’s Fund campaign and many other local non-profit organizations.

 

“My education and legal background have given me much throughout my life, personally and professionally,” Knight said in a statement. “I believe it’s a fundamental responsibility – as well as my greatest joy – to give back to our beautiful community.”

 

The sale that won Knight the Howard Gates Award involved a piece of land that was partially gifted to SFSB 24 years ago and had 9 additional owners, some of whom had passed and left shares of the property to adult children. The gift to SFSB was intended to help the foundation fulfill its mission of awarding college scholarships to low-income students. But the complexity of trying to sell the property made it difficult for the foundation to move forward.

 

Knight’s involvement changed that. As a former lawyer who previously worked for Santa Barbara’s top law firm, she had expertise in dealing with the nuances of complex real estate contracts and a keen ability to understand and explain the ramifications of a purchase or sale in a way that most agents cannot. Knight volunteered to serve as agent to all 10 owners, even though it meant she would not be compensated for her time. She guided all the owners through the legal technicalities of the sale, which occurred within 5 months and at a price of 6% more than the lot’s assessed value. This allowed SFSB to establish an endowed $400,000 scholarship using the proceeds.

 

“Kelly never lost hope, stayed on top of every detail, and repeatedly followed-up on contacting all the parties with exceptional diplomatic and effective communication skills,” SFSB’s Interim President and CEO Mary Dwyer wrote in a recommendation letter. “Her style along with her legal background and superior knowledge of real estate transactions served all parties exceptionally well and resulted in the sale of the property.”

 

The Santa Barbara Association of Realtors presented Knight with the two awards at its Annual Awards and Installation Ceremony on Dec. 1 at the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort.

 

“I take immense pride in having provided the vision, commitment, and determination required to facilitate the sale of the property to attain this noble objective,” Knight said after receiving the Howard Gates Award. “I hope that this Santa Barbara real estate sale success story serves as an inspiration to fellow realtors, motivating them to explore opportunities to leverage their skills for the betterment of our community.”

 

Knight is the founder and associate broker for Knight Real Estate Group, a boutique Santa Barbara real estate team. The group was the number one producer in Village Properties’ Santa Barbara office for 2022, and the number three producer companywide with over $150 million in sales since 2020. Knight works with associate Gabe Grandcolas to bring outstanding client advocacy, true professionalism, and unsurpassed knowledge of the field of real estate to all aspects of the buying and selling process in Santa Barbara, Montecito, Hope Ranch and Goleta. The team also specializes in trust and probate sales, supporting estate trustees in the sale of real estate assets after the passing of a loved one.