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September 20, 2023

REALTOR® Safety A Focus All Year Long

As I’ve mentioned over the past few weeks, September is REALTOR® Safety Month. At this point each year, REALTORS look at their safety protocols to help them remain vigilant against all types of threats throughout the year. But why is it important to focus specifically on REALTOR safety? It’s because the very nature of our business puts REALTORS at increased risk.

For example, REALTORS often work independently and meet with clients whom they may be meeting for the first time. REALTORS show homes, host open houses, and often work during evenings and weekends when potential buyers are available. A dodgy cell signal or an isolated property can make a REALTOR even more vulnerable.

But how prevalent are safety concerns for REALTORS? To get the bigger picture, each year, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) conducts a safety survey, and they just released the results in their 2023 REALTORS® and Member Safety Residential Report. Here are some highlights:

  • The typical respondent meets prospective clients whom they’ve never met before, either at their office or in a neutral location 65% of the time. This step helps the Realtor understand what a client is looking for and not to meet for the first time at a potentially empty property.
  • 71% of Realtors said that they have personal safety protocols in place that they follow with every client. This routine is more likely among females (73%) than among males (59%). This area is clearly one for improvement, since attacks can happen to men and women.
  • 42% of Realtors said that they have participated in a self-defense class. At Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®, we offer complimentary Realtor Safety classes all throughout the year to help prepare our members for potential threats.
  • 47% of men and 58% of women carry a self-defense weapon or tool.
  • Among those Realtors who participated in a safety course, 66% said they feel more prepared for unknown situations after taking the course.

Knowing that preparedness and safety don’t just magically happen is essential. Realtors need to be proactive in ensuring their safety and the safety of their clients. REALTORS might be more at risk for safety concerns, but that doesn’t mean we must be unprepared. Realtor safety, and the safety of our clients and their information remains front of mind the entire year. That’s Who We R®.

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September 12, 2023

August 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

For August, higher mortgage rates, along with elevated sales prices and a lack of housing inventory, continued to impact market activity during the summer homebuying season. The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage has remained above 6.5% since May, recently hitting a two-decade high in August, according to Freddie Mac. As a result, existing-home sales have continued to slow nationwide, dropping 2.2% month-over-month as of last measure, with sales down 16.6% compared to the same time last year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

But falling home sales have done little to cool home prices, which have continued to sit at record high levels nationally thanks to a limited supply of homes for sale. According to NAR, there were 1.11 million homes for sale heading into August, 14.6% fewer homes than the same period last year, for a 3.3 months’ supply at the current sales pace. The shortage of homes for sale has boosted competition for available properties and is driving sales prices higher, with NAR reporting a national median existing-home price of $406,700, a 1.9% increase from a year earlier.

Looking locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 11.4% from August 2022 (1,348)  to 1,195. Pending Sales were down 8.8% August 2022 (1,030) to 939. Inventory levels shrank 16.3% from August 2022 (2,177) to 1,823 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.0% over August 2022 ($300,000) to $330,000. Days on Market was up 87.5% from August 2022 (16 days) to 30 days. Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 2.1 months.

One thing the past few years has shown is that real estate conditions are dynamic and change constantly. Economic trends, interest rates, and local market dynamics can all have a massive and immediate effect. This ever-shifting landscape only serves to emphasize the importance of utilizing the services of a REALTOR®. Realtors possess an in-depth understanding of market fluctuations and can provide invaluable insights to help buyers and sellers navigate these changes effectively. REALTORS® have access to up-to-the-minute data, which helps to advise clients on when to buy or sell to maximize their investments. REALTORS® work for their clients and communities all year long. That’s Who We R.

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September 5, 2023


Click here for a PDF detailing each proposed amendment.

Early this year, President Steven Sharpe appointed a Presidential Advisory Group* (PAG) to:

  • Review the nominations and elections process for the Board of Directors; and
  • Consider any improvements to ensure continuity and succession planning for elected leadership.

In addition to approving the PAG recommendations, the Bylaws Committee** identified various housekeeping and operational items to streamline within the Bylaws. After thorough consideration and vetting by the PAG and Bylaws Committee, the Board of Directors*** puts forth the 2023 Proposed Amendments to the Bylaws.

Voting will take place electronically on September 12-18. On Tuesday, September 12, each REALTOR® member eligible to vote will receive an email with their unique voting credentials link to the online voting platform. Voting will remain open until 5 pm on Monday, September 18.

The 2023 Proposed Amendments are organized into three categories – Governance, Operational, and Housekeeping – as outlined below.


  • To allow for more diversity, eliminate the automatic appointments to the Nominating Committee, which would be comprised of seven (7) REALTOR® members appointed from among the past presidents, current or past Directors, and current or past committee chairs.
  • Provide REALTOR® members more opportunities to vote and serve on the Board of Directors by replacing automatic Director appointments with two (2) Director positions voted on by the members.
  • Mirror the state and national process for electing the Officers, meaning the members vote on the Directors, who in turn elect the Officers.


  • Clarify the steps taken for member accounts with outstanding balances.
  • For the annual dues billing/collection, reduce the time frame, eliminate the reinstatement and late fees, and provide for the suspension of a delinquent member and member firms prior to termination.


  • Clarify the dues exemption for REALTOR® Emeritus members (40+ consecutive years)
  • Remove the longstanding harassment provision, which has since been replaced with a more comprehensive Code of Conduct and Anti-Harassment policy
  • Provide a more reasonable process for suspending or removing an Officer or Director
  • Clarify the exceptions to Robert’s Rules of Order due to the existence of policies and procedures that exist outside of the Bylaws.
  • Allow for more nimble governance by removing the list of standing committees, except for the minimum recommended by the National Association of REALTORS®
  • Clarify the President’s role regarding committees.
  • Clarify a breach of confidentiality by a committee member could result in removal from a committee.
  • Clarify that remote participation of Officers and Directors in meetings is not limited to participation by telephone.
  • Resolve the inconsistency between the timeframe for completing New Member Orientation and MLS Orientation.
  • Clarify the CEO’s role in providing assistance to the Secretary-Treasurer regarding record keeping.
  • Clarify the definition of firms caps for the Officers and Directors
  • Remove the outdated and unnecessary language related to the 2017 reorganization of the MLS as a Committee of the Association.
  • Clarify the distinction between the Annual Election and Annual Meeting.
  • Correct numbering inconsistencies throughout the Bylaws due to various changes in recent years.

*The PAG is comprised of: Robert Backer, Robert Baker, Steven Champion, Travis Close, Randy Durham, Jennifer Grayson, Dan Griess, Jeff Nixon, Mike Purcell, and Kathy Tucker.

**The Bylaws Committee is comprised of: Chair Robert Baker, Director Liaison Mike Purcell, Susan Barnette, Teresa Clegg, Garrett Cox, Rolanda Daniel, Ken Fryar, Jennifer Grayson, Steven LaMar, Todd Maynor, Amy Mullins, Kristin Porter, and VIcki Trapp

***The 2023 Board of Directors is comprised of: President Steven Sharpe, President-Elect Kadi Brown, Secretary-Treasurer Bev Boss, MLS Chair Jeff Nixon, Immediate Past President Derek English, Connie Brewer, Brian Erwin, Robert Fisher, Holly Harwell, Ryan May, Karen Parris, Rolanda Pullen, Mike Purcell, and James Streeter.

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September 5, 2023

Realtor® Safety Month: Cyber Security

It’s no surprise that industries all over have embraced technology to help improve and streamline various processes. But these advancements have also given rise to new vulnerabilities. Among the sectors most impacted is real estate—a massive industry that affects many economies, local and national. In recent years, the prevalence of electronic crime within real estate has surged, with bad actors capitalizing on the increased reliance on digital platforms for transactions, communications, and data storage.

Buying and selling property is stressful enough without having the threat of cybercrime looming over the transaction. So much of our lives are online now, and there’s no way to protect yourself from every instance of cybercrime. Since few, if any, Realtors would work without a computer or smartphone, industry professionals are addressing the threat head-on to protect their clients.

“Cybercrime is a global problem, one that’s becoming more prevalent and more urgent,” said Jessica Edgerton, Associate Counsel with the National Association of REALTORS®. “Smaller and midsized real estate companies—where transactions involve multiple players and large sums of money—are an ideal target for criminals,” Edgerton said.

Unfortunately, hackers can easily access email accounts. Hacking can come in the form of an infected attachment or link that appears to come from a benign sender. “Clicking is something that’s deadly dangerous,” says Edgerton, whose motto is “Think before you click.” Opening a bad link or attachment can trigger a key logger, malware that reads keystrokes to capture your passwords. It can also open ransomware that encrypts everything it can reach on your system, including connected drives and networks.

So, how can you help make yourself more secure? Some easy solutions include keeping your operating systems up to date and checking your social media privacy settings. Less obvious tips include using complex passwords and changing your passwords regularly. Perhaps even consider using a password manager. Once your password is compromised, hackers can put a rule in your settings to forward certain emails to their account.

Realtors and our clients should try to avoid sending sensitive information via email when possible. Attaching forms, financials, and confidential files to an email is an efficient communication method, and criminals seek to take advantage of that.

This practice can lead to another potentially devastating scam – wire fraud. Staying alert can protect yourself and your money. As you approach the closing date, be cautious of emails. It’s unusual for wiring instructions to change at the last minute or for the title company to do so via email. Call the title company using a known phone number, not the one provided in the email, which might be spoofed to appear to be from someone involved in the closing. Before sending the wire, ask your bank to confirm the name on the receiving account. And within a few hours, call your REALTOR® or title company to verify they received your monies.

Another common scam involves taking legitimate property listings from websites and reposting them on social media and other sites such as Craigslist for rent. Scammers typically make up a plausible story requiring the consumer to wire or mail them money without ever meeting in person. The problem comes when all the renters try to move in and discover the property was never the “landlord’s” to rent in the first place. Meanwhile, the scammer takes the funds and disappears.

Educating our clients on these dangers is a top priority. As Realtors, we do our best to ensure the public knows the prevalence of wire fraud and advise clients to call and verify information before they wire funds. To ensure they’re reaching the right person, buyers should contact their Realtor using numbers provided in advance.

Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.

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August 30, 2023

Safety Protocols When Working With A Realtor®

In a few days, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release their 2023 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences, and their brokerage’s safety procedures and protocol. NAR publishes this report each September for Realtor Safety Month. Yet, safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors® all year long.

In previous years, a small but noticeable amount of respondents reported they experienced a situation in which they feared for their personal safety or the safety of their personal information. Realtors understand the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it is imperative to create and share safety protocols with clients to learn about what they may encounter throughout a real estate transaction.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is committed to providing consumers with the resources and education to stay safe and secure. Here are some safety protocols to expect to provide a safe experience for all parties involved.

Meet your agent at their office. Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor may set up the initial meeting at their office. Most people agree that meeting at a real estate professional’s office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting. Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unknown location can be an uneasy notion, and this is no different for that initial real estate transaction.

Secure your personal information. Your agent may make copies of your driver’s license and mortgage preapproval letter for their records. This allows the agent to keep a record of your information at their office to be stored in a secure place.  So be sure to have these items on hand for your initial meeting. As Realtors, we safeguard our clients’ data and ensure that it stays away from prying eyes. Keeping this information safe and secure is a crucial step in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.

Stay away from carpooling. Even though more and more people are returning to a pre-COVID world where carpooling was common, don’t expect your Realtor to drive you to a property. Driving separately is a safety precaution for you and your Realtor – so do not feel offended. Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers, and understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately also enables both parties to depart separately from the showing and get back to other business, such as returning to the office or picking up the kids from school.

Your agent might walk behind you. Realtors typically let buyers take the lead when exploring a home. This is a common safety protocol and also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions.

View a vacant property by day. Your Realtor may only show vacant properties by day, so you can see what safety hazards exist, such as loose floorboards or any other defects. So when viewing a vacant, or even an occupied property, expect to view it during daylight hours.

I urge REALTORS® and the public to explore the various safety resources available from our association and NAR at. Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R.

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August 23, 2023

Interest Rates In A Historical Context

Many of us in the real estate profession have been keeping a watchful eye on the Federal Reserve. Due to efforts to keep inflation at bay, the Fed recently raised mortgage interest rates, which are now officially above 7%. This is the highest 30-year fixed mortgage interest rate since April 2002, the highest rate in more than 20 years.

While a 7% interest rate may seem high compared to the historically low rates from previous years, I think it’s important to approach this figure with some perspective. Yes, these rates we’ve been experiencing in the past few months have been higher than what we’ve been used to, but there have been periods in the past where interest rates soared into the double digits (many fellow REALTORS® can remember 18% rates in the 1980s). Homeownership remained a cornerstone of personal financial growth even when rates were much higher.

Higher rates mean increased monthly payments compared to lower rates, but it doesn’t undo the long-term benefits of owning a home. Building equity and various tax benefits are still very much part of the equation. When looking back over markets that experience higher interest rates, one sees that this could lead to more stable property prices, which could potentially offset some of the interest costs.

Also, it’s important to consider your personal finances and long-term goals. If you are a potential homeowner who is financially stable and sees owning a home as a long-term commitment, a slightly higher interest rate over the long run might not have a big effect years from now. As I mentioned, rates fluctuate, and refinancing when rates become more favorable might be an option to pursue.

So, how are these rates currently affecting homebuyers looking to enter the housing market? Dr. Jessica Lautz, Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research at the National Association of REALTORS®, explains. “The rate translates into a mortgage payment for a single-family home of $2,234 and $1,942 for a condo. The increased mortgage rate exacerbates housing affordability as home prices climb in this limited inventory environment. Something has to give for rates to come down, and that something is the next decision by the Fed.”

Yes, these current mortgage rates are higher than recent years, but funny enough one thing that has remained constant in recent memory is change. The housing inventory has fluctuated. Prices have changed. It’s important to realize that markets and rates shift over time, which is why it’s so important to consult a REALTOR® to help in your particular homebuying and selling needs. Understanding the current market in a particular area is exactly the type of expertise a REALTOR can provide. REALTORS help guide their clients through the sometimes dizzying process of buying or selling property. That’s Who We R®.

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August 16, 2023

July 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

Those of us who are close to the real estate market have no doubt been keenly aware that mortgage rates have approached 7% in recent months, which continues to lead many prospective buyers to put their home purchase plans on hold temporarily. But these higher rates have also kept many existing homeowners from listing their homes for fear of giving up the low-rate mortgages they locked in a few years ago, when rates were significantly lower, and the national and local housing markets reflect this.

Despite a drop in existing-home sales, in July home prices remained near record highs, with a national median sales price of $410,200 as of last measure, 0.9% below the all-time high of $413,800 recorded in June 2022, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Affordability constraints have continued to limit homebuying activity this summer, with existing-home sales falling 3.3% month-over-month nationwide as of last measure, according to NAR. With only 3.1 months’ supply heading into July, the lack of inventory has boosted competition among buyers and put upward pressure on sales prices, especially in more affordable markets, where competition for homes remains particularly strong.

Speaking of local housing inventory, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 21.0% from July 2022 (1,412) to 1,115, while Pending Sales were down 5.5% from July 2022 (1,045) to 988. Inventory levels shrank 14.2% to 1,779 units.

Prices in our area continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 4.9% from July 2022 ($309,900) to $325,000. Days on Market was up 100.0% from July 2022 (15 days) to 30 days. Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 2.0 months.

Regardless of where you live, when undertaking a process as potentially complex as real estate having an expert on your side is absolutely crucial. That’s why utilizing a REALTOR® is the best way to make sure that you get the most out of your most valuable investment. REALTORS® work for their clients and communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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August 9, 2023

Smile, You May Be on Camera

In today’s technology-driven age, home surveillance systems have become integral to many households, offering enhanced security and peace of mind. But for potential homebuyers, this can bring an unexpected twist to the home shopping experience. While touring homes, cameras could capture homebuyer’s reactions, comments, and discussions, and homesellers can face legal risks that could lead to civil and criminal liability.

So how can REALTORS® help clients on both ends of a real estate transaction stay compliant? With the ever-growing use of property surveillance, keep these best practices listed in the National Association of REALTORS® Window To The Law in mind:

  • Address a seller’s use of surveillance devices in the listing agreement by requiring sellers to disclose any devices, warning them of the legal risks associated with audio and video surveillance, and requiring indemnification for any unlawful surveillance by the seller.
  • Recommend sellers provide notice of property surveillance, even when notice isn’t required.
  • Disclose any known property surveillance to other participants in the MLS; while Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®’s MLS does not currently require disclosure upon submission of a listing, other MLSs might. So, sellers, talk with your agent. And REALTORS®, talk with your managing broker about any office policies or best practices in this regard.
  • Remind sellers of their fair housing obligations. Video surveillance can reveal a lot about prospective buyers.  If you suspect a seller is using video footage to violate the law, document your concerns in writing, and depending on the circumstances, consider removing yourself from the transaction.
  • Inform buyers of the potential for surveillance devices during showings and any known devices in writing.
  • Counsel buyers to assume they are always being recorded and avoid discussing their interest while at the property.
  • Advise buyers against taking pictures during a showing and to avoid posting photos online, unless they have the seller's permission to do so.

While some states like TN and GA have exceptions for property owners, in most states it would be inappropriate for an absent homeowner to press record and capture a conversation between a buyer and their agent without either their express consent or their implied consent through, for example, the posting of a conspicuous notice of the recording.

Practicing these tips is key to not only helping your clients navigate these issues, but to protecting you from legal liability. Being mindful of home surveillance ensures a more guarded approach, protecting your privacy and your leverage in purchasing. Whether you’re hoping to lease, purchase, or sell, utilizing the expertise of a REALTOR® is the best way to protect yourself and your investment. REALTORS work for their clients and communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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August 2, 2023

5 Signs To Be Aware of That Could Signal A Home Improvement Scam

Across the country, housing inventory remains an issue for people looking to move into a home that better fits their changing needs. One way of dealing with this issue is to have someone make improvements to their existing property to make it into the home they desire. But unfortunately, across the country scammers are seizing this opportunity to take money from unsuspecting homeowners.

Home improvement scams are widespread. In fact, a new study from JW Surety Bonds shows one in 10 owners has been scammed by a contractor. As a service to homeowners, I think it’s important to relay a recent article by Melissa Dittmann Tracey, a contributing editor for REALTOR® Magazine, in which she details the survey with Maddie Weirman, a spokesperson for JW Surety Bonds. Through the survey, there are certain “red flags” to look for when hiring someone for home improvement services. Tracey details the most common characteristics:

  • The contractor failed to complete the job or did poor-quality work and did not meet the agreed-upon standards (63%).
  • The contractor frequently arrived late or missed appointments without a valid reason (40%).
  • They added extra charges or fees that had not previously been discussed (26%).
  • They refused to answer questions or were evasive about progress updates (25%).
  • They provided no written contract or a vague contract without job specifics or costs (13%).

So what are some steps that can be taken to avoid being scammed? Tracey and Weirman give the following suggestions:

Ensure the contractor is licensed and insured. “Don’t be afraid to ask the contractor for proof of insurance,” Weirman says. By hiring contractors who are licensed and bonded, homeowners can have extra security; surety bonds provide financial security against contractor scams.

Get everything in writing, and review the contract carefully. “Make sure that this contract includes the contractor’s name and information and when the project is projected to start and end,” Weirman says.

Never pay the full amount up front. While a deposit is common, Weirman says homeowners should not pay the full, agreed-upon amount until the project is complete to their satisfaction.

Tracey notes that all age groups are susceptible to these bad actors. Baby boomers were the most likely to fall victim to contractor scams (15%), followed by millennials (13%), the survey shows.

Thanks to Tracey and Weirman for these helpful tips. No one wants to fall victim to a scam that could potentially cost thousands of dollars. While these bad actors target many people, another way to help guard against these dishonest people is to consult your REALTOR® for a recommended service provider. Utilizing the expertise of a REALTOR®, even after your housing transaction, is just one part of the services that REALTORS provide. REALTORS® help homeowners get the most out of their investment. That’s Who We R®.

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July 26, 2023

The Importance of Buyer Representation Agreements

In the fast-paced world of real estate, there are many factors that can pose an issue when attempting to purchase property, which is exactly why the role of a buyer's agent has become more crucial than ever before. Buyer representation agreements are a win-win proposition for both real estate professionals and consumers. Not only do these agreements help build trust by promoting transparency through up-front and honest conversations, but they also provide clarity regarding services clients can expect to receive, as well as how their real estate professional will be compensated for their time. This transparency is crucial for all parties so that REALTORS® can help educate consumers during one of the biggest and most complex transactions many make in their lifetime.

So what does a Buyer Representation Agreement consist of? Simply put, it’s a legally binding agreement that details many crucial elements of the relationship, such as services, agency relationship and compensation. And, signing one at the beginning of the relationship protects both the broker and the buyer by avoiding misunderstandings. Discussing the Buyer Representation Agreement helps ensure the homebuyer has a loyal advocate representing them in the transaction, including whether the agent may be serving as a dual agent (someone who acts as both the buyer's and seller's agent in a transaction).

While jurisdictions vary in what is required in terms of written agreements when it comes to compensation, most states require that any exclusive brokerage or agency relationship be in writing, and about half of states require written disclosure of an agency relationship in order for the real estate professional to be paid for their services. To my fellow REALTORS® this is a reminder to make sure to check where you fall in terms of requirements, and check with your REALTOR® association for a buyer representation agreement form, and be sure to explain all provisions of the agreement to a buyer client.

For REALTORS® and individuals who are looking to learn more about the homebuying process, I encourage all to visit the website for infographics, informative articles, and other resources to help facilitate these important conversations during a buyer representation meeting.
Purchasing property can be stressful, but the process is much smoother when everyone is clear on all the details at the beginning of the process. Providing clarity to a complex process is a REALTORS® area of expertise. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell property, utilizing the knowledge of a REALTOR will help ensure that the process will go as smoothly as possible, and that as a consumer, you are getting the most value from your most important investment. That’s Who We R®.

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July 19, 2023

Commercial Real Estate In Greater Chattanooga

When people speak about real estate, many automatically think of homes, but the commercial sector is just as crucial to our local and national economy. So, where does the Greater Chattanooga area stand in the national commercial market?

First, let’s look across the nation to get the big picture. The first quarter of the year was anything but boring for commercial real estate. The recent developments in the banking sector added concerns about lending activity in the market. While commercial real estate relies heavily on the banking industry for capital, there were rising concerns that recent bank failures would make it harder to get a commercial real estate loan. Nevertheless, according to the Federal Reserve, commercial real estate loans of small, domestically commercial banks remained unchanged during the first quarter of 2023 despite bank failures.

A helpful benchmark to compare commercial real estate to is 2020. So how has Chattanooga changed since 2020? The National Association of REALTORS® Commercial Real Estate Report from Q1 shows that our population has grown 0.7%. For comparison, the national average is a growth of 0.1%. Our economy has increased 10.1 percent with an unemployment percentage of 3.0, which is below the national average of 3.5 percent. In fact, Tennessee ranks ninth in the nation for job growth since March 2020.

A recent study from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis summarizes our area in a helpful way. “The Chattanooga metro area has seen a strong surge in its economy, underpinned by significant growth in the technology, healthcare, and manufacturing sectors. The city boasts of a rising population, low unemployment rates, and a growing GDP.” This study states that such economic growth generally translates to a positive environment for commercial real estate.

Bloomberg Businessweek also recently pointed out that office spaces in Chattanooga are expected to experience a resurgence in demand. As more companies are favoring a hybrid work model, there is a growing requirement for smaller, flexible office spaces.

This is a lot of data to go through, but the bottom line is that commercial real estate is looking to make gains in 2023, which translates to more jobs and a more robust economy for our area. Whether you’re looking to purchase a property to call home, or somewhere to start a business, utilizing the expertise of a REALTOR® is the way to make sure that you’re getting the most out of your investment. REALTORS® work for their clients and communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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July 12, 2023

June 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

Temperatures are heating up, yet the U.S. housing market remains cooler than usual for this time of year due to a combination of low inventory and higher borrowing costs, which have restricted market activity going into the summer homebuying season. According to the latest data from the National Association
of REALTORS® (NAR), national existing-home sales climbed 0.2% from the previous month but were down 20.4% compared to the same time last year, as fluctuating mortgage rates and a near all-time low level of inventory continue to influence home sales.

Nationwide, total housing inventory increased 3.8% from the previous month, for a 3-month’s supply at the current sales pace. The shortage of homes for sale has kept prices high for remaining buyers, with a national median sales price of $396,100 as of last measure, a 3.1% decline from the same time last
year and the largest annual decrease since December 2011, according to NAR. As demand continues to outpace supply, properties are selling quickly, with the majority of homes listed for sale on the market for less than a month.

When looking locally in the greater Chattanooga area, New Listings in our area decreased 26.7% to 1,219. For comparison, in June 2022, there were 1,662 new listings. Pending Sales were down 7.2% to 975 from June of 2022 (1,051). Inventory levels shrank 6.7% to 1,778 units. This is a slight decrease from 1,905 in June of 2022. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 4.0% over ∆une 2022 ($326,900) to $339,950. Days on Market was up 130.8% over June 2022 (13 days) to 30 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 11.1% to 2.0 months.

One thing that’s certain is that nothing stays the same, and this is especially true in the real estate market. We currently find ourselves in a time of change, and that’s why if you’re looking to enter the housing market, whether it’s to buy or sell, utilizing the expertise of a Realtor® is so critical. Realtors have the tools and the data to help make the most out of your most valuable investment. That’s Who We R®.

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July 5, 2023

Smart Home Tech That Enhances Home Efficiency

If you’re like me, looking at your energy bill in the summer and winter months really makes you consider making some of those energy efficient upgrades. And I’m not alone. Homeowners want energy efficient homes, whether it’s to save money or reduce their carbon footprint, and smart home tech can help.

But where do you start? Brandon Doyle, a REALTOR® who also recently contributed this article to Realtor Magazine, has five technology advancements to make a home more convenient and more efficient, speaking to those who want to optimize the comfort of their home while reducing their carbon footprint:

Smart Thermostats. Let’s start with one of the most-adopted components: the smart thermostat. This device is the peak of intuitive design, offering a level of control and efficiency that goes far beyond what we thought possible when central heat and air was invented. Smart thermostats adjust the temperature based on our daily habits, ensuring comfort while minimizing energy use. Further, their remote control aspect means homeowners can access them from anywhere in the world. Savings on energy bills are often substantial, and the positive environmental impact is a win-win result.

Smart Lighting. The intelligence of our homes doesn’t stop at temperature control. Smart lighting gives homeowners power over ambiance and energy consumption. These systems, which use smartphone apps or voice commands, let homeowners easily adjust lighting to suit their mood, the time of day, or specific tasks. More importantly, they significantly reduce energy waste, as lights can be automatically turned off when no one is in the room. Plus, smart lighting systems often utilize LED bulbs, which consume far less energy than their traditional counterparts.

Smart Shades. These nifty installations offer a seamless blend of comfort, efficiency and style. Some automatically adjust throughout the day, tracking the sun to optimize natural light and heat gain in a room or home. Others have the option to set a timer to lower shades at specific times, which also helps keep a home at a comfortable and efficient temperature. These shades are particularly advantageous for hard-to-reach windows, since they can be controlled remotely.

Smart Irrigation. Efficiency in smart home tech isn’t important only inside the home. Smart irrigation systems ensure the yard gets the attention it needs. These systems are far superior to traditional sprinkler timers, taking into account real-time weather conditions to avoid unnecessary watering. Sensors that come with complete systems or that can be added to existing systems also reduce water use by watering based on plants’ needs rather than a set timer. These key features not only save a significant amount of water but also ensure optimal plant health.

Smart Energy Meters. Innovative products like the Sense energy monitor are the unsung heroes of home efficiency. These devices provide real-time insights into your home’s energy usage by monitoring electricity consumption at the appliance level. With this knowledge, homeowners can identify energy-hogging appliances or unusual power consumption patterns. These insights help homeowners make informed decisions about energy usage, leading to potentially significant savings and a smaller carbon footprint.

Thanks for these great tips, Brandon. Understanding these benefits and communicating them to clients can provide a significant competitive edge. And for the homeowner, the advantages of smart home technology make the initial investment well worth it, adding not only to the value of the property but also to the quality of life within it. Realtors® can help give insight into making your most valuable investment more energy efficient. That’s Who We R®.

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June 28, 2023

How To Host A Sizzling Summer Open House

There are many reasons why summer may be the perfect time to put your home on the market. The summertime allows for the opportunity to move with more ease, and many families are trying to settle into a new place before the school year starts. Also the housing market tends to be more swift in the summertime. If you’re selling your house, there are tips you can follow to help sell your home even faster. So how do you make your home stand out? The answer – a sizzling Open House.

A well-planned open house allows potential buyers to picture how life in this particular home would be, and in the summer, people can be more relaxed. Making your open house a haven from the heat is the best way to help them visualize that your home is where they’ll want to spend all of their summers.

Here are a few tips to help your home’s open house stand out this summer.

Turn on the A/C. It’s easy for a house to become stuffy and warm during the summer, especially with exterior doors frequently opening and closing, so make sure that you have the air conditioning running whenever you’re hosting potential buyers. This step also shows prospective buyers that the A/C is operational and ready to go.

Curb appeal. Your home’s curb appeal is its first impression, and the summer months can be harsh on your home’s front lawn. There is nothing attractive about the dry, dead grass of summer. Water frequently or update your home’s landscaping to something grass-free. A little effort can go a long way to showcase your home.

Outdoor living. If the home you’re selling has a pool, a large deck, or an outdoor kitchen, the summer months are the perfect time to highlight them. Why not put some lemonade out for buyers to enjoy on the patio and keep the pool crystal clean? However, it’s important to remember that summer means kids are out of school, and they may be joining their parents on open house tours, so make sure that pool gates are kept locked tight for safety.

Embrace the summer season. Potential buyers may be hot and thirsty when they arrive, so home sellers should prepare for it. Have a cooler with ice-cold bottled water ready and waiting for them the moment they walk in the house, and have refreshing snacks, like watermelon or popsicles, available in the kitchen or on the patio. This gesture will help home buyers picture your home as their oasis in the heat.

Taking a little extra time when listing your home can make it fly off the market even quicker than those who don’t take these steps. If you are interested in selling or buying a home this summer, use the services of your Realtor®. We have the tools and expertise to make sure that your house has the best chance of selling fast and for what the property is worth. Realtors work all year long to meet the housing needs of our community. That’s Who We R®.

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June 28, 2023

Obituary: Paula Palmer

Paula Palmer (Real Estate Partners) passed away on Sunday, June 25. There will be a service on Saturday July 1, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church (305 W 7th St.) at 11:00am with a reception to follow afterwards.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in her name to the Chattanooga Kidney Fund or Breast cancer organization of your choice.

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June 21, 2023

REALTORS® Raise More Than $64,500 For Habitat

CHATTANOOGA, TN June 20, 2023  -- Greater Chattanooga Realtors® raised more than $64,500 for Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga during their fundraiser, Tee Up & Wind Down at WindStone Golf Club. The biennual event involves a golf scramble and live auction of donated items.

“Our Realtors give back to the community in so many ways, and this scholarship is another example of that,” said Steven Sharpe, 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®. “I’m so grateful to all the volunteers, golfers and sponsors who made this event such a resounding success,” said Sharpe.

“Our Community Partnerships Committee has worked tirelessly to secure sponsorships and donations, and I’m so appreciative of their hard work, and the generosity of everyone who attended,” said Chris Scott, 2023 Chair of the Community Partnerships Committee.

“We are incredibly grateful for this partnership with Greater Chattanooga Realtors®,” said Jens Christense, Chief Executive Officer of Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga. “Homeownership is a dream for so many and Realtors® spend every day making that dream come true.  By extending their support to Habitat, Greater Chattanooga Realtors® empower lower income families to escape generational poverty and build wealth through homeownership, impacting families for years to come,” said Christense.

Check the gallery of the events here and here.

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June 21, 2023

Home Maintenance Tips To Undertake in June

As I mentioned a few weeks ago, June is recognized as National Homeownership Month, and it just so happens that this is also a great time of year to pay a little extra attention to some often overlooked areas of one’s home. In a recent post from, which is with the National Association of REALTORS®, Kelley Walters identifies five summer maintenance tasks to undertake during June's longer days and better weather which will help save time and money this winter.

Update Outdoor Lighting. In June, winter nights are probably the last thing on your mind. But early summer is the perfect time to plan for those "OMG, it's only 4:30, and it's already dark " moments by adding or updating landscape lighting.

The most energy-efficient, easy-to-install option is solar lighting, but it won't perform as well on dark or snowy days. For light no matter the weather, install electric lights.

Clean Your House's Siding. With a bit of preventive maintenance, your home's siding will stay clean and trouble-free for up to 50 years. Fifty years! Clean it this month with a soft cloth or a long-handled, soft-bristle brush to guarantee that longevity. Start at the bottom of the house and work up, rinsing completely before it dries. That's how you avoid streaks.

Focus on Your Foundation. There's no better time for inspecting your foundation than warm, dry June. Eyeball it for crumbling mortar, cracks in the stucco, or persistently damp spots (especially under faucets). Then call a pro to fix any outstanding issues now, before they become an emergency later.

Seal Your Driveway Asphalt. Your driveway takes a daily beating. Weather, sunlight, cars, bikes, and foot traffic all can damage the asphalt. Help it last by sealing it. Tip: The temperature must be 50 degrees or higher for the sealer to stick, making June a good month for this easy, cost-effective job.

Buy Tools. Thanks to Father's Day, June is the month everyone can get a deal on tools, tool bags, and that multitool you've had your eye on. If it's time to replace a bunch of tools or you're starting from scratch, look for package deals that offer several at once. These can pack a savings wallop, offering 30% off or more over buying the tools individually.

The days are longer and the weather’s warm, and using this time to make the most out of your most valued investment is a great decision. REALTORS® help their clients and community all year long with their homeownership needs. That’s Who We R®.

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June 14, 2023

May 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

In May, nationally Existing-home sales slid for the second consecutive month, falling 3.4% as of last measure, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), as higher interest rates continue to impact buyer affordability. Sales are down 23% compared to the same period a year ago, while contract signings dropped 20.3% year-over-year. With sales cooling, buyers in some parts of the country have found relief in the form of declining sales prices, which are down 1.7% year-over-year nationally, although more affordable markets continue to see price gains.

When looking at the local data, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 19.3% to 1,160. Pending Sales were down 19.8% to 897. Inventory levels grew 12.2% to 1,651 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 2.5% to $323,028. Days on Market was up 142.9% to 34 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 28.6% to 1.8 months.

While fluctuating interest rates have pushed some buyers to the sidelines, a shortage of inventory is also to blame for lower-than-average home sales this time of year, as current homeowners, many of whom locked in mortgage rates several percentage points below today’s current rates, are delaying the decision to sell until market conditions improve. With only 2.9 months’ supply heading into May, available homes are moving fast, with the typical home spending just over three weeks on the market, according to NAR.

There are positive signs that interest rates might be on the way down. Just earlier today, Dr. Lawrence Yun, NAR Chief Economist, reacted to lower inflation rates for May:
"Inflation calmed down in May, and further deceleration looks likely in the upcoming months. It also marks the first month in two years that wage growth outpaced consumer price inflation, improving the average standard of living. Moreover, low inflation means that the Federal Reserve should stop raising interest rates and possibly slash rates towards the year-end or early next year.”
Yun continues. “The yield on the 10-year Treasury is responding positively with a rate decline to 3.7%. That normally means the 30-year mortgage rate is around 5.5% to 5.7%. Of course, we know the mortgage rates have been near 7% recently, but the potential for a decline is real as we progress through the year. "

So if potential homebuyers have been on the fence about entering the housing market, it might be time to take a look at what possibilities are out there. No matter the market, it’s always a good idea to consult the expertise of a REALTOR® when potentially buying or selling property. REALTORS® work for their clients all year long. That’s Who We R®.

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June 7, 2023

Why Homeownership Matters

June marks National Homeownership Month, which recognizes the value of homeownership and its positive impact on families, communities, and the nation’s economy. This month is a time to celebrate and help promote the American Dream of homeownership while pointing out the many benefits of owning a home.

Most experts agree that homeownership is one of the best investments a person can make to begin building wealth, but that’s not all. Homeownership can lead one towards financial and social stability, and it helps build community.

While it may seem unrelated on the surface, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®’s partnerships with Habitat for Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area and the Snack Pack Ministry are aligned with why homeownership matters. Habitat works to build simple, decent, and affordable homes, and the Snack Pack Ministry ensures that children in our community have something to eat over the weekend. Through these partnerships, we aim to create opportunities for our neighbors to have access to housing and build wealth to provide for their families. 

Homeownership also puts many people to work. In fact, for Tennessee, the real estate industry accounted for $69.2 billion, or 14.5% of the gross state product in 2022. That translates to an average of $114,100 per home in our state. That equals many jobs in many fields across the state.

Often, clients are surprised to learn that they can put a down payment on a home that is about the same amount as a deposit on a rental property. And the financial benefits don’t stop there – purchasing a home is the first step in building equity. Over time, as the housing needs of your family unit change, you can upsize and downsize accordingly. You can use the wealth accrued from your current home and apply it towards a new home that meets your needs.

While it’s true that interest rates have risen to nearly 7%, I think it’s important for people to realize that often renters are paying each month and have no access in that home’s equity, which in essence means they’re paying 100% interest. Compared to renting, purchasing a home is a way to limit in some ways, the impact of inflation. It’s not uncommon for rents to fluctuate with inflation, when purchasing a home, you can lock in a rate that remains the same for the life of the mortgage, and even refinance if rates come down.

Think that home prices are too steep? If you can afford it, homeownership has returned on the investment over years. Our local housing market statistics show a gradual increase in median home prices, and this has been the case over the last ten years. The sooner you invest in a home, the sooner you invest in yourself and your path towards financial stability for the long-term.

Sound a bit complicated? Try this. Think of owning your own home as an investment in not only your future, but your family’s future as well. Interested in getting started on the journey of buying your own home? Contact a Realtor®. We have the tools and professional knowledge to help you walk this path. Realtors are here to be your housing resource. That’s Who We R®.

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May 31, 2023

Healthy Competition Benefits REALTORS® and Homeowners

I often joke with my fellow REALTORS® that our industry is very similar to the armed services in that both fields absolutely love to use acronyms. MLS and IDX are terms REALTORS® use every day, but I think it’s important to explain what these letters stand for, and more importantly, how they represent accurate property listings that benefit consumers and REALTORS® alike.

First of all, I think it’s important to note that REALTORS® are small business owners who ensure buyers and sellers experience the greatest transparency, choice, and efficiency through independent, local broker marketplaces that level the playing field for all types and sizes of residential real estate brokerages. This is where the MLS comes into play.

The multiple listing service, or MLS, is a facility that allows real estate professionals to learn about and share local property listings in support of the interests of clients and customers. REALTORS® enjoy an economical, efficient system of sharing real property information and facilitating cooperative transactions, while their clients and customers have access to the most accurate and up-to-date property information available.

There are hundreds of MLSs across the country, which use a common set of rules to enable a smooth exchange of information in their local communities. MLSs provide a means for participants to offer compensation to other participants and enhance cooperation among them. MLSs have adopted Internet Data Exchange (IDX) programs as a means of enhancing cooperation between REALTORS®. Under IDX, brokers exchange consent to display each other’s listings on participants’ websites and using applications for mobile devices that participants control. Many MLSs, as a service to their members, also provide listing information to third-party aggregators such as realtor®.com and others through syndication or other similar type agreements, unless the broker withholds consent.

So when brokers input information into the MLS, they create hubs of trusted, verified information where all participants have equitable access. And because of lower barriers to entry enabled by local broker marketplaces, new market entrants can advance technology, consumer service, and other innovations. This allows for unprecedented competition, which ultimately benefits those looking to buy or sell property.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell property, REALTORS® are everyday working Americans who champion wealth building through homeownership and property rights while advocating for their communities. That’s Who We R®.

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May 24, 2023

The Importance of a Buyer’s Representation Agreement in Real Estate

Buying a home is an exciting journey for many families. Having someone on your side who understands the process and protects your interests is essential. That’s where a Buyer’s Representation Agreement comes in. It’s a special agreement between you and a Realtor that ensures you have a dedicated professional guiding you through the home buying process. Let’s look at why having a Buyer’s Representation Agreement is vital for consumers in real estate transactions.

  1. Personalized Guidance: When you sign a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, you gain access to a dedicated Realtor who will work exclusively for you. They will listen to your needs, preferences, and budget and help you find suitable properties. Through their expertise, they can narrow down the search and save you valuable time by showing you homes that match your criteria.
  2. Market Expertise: Realtors have extensive knowledge of the local market. They can provide insights into neighborhood trends, property values, and market conditions. This information is crucial in making informed decisions and negotiating the best deal. By signing a Buyer’s Representation Agreement, you ensure that your agent is committed to representing your best interests.
  3. Skilled Negotiation: Buying a home often involves negotiations with the seller or their agent. Having a buyer’s agent with strong negotiation skills can make a significant difference in securing a favorable deal. They will advocate on your behalf, helping you navigate counteroffers, repairs, and other terms to ensure you get the most favorable terms and price.
  4. Legal Protection: Buying a home involves complex legal processes and paperwork. A buyer’s agent can help you understand the documents involved, such as purchase agreements, disclosures, and contracts. They ensure that you are aware of your rights and obligations, protecting you from potential legal pitfalls.
  5. Transparency: A Buyers Representation Agreement provides clear information about the agent’s role in the transaction and the duties owed to the consumer. It also provides transparency about the agent’s compensation and who pays them for their services.

A Buyer’s Representation Agreement is an essential tool for consumers in real estate transactions. It provides personalized guidance, market expertise, skilled negotiation, legal protection, and transparency. By signing this agreement, you ensure that you have a dedicated professional working solely in your best interest. Realtors are professionals who are expected to be able to answer questions about the services they offer and provide clarity and transparency about how they are compensated for their services. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or experienced investor, having a buyer’s agent by your side can simplify the process and help you make informed decisions. Remember, in real estate, having the right representation makes all the difference. That’s Who We R®.

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May 22, 2023

Voice Activated Home Search is Live!

We are pleased to launch Finding Homes which lets you search Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® listings* by voice prompts. In addition to another tool for agents on the go, Finding Homes creates a more accessible real estate search option for those who are blind or visually impaired.

How to Access Listing by Voice in Greater Chattanooga

1.  Use an Alexa device OR download the Alexa App for free from the Apple App Store or on Google Play. NOTE: If using the Alexa app, make sure the app is open on your phone.

2.  Start by saying, "Alexa, start Finding Homes."

3.  Finding Homes will suggest search options, or you can ask about specific property features. Alexa will also send a complete list of available questions to your Alexa app so you know what you can ask. Alternatively, you can also ask for the complete list to be said aloud by the device.

With Alexa, you can use search parameters such as address, price range, or the number of bedrooms and bathrooms. Finding Homes will sort and read you details of homes for sale that meet your criteria. Click here for a list of all voice commands for Finding Homes.

Accessibility and equal access to the listing data is crucial to everyone in our industry, so having an ADA-compliant voice search capability is a solid addition to our residential MLS technology offerings.

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May 17, 2023

April 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

The housing market is shifting all over the country, and inventory remains tight nationwide. With only 980,000 units available for sale heading into April, that’s a 5.4% increase from one year earlier. However, the number of homes for sale is down compared to the same period in 2019, before the pandemic. The lack of existing inventory continues to impact home sales. With only 2.6 months’ supply of homes at last measure, competition for available properties remains strong, especially in certain price categories, with multiple offers occurring on about a third of properties, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR).

The national housing landscape in April saw existing-home sales decline 2.4% month-over-month as of last measure, according to NAR, reversing February’s sales gain of 14.5%. In addition, fluctuations in mortgage interest rates have caused buyers to pullback, with pending sales dropping 5.2% month over-month. Meanwhile, the median existing-home sales price declined for the second month in a row, falling 0.9% nationally from the same time last year, the largest year-over-year decline since January 2012, according to NAR.

Possibly contributing to the lack of housing inventory is the recent rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Last week at our Federal Legislative Meetings, NAR economist Lawrence Yun and National Association of Home Builders economist Robert Dietz agreed that the Federal Reserve’s continual interest rate hikes are freezing lending activity, undermining efforts to build homes and relieve inventory.

New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 26.1% from April 2022 (1,422) to 1,051. Pending Sales were down 10.0% from April 2022 (1,093) to 984. Inventory levels grew 16.0% from April 2022 (1,296 units) to 1,504 units. Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 0.3% to $300,000. Days on Market was up 140.0% from April 2022 (15 days) to 36 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 33.3% to 1.6 months.

The market is shifting, but one constant in this changing market is the need to consult a REALTOR® for your property buying or selling needs. Whether you’re buying or selling, or moving locally or across the country, Realtors have the knowledge and tools needed to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. That’s Who We R®.

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May 10, 2023

Realtors® Working For Homeowners: In The Capital and At Home

This week I get the pleasure of writing to you from our nation’s capital.  Greater Chattanooga Realtors joined more than 9,000 Realtors nationwide to further our work with Congress. The primary purpose of the annual Realtors Legislative Meetings is to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own, and sell commercial and residential real estate. The importance of our advocacy work has become increasingly clear over the last several years. These meetings allow Realtors to build on that momentum and continue the critical policy conversations with our lawmakers and industry leaders.

The objectives of our 2023 Legislative Meetings are:

  • Improving access to homeownership,
  • Increasing housing inventory, and
  • Streamlining affordable housing programs


Realtors believe all Americans should have the opportunity to achieve homeownership, which is the pathway to economic well-being and intergenerational wealth. Unfortunately, a 50-year record shortage of affordable homes severely limits access to the residential real estate market. A recent study by the National Association of Realtors (NAR) estimates that over the last 20 years, the U.S. has developed an “underbuilding gap” of at least 5.5 million housing units. This gap equates to a more than $4 trillion underinvestment in housing.

To help tackle these issues, this week Realtor took time with our elected officials to convey our support for the following:

  • The More Homes on the Market Act (H.R. 1321) will incentivize more owners to sell their homes by increasing the maximum amount of capital gains a homeowner can exclude on the sale of a principal residence and annually adjusting it for inflation. Bipartisan legislation on this issue has been introduced in the House of Representatives.
  • The Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (S. 657) will attract private investment for building and rehabilitating owner-occupied homes by offering tax credits that create a pathway to neighborhood stability through sustainable homeownership. Providing this powerful incentive to build and rehabilitate homes for low- and moderate-income homeowners can fill the gap in areas where it is often more expensive to develop or rehabilitate than appraisal values will support. Bipartisan legislation on this issue has been introduced in the Senate.
  • The Choice in Affordable Housing Act (S.32) will create incentives for housing provider participation in the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) program. Realtors encourage legislators to increase funding to assist homeless veterans living on tribal land, update HUD’s methodology for determining rents paid to participating housing providers, and reduce burdensome inspection delays. Bipartisan legislation on this issue has been introduced in the Senate.
  • In addition to these Acts, Realtors support invectives to convert unused commercial buildings to residential and mixed-use properties. Such incentives are crucial because many commercial properties can be adapted to better suit the needs of communities and create job opportunities, including adding multifamily and affordable housing, warehouse and industrial properties, and mixed-use spaces.

So why do we take the time to make this annual visit to the nation’s capital? No matter the political party, REALTORS® work across the aisle to help make housing more accessible to a greater number of people. As members of America’s largest trade association, Realtors know the importance of making our voices and the voices of homeowners heard. Realtors work for their clients and communities every day, all over the country. That’s Who We R®.

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May 3, 2023

Changing Mortgage Rates & A Stabilizing Housing Market

You’ve likely noticed some fluctuating mortgage rates when watching the news recently. It’s easy to tune out when experts talk about fractions of a percentage, but these small differences can have a big effect. When you’re looking at purchasing something as expensive as property, those changes can mean a monthly difference of hundreds of dollars, which could mean a drastic difference in the house that someone might qualify for. That’s why keeping an eye on these changing rates is so important.


So what do these fluctuating rates mean for the housing market? Melissa Dittmann Tracey, real estate expert, and contributing editor, summarizes the recent activity in a recent article at REALTOR® Magazine:

Though mortgage rates inched up this week, they remain below 6.5%, Freddie Mac reported Thursday. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 6.43%, up from 6.39% last week. But “with the rate of inflation decelerating, rates should gently decline over the course of 2023,” says Sam Khater, Freddie Mac’s chief economist. “Incoming data suggest the housing market has stabilized from a sales and house price perspective. The prospect of lower mortgage rates for the remainder of the year should be welcome news to borrowers who are looking to purchase a home.”

The National Association of REALTORS® is predicting that the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage will fall to 6% by the end of the year and to 5.6% in 2024.

Buyers have shown sensitivity to movement in mortgage rates as they break their budgets to afford high home prices. But low inventory may prove an even bigger obstacle: The spring homebuying season is off to a slow start because buyers can’t find enough options, according to NAR data.

Freddie Mac reports the following national averages with mortgage rates for the week ending April 27:

30-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 6.43%, up from last week’s 6.39% average. Last year at this time, 30-year rates averaged 5.1%.

15-year fixed-rate mortgages: averaged 5.71%, dropping from last week’s 5.76% average. A year ago, 15-year rates averaged 4.4%.

When the market changes and mortgage rates are moving daily, it’s important to utilize the expertise of a REALTOR® when looking to buy or sell a property. REALTORS have the tools available to make sure that you get the most out of your investment, not matter what the current conditions might be. That’s Who We R®.

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May 1, 2023

Get to Know Crexi, Your New Commercial MLS Platform

Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is pleased to partner with Crexi to provide our Commercial MLS USers with access to Crexi PRO - list, manage and market your CRE listings to 20M+ users in their database. You will also have unlimited access to market and property data, such as comps and full contact ownership information. We have chosen to sunset Catylist on June 1 and will be using Crexi as our commercial listing service provider moving forward.

Many of you were already part of an initial trial period. Everyone else who is new to Crexi will receive an account activation email no later than tomorrow/Friday (please accept/login) and should see their live listings on Crexi no later than Tuesday’s web-based training. Get started by logging in here.

Next Steps: If you’ve not already done so, please sign up for one of Crexi’s hosting training/demo sessions as soon as possible. They are offering four online webinars and six in-person training sessions at the Association.

1. Online Webinar Training: register here for either 5/9, 5/11, 5/16 or 5/18

2. In-person Training: register here for either 5/22 or 5/23

 We are excited about their products and services helping our members now and into the future. If you have any questions about Crexi, please access their provided resources and comprehensive support options:

 *NOTE: If you already have a Crexi PRO account, Crexi will convert your account over to our group account on 6/1/23, and you will no longer be charged for their service separately.

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April 26, 2023

Homeownership and Building Wealth

When you’re a REALTOR®, you realize immediately that everyone’s housing needs are different. Some people are looking to expand to make room for a larger family, while some folks are downsizing to have a space that is more comfortable for their needs. One constant between these people is that they all want to get the most out of their investment. Owning a home has traditionally been an exceptional way to help build wealth in the long term because it allows you to build equity, which is the difference between your home's value and the remaining amount of your mortgage. Over time, your home's value may appreciate, increasing your equity and net worth. Additionally, owning a home can provide tax benefits, such as deductions for mortgage interest and property taxes.

A new housing report by the National Association of Realtors® reveals middle-income homeowners accumulated $122,100 in wealth as their homes appreciated by 68% in the last 10 years. The report, Wealth Gains by Income and Racial/Ethnic Group, speaks to the value agents and Realtors® bring to consumers when helping buy and sell homes that build generational wealth. NAR released the report during its 2023 Realtor® Broker Summit as the association commemorates Fair Housing Month.

While not everyone has the same opportunities for homeownership, data show substantial variations and inequalities in homeownership rates across different income and racial and ethnic groups. For instance, low-income homeowners were able to build $98,900 in wealth in the last decade from home price appreciation only, while upper-income households saw an increase of $150,800.

"This analysis shows how homeownership is a catalyst for building wealth for people from all walks of life," said Lawrence Yun, NAR's chief economist. "A monthly mortgage payment is often considered a forced savings account that helps homeowners build a net worth about 40 times higher than that of a renter."

During Fair Housing Month, I think it’s important to look at homeownership’s effects on different groups from different backgrounds. Although Black homeowners experienced the smallest wealth gains among any other racial or ethnic group, these owners were able to accumulate over $115,000 in wealth in the last decade. For the first time in this report, NAR identified the top 10 U.S. metro areas which have recorded the largest wealth gains for Black homeowners over the last 10 years. Owners in these areas were able to accumulate more than $125,000 in wealth in the last decade.

Along with the wealth gains accumulated in the last decade, homeowners also saw their debt drop by 21%. Many homeowners who were able to refinance and secure a rate lower than 4% in the months following the onset of COVID-19 may have paid off an even larger amount of their mortgage, Yun noted.

I think Kenny Parcel, NAR’s 2023 President said it best; "Your neighborhood Realtor® is a champion able to help you achieve the dream of homeownership. It helps create long-term wealth and financial stability for your family and future generations."

Fair Housing is important all year long, and this study shows that making sure that all doors are open to potential homebuyers is crucial for future wealth for people of all different backgrounds. Realtors work for their clients and their homebuying and selling needs everyday. That’s Who We R®.

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April 19, 2023

Outdoor Projects That Make A Big Difference

The spring homebuying and selling season is officially upon us. Many people seek to increase their property’s appeal to buyers by taking on some outdoor remodeling to help curb appeal. When looking at a property, there’s nothing quite like a fresh look to make your property stand out.

But what if you’re not looking to enter the housing market right now? A recent report from the National Association of Realtors might give some suggestions for projects that will make you happy in your home and potentially bring more money for your property whenever you decide to sell.

The 2023 Remodeling Impact Report: Outdoor Features looks at why homeowners complete outdoor remodeling projects, the value of undertaking these enhancements, and homeowners’ increased happiness after completing an upgrade. Referencing the methodology of the report, it specifically examines:

Project Cost.  This is the typical cost of 11 outdoor residential projects as estimated by members of the National Association of Landscape Professionals.
REALTORS®’ Estimated Cost Recovery and Recommendation. REALTORS®’ estimated cost recovery is defined as the amount of money homeowners can recover on a project upon selling a home, and the share of REALTORS® that recommend these outdoor upgrades before listing a home.
Consumer Experience. This measures the overall experience consumers had upon completing the 11 projects, including a” Joy Score.”

The Report identified eleven outdoor remodeling projects and examined why consumers take them on and their increased happiness resulting from the project. The estimated cost of the eleven items were fire feature ($9,000), in-ground pool addition ($90,000), irrigation system installation ($6,000), landscape lighting ($6,800), landscape maintenance ($4,800), new patio ($10,500), new wood deck ($16,900), outdoor kitchen ($15,000), overall landscape upgrade ($9,000), tree care ($2,875) and standard lawn care service ($415).

Ranked on a scale of 1-10, consumers rated all 11 outdoor projects highly, with Joy Scores at 9 or above. Among the features, the highest Joy Scores were for an in-ground pool addition (10), landscape lighting (10) and a new patio (9.9). Slightly lower Joy Scores were provided for an outdoor kitchen (9), tree care (9.3), standard lawn care service (9.4) and an irrigation system installation (9.4).

High Joy Scores did not necessarily correspond with REALTORS®’ estimate for high-cost recovery. Interestingly, the least expensive project — standard lawn care service — had the highest cost recovery (217%), followed by landscape maintenance (104%), an overall landscape upgrade (100%) and an outdoor kitchen (100%). In comparison, the lowest cost recovery was for an in-ground pool (56%) — which had the highest Joy Score — followed by a fire feature (56%) and landscape lighting (59%).

More REALTORS® recommended that when completing landscaping-related projects, homeowners look at landscape maintenance (74%), standard lawn care service (53%) and tree care (44%). The shares of REALTOR® recommendations were the lowest for an in-ground pool addition (1%), outdoor kitchen (1%) and an irrigation system installation (2%).

The outdoor projects for which landscape professionals saw the most increased demand included an overall landscape upgrade (61%), landscape maintenance (58%) and a new patio (55%). Conversely, they saw the least increased demand for a new wood deck (15%), an in-ground pool addition (25%) and tree care (29%).

“It’s no surprise that nearly all REALTORS® and most homeowners place a high value on the curb appeal of a well-maintained yard,” said Britt Wood, NALP CEO. “Healthy outdoor living and green spaces help the environment, increase home values, make communities more desirable, and improve people’s mental and physical health.”

If you’re looking to list your property for sale, these improvements can make a big difference. In fact, most REALTORS® (92%) suggested sellers improve curb appeal prior to listing a home for sale. So if you have questions about how to get the most for your property, or if you’re just looking to get a good return on your investment, consult a REALTOR®. We’re here to help our clients and community with their property questions all year long. That’s Who We R®.

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April 12, 2023

March 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

March usually signals the beginning of the home buying and selling season, and on a national level, existing home sales jumped 14.5% month-over-month in February, which was the first monthly gain in 12 months. This is the largest monthly increase since July 2020, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). The sudden uptick in sales activity stems from contracts signed toward the beginning of the year, when mortgage rates dipped to the low 6% range, which caused a surge in homebuyer activity. Pending sales have continued to improve heading into spring , increasing for the third consecutive month, according to NAR.

Monthly sales might have been even higher if not for limited inventory nationwide. At the current sales pace, there were just 2.6 months’ supply of existing homes at the beginning of March, far below the 4 – 6 months’ supply of a balanced market. Inventory remains suppressed in part because of mortgage interest rates, which nearly hit 7% before falling again in recent weeks. Higher rates have continued to put downward pressure on sales prices, and for the first time in more than a decade, national home prices were lower year-over-year, according to NAR, breaking a 131-month streak of annual price increases.

Taking a look locally, in March New Listings in the Chattanooga area decreased 12.8% to 1,170. However, the total available housing Inventory grew 42.6% over March 2022 (1,079) to 1,539 units. Pending Sales were down 7.3% to 1,031.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.0% over March 2022 ($300,000) to $315,000. Days on Market was up 89.5% to 36 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 70.0% to 1.7 months.

No matter the time of year, and no matter the market, utilizing the knowledge and expertise of a REALTOR® is key to helping navigate the complex process of buying or selling a property. Realtors® provide valuable insight into the local market, help negotiate offers, and ensure that all legal and financial requirements are met. Realtors® work for their clients and communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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April 10, 2023

Obituary: Barry Wilde

Barry Wilde (Happy Home Realty), passed away on Monday, April 3 2023. There will be a Celebration of Life on Saturday, April 15, at 3 p.m. at Wanderlinger, 1208 King Street, Chattanooga, TN. 

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April 5, 2023

Obituary: Marilyn Mobley Jackson

Marilyn Mobley Jackson (formerly with Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate Jackson Realty), mother of Lisa Heyer, passed away on Tuesday, April 4, 2023. Visitation will be at First Baptist Church in LaFayette, Georgia, on Saturday, April 8, 2-4 pm, with the services immediately following. 

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April 5, 2023

REALTORS® Ongoing Commitment To Fair Housing

For Realtors across the country, April is the month we spotlight the importance that housing is accessible to all. In conjunction with all other local, state, and the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), we commemorate the April 1968 passage of the Fair Housing Act with events and education courses to learn from past discrimination and how “Fair Housing Makes U.S. Stronger.”

Working to make the dream of homeownership available to everyone might seem like a no-brainer. Still, history teaches us about redlining and other steps that fought against neighborhood integration. We can learn some hard but important lessons through Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, bestselling author, and Chattanooga native Bill Dedman in Newsday’s “Long Island Divided” investigation. Dedman highlighted racial steering by real estate agents and what can be done to combat racism in real estate. All Chattanoogans can hear Dedman discuss his investigation on April 18. This luncheon is free to members. Non-members can call 423-698-8001 to register for $20.

So from a national perspective, what’s being done to right the wrongs of our past? For starters, NAR implemented the Fair Housing Action Plan composed of three pillars – Accountability, Culture Change, and Training (ACT!). Through the Fair Housing ACT! initiatives, NAR is working to ensure America’s 1.5 million Realtors are doing everything possible to protect housing rights in America.

Accountability. The Preamble to the Realtor Code of Ethics charges all Realtors with identifying and taking steps through Code of Ethics enforcement to eliminate practices that may damage the public or which might discredit or bring dishonor to the real estate profession. Regarding fair housing and discrimination, Article 10 requires that “Realtors shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Realtors shall not be parties to any plan or agreement to discriminate against a person or persons on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” Further, Article 10, Standard of Practice 10-1 states, “When involved in the sale or lease of a residence, Realtors shall not volunteer information regarding the racial, religious or ethnic composition of any neighborhood nor shall they engage in any activity which may result in panic selling.”

In November 2020, NAR expanded Article 10 to add Standard of Practice 10-5, which prohibits Realtors from using “harassing speech, hate speech, epithets, or slurs based on race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.” And in April 2021, NAR confirmed that while REALTORS® are subject to disciplinary action due to their real estate-related activities, Standard of Practice 10-4 applies to all of a Realtors’ activities. Such evolutions to our Code of Ethics help us all do better through peer-to-peer accountability and enforcement.

Culture Change. NAR teamed up with the Perception Institute to create a free online workshop – Bias Override: Overcome Barriers to Fair Housing – to help Realtors avoid implicit bias in their daily business interactions. This year, I’ve challenged all Realtors serving on a local committee to complete the Bias Override Workshop. We’re learning we all have unconscious stereotypes due to our history, culture, and past experiences that can cause us to treat those who are different from us unfairly, even while our conscious mind rejects discrimination. By learning about our implicit biases, Realtors bring about culture change using tools to help with cross-group interactions and improve relationships one interaction at a time.

Training. In addition to Code of Ethics and Implicit Bias training, NAR offers tools such as the At Home With Diversity® (AHWD) certification, designed to enable Realtors to work successfully in changing multicultural markets. It teaches diversity sensitivity, how it applies to U.S. fair housing laws in business, and ways to develop professional guidelines for working with people in real estate. For Greater Chattanooga Realtors, we’re offering this class free to members on April 24. Like the Implicit Bias training, I’ve challenged all local leadership to obtain the AHWD certification.

Also, NAR created Fairhaven, which is my third 2023 challenge to the leadership of Greater Chattanooga Realtors. In completing a visit to Fairhaven, an online fair housing simulator, agents work against the clock to sell homes in the fictional town of Fairhaven, while confronting discrimination in the homebuying process. During the training, REALTORS® walk in the shoes of a homebuyer facing discrimination and obtain customized feedback to apply to daily business interactions. Since NAR introduced Fairhaven in 2020, nearly 200 Greater Chattanooga Realtors have completed or started their visit to Fairhaven.

Realtors across the country take fair housing very seriously, whether during this month of commemoration or all year long. For all the ways Greater Chattanooga Realtors is promoting fair housing, see Thanks to these efforts of all Realtors, we better understand our local markets and our impact on the real estate industry. Our members know how best to work with potential buyers and sellers, regardless of race, color, religion, sex, disability, familial status, or national origin. Realtors work with all different people of all different backgrounds so they can achieve the dream of homeownership. That’s Who We R®.

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March 29, 2023

Helpful Tips For Open Houses

It’s officially Spring, meaning the start of the homebuying season is underway. Although interest rates are higher than they’ve been in the past couple of years, an increase in housing inventory allows some folks to enter the market after watching from the sidelines. And if folks are looking to buy, it might be the right time to sell your house. One way of getting a jump on other properties is to hold an Open House.

Why hold an Open House? It’s a chance to throw open the doors and dazzle buyers. Whether you’re looking to sell now or later in the year, these tips will help make your Open House a hit and help sell your home much quicker.

Let Your Realtor® Take the Lead. Your job is to make your house look like a million bucks. The job of a Realtor, an expert on your local real estate market and what makes buyers tick, is to take care of the rest. The Realtor® will take the lead on hosting the Open House, communicating with potential buyers and their agents, and communicating any feedback to you following the Open House.

Try Some Simple Staging. You want your home to look its best on the market, especially during the Open House. Many Realtors say the best way to primp your home for its big day is to stage it.

Depending on what your Realtor recommends, staging may involve renting new furniture or decor for specific rooms in your home. Consider displaying a bouquet of fresh flowers in the entryway, setting your dining room table to make it look inviting, or turning on your outdoor sprinklers shortly before visitors arrive to make your lawn sparkle.

Clean Like Crazy. When your home is on the market, you need to keep it in showing shape — not only for the Open House but also for any scheduled showings with buyers. Unfortunately, even though you’ve already cleaned and organized your home for listing photos, there’s a good chance you’ve let clutter or dust pile up again, especially if you have children or pets.

Make sure appliances, windows, and mirrors are fingerprint-free. Clean and organize your closets, cabinets, and under the sinks (during the Open House, buyers are allowed to be nosy). Clear every bit of clutter and get rid of it or put it in storage.

Don’t have the bandwidth to do a deep clean? Hire a house cleaning service to do the work for you. If you’re unsure which service to hire, ask your Realtor to recommend cleaners.

Do a Smell Check. If buyers get a whiff of something funky, they will run — not walk — out of your Open House. Before the Open House, ask your Realtor or a neighbor to do an honest, no-holds-barred smell check. If your house has the aroma of your beloved pet, deep clean the carpets, relocate the litter box, and take steps to eliminate traces of pet activity. If the basement is dank and musty, buy a dehumidifier to remove air moisture and run a fan to circulate the air. If the kitchen drain stinks, drop in a cup of baking soda, then two cups of white vinegar. Enjoy the bubbling, then let the mixture sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Finally, run hot water for 15 to 30 seconds to flush the odor.

Put Your Pictures and Valuables Away. Personal belongings such as family photos, awards, and religious art can distract home buyers and make it harder for them to imagine themselves living in your home. You don’t have to go overboard — the idea isn’t to eliminate every trace of yourself — but consider temporarily hiding some pictures and personal effects out of sight during the Open House. Also, there’s a safety element to stowing your personal belongings. It’s important to remember that you’re inviting strangers into your home. Consider securely storing personal items (checkbooks, jewelry, prescription medications, etc.). Also, be sure to lock windows and doors afterward.

Let the Light In. Light doesn’t only brighten up your space. It also makes rooms look and feel larger. On Open House day, open all curtains and blinds to let natural light in. Replace every burnt-out light bulb in and outside the home — buyers should see a working light every time they flip a switch.

Draw Attention to Your Home’s Best Features. Even though you won’t be there, you can still draw visitors’ attention to features in your home that you’d like to highlight. Before the Open House, post (friendly, aesthetically pleasing) signs around the house with calls to action such as, “look down, new hardwood floors,” or “gas fireplace, push this button.” Buyers will likely appreciate the help and that they’re working with a conscientious seller.

After the Open House ends, your Realtor will share with you what questions buyers asked and any comments they overheard from visitors. The important thing is to stay open to buyers’ feedback and to follow your Realtor’s advice about how to respond. For example, based on buyers’ reactions, your Realtor may recommend that you make certain repairs, do some painting, or invest in additional staging before your next Open House. Whatever they advise, it’s not personal — it’s just the business of selling your home.

As a reminder to the public and to other REALTORS®, listings agents can register open houses in Flexmls, which populate to the public at This is a helpful way for homebuyers to plan out their day when home shopping.

Selling your house can be stressful but utilizing the expertise of a REALTOR® can help make the entire process more seamless. A REALTOR® will work with you to make sure that you get the most out of your most valued investment. That’s Who We R®.

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March 24, 2023

Ways to Guard Against Real Estate Fraud

Two weeks ago, I wrote about the ongoing land scams involving fraudulent listings that take advantage of vulnerable consumers seeking affordable property. This week I want to revisit other ways to remain vigilant in real estate transactions. Sadly, crimes involving real estate have been prevalent for years, and as many real estate searches and transactions have moved online, the chances of being caught up in a cyber scam have become even greater. As a service to other Realtors and our community, here are a few tips to help keep a watchful eye against different types of real estate fraud:

Use reputable listing platforms. When looking for properties online, use a reputable listing platform like the local Multiple Listing Service (MLS). These systems have strict verification processes to ensure that listings are legitimate. Avoid using small or obscure websites that may not have the resources to verify listings or detect fraud.

Verify the listing information. Before making any payments, verify the information provided in the listing. For example, check the property’s address and confirm it exists using Google Maps or a similar tool. Also, verify the property’s ownership by conducting a public records search. If the seller claims to be a real estate agent or broker, verify their license with the state’s regulatory board.

Be wary of upfront payments. Scammers often ask for upfront payments, such as a deposit or processing fee, before allowing potential buyers to view the property. Be wary of such requests and never make any payments without verifying the legitimacy of the listing and the seller.

Check for red flags. Be on the lookout for red flags that may indicate a fraudulent listing. For instance, a seller unwilling to provide additional information about the property or insists on communicating only via email or text may be a red flag. Also, be wary of sellers who ask for personal information such as your Social Security number or bank account details.

Use a trusted real estate agent. If you’re unsure about a property or seller, consider using a trusted real estate agent to help you navigate the process. Real estate agents have experience and expertise in identifying red flags and can help you verify the legitimacy of a listing.

Report suspected scams. If you come across a suspicious listing or believe you have been the victim of a land listing scam, report it to the relevant authorities. You can report real estate scams to the FTC (, or your state’s attorney general’s office.

Criminals know that there are a lot of moving parts when it comes to real estate transactions. That’s why it’s important to trust the expertise of a REALTOR® when conducting business. REALTORS work with clients every day and help guide them through the homebuying process safely. That’s Who We R®.

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March 8, 2023

Staying Vigilant Against Recent Land Scams

At some point, many folks will buy or sell property, which is why real estate can be lucrative. Because of this, and the prevalence of internet advertising and online listing platforms, scammers are always seeking new avenues to exploit unsuspecting individuals. Land listing scams in real estate have become increasingly common, with fraudsters creating fake listings and luring people into making payments for properties that do not exist. Why are these scams becoming more common, and what can be done to protect your investment?

The lack of affordable properties and the desperation of someone looking for a place to live is a leading cause. Criminals create fake listings, often using stolen photos and descriptions from legitimate websites, to lure unsuspecting individuals into making payments for properties that do not exist. According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Americans lost over $1.9 billion to fraud in 2019, with real estate scams among the top five types of fraud reported.

The internet has undoubtedly made a REALTOR®’s job easier (anyone remember the paper books that made up our Multiple Listing Service?). But one drawback to our electronic age is the ease that a criminal could exploit online portals. These platforms make it easy for fraudsters to create fake listings and attract potential buyers. The scammers typically ask for payment upfront, using various tactics to convince people to part with their money. For instance, they may offer a property at a price significantly lower than the market value or claim that the property is in high demand and only available for a limited time.

This practice has had such an uptick that the U.S. Secret Service has become involved and issued guidance on the matter. They have released information detailing what these schemes entail, along with possible ways to prevent them in the first place.

So what does this land scam consist of exactly? The U.S. Secret Service summarizes it as:
Criminals search public records to identify real estate that is free of mortgage or other liens and the identity of the property owner. These often include vacant Lots or rental properties. The criminal poses as the property owner and contacts a real estate agent to list the targeted property for sale, and requests it being listed below current market value to generate immediate interest. The criminal, posing as the property owner, demonstrates preference for a cash buyer, and quickly accepts an offer. Then the criminal, posing as the property owner, refuses to sign closing documents in person, and requests a remote notary signing. The criminal, or co-conspirator, also impersonates the notary and provides falsified documents to the title company or closing attorney. At this point, the title company or closing attorney unwittingly transfers the closing proceeds to the criminal. It’s important to note that all communication is electronic, not in person.

So what steps can people take against this fraud? The Secret Service suggests the following steps:

  • Independently search for the identity and a recent picture of the property seller.
  • Request an in-person or virtual meeting and to see their government issued identification.
  • Be on alert when a seller accepts an offer below market value in exchange for receiving the payment in cash and or closing quickly.
  • Never allow a seller to arrange their own notary closing.
  • Use trusted title companies and attorneys for the exchange of closing documents and funds.

Think you might be experiencing this type of fraud? You can report real estate scams to the FTC (, or your state’s attorney general’s office.

There may be an uptick in recent land scams, but they are far from the only way to be targeted during a real estate transaction. In coming weeks, after we release February’s Housing Market Statistics, we will revisit some other fraudulent activity and how to remain on guard against them. The risk of online scams can make someone who is interested in buying property wary, but don’t let that stand in your way. Just utilize the services of a REALTOR® to help ensure that your property transaction goes smoothly. REALTORS work with clients every day and help guide them through the homebuying process. That’s Who We R®.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® serve Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The Association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations/board of REALTORS® nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 MLS users. Local Association membership is comprised of REALTORS® servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines – appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multi-family, property management and residential. Working alongside REALTORS® are our Affiliate members, who represents related industries in sympathy with the objectives of the Association. Our Affiliate members include mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control and insurance.

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March 1, 2023

How Much Has Chattanooga Real Estate Changed in 10 Years?

I’m a data guy. I love numbers, and the more information I have, the better. In real estate, more data can mean a better look at long-term trends which can help lead to more informed decisions. I’ve noticed that I often look at monthly housing data compared to the data from a year or two ago. But what if we looked at what the data says about housing over a longer period? Taking a 10-year view of the real estate market in our area can provide valuable insights. Not only can it show us how the market has changed over time, but it also highlights how real estate is impacted by external factors such as economic growth and recessions and how it could potentially change in the future. With that in mind, let’s take a deep dive and see what we can learn.

We’ve posted this data on our website at Here are some key takeaways:

The number of available homes at the end of each year has dropped consistently but rose significantly in 2022. At the end of 2012, there were just over 4,500 properties available. Because of the shifting housing market, this number reached an all-time low at the end of 2021, which showed only 900 homes available. However, this number increased at the end of 2022, with nearly 1,800 properties available. These numbers show reduced housing inventory and increased home sales, which is also noteworthy.

The number of homes sold each year has increased steadily since 2012 and reached a high in 2021 before dropping slightly in 2022. Low interest rates and a strong economy have certainly impacted home sales in the past decade. More properties have sold over the years and are being sold faster (more on that later). In 2012, 6,663 properties were sold for the year. This amount peaked in 2021 with almost 13,000 sold. In 2022 this dropped slightly to just over 11,500. This decrease is most likely due to a dramatic increase in mortgage rates.

The average time it takes for a property to be under contract has dropped significantly since 2012. Consider anyone you know that sold a house in the past few years. They may share stories about multiple offers, people making offers sight unseen, and properties being sold mere hours after hitting the market. But this hasn’t always been the case. In fact, the average Days on Market was a whopping 129 days back in 2012. This timeframe dropped steadily over the last few years, reaching a low of just 20 days on average in 2022. In short, homes have been selling fast! All these factors have combined to cause a dramatic increase in home prices in the past 10 years.

The median home sales price in our area has dramatically increased over the past 10 years. In 2012, the median sales price was $137,000, while in 2022, it had risen to $305,000 - a jump of 122%. Again, an increase in demand for housing, low interest rates, and a booming economy are all contributing factors. Depending on your perspective, this increase can be both a blessing and a curse. On the one hand, it is excellent news for those who already own a home, as their asset has most likely grown in value. On the other hand, this increase in home prices has made it increasingly difficult for first-time homebuyers to enter the market. We need to find a solution to this problem, as it affects many people and can have long-term implications for the housing market.

The housing market in our area has certainly changed in a decade, but the main point to take from this data is that homeownership has been, and looks to remain, an excellent way to build personal wealth. Have questions about what’s involved with entering the market? Consult a REALTOR®. A REALTOR will work with you to understand your housing needs and can help advise you on what path might be best for you.

REALTORS® are the professionals you want to turn to when buying or selling a home. We have access to a wealth of knowledge and resources that most real estate agents may not have. Realtors® are held to a higher standard of conduct and ethics than real estate agents and must abide by a strict code of ethics and standards of practice. We have access to the multiple listing services (MLS) which gives access to a wide range of property listings, allowing us to better serve clients. Realtors® are also well-versed in local market conditions, which can be invaluable in helping you make informed decisions. REALTORS® provide valuable assistance in the paperwork and negotiations that need to take place during a real estate transaction. REALTORS® work for their clients and community to help people achieve homeownership. That’s Who We R®.

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February 22, 2023

Take a Step Back & Zoom Out

By Steven Sharpe, ABR, C2EX, ePRO, GRI

2023 President, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®

Real estate is all about three words: location, location, location. Speaking for myself, I think it’s easy to focus on our own area. We sometimes forget we are a part of a much larger group. I do spend a lot of time focusing on all things in the greater Chattanooga area. As the 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, I spend the majority of my time thinking about real estate issues that fall into our area, which is Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. There are 2,700+ Realtors® who serve the real estate of this area, and many different housing issues that impact each area differently.

But it’s also important to take a step back and zoom out. Realtors in our local market are also a part of the state and national associations. Some of our members are part of the Georgia REALTORS®, which represents 46,000+ Realtors. The bulk of our members belong to Tennessee Realtors®, which represents 36,000+ Realtors in the state. Put those numbers together, and we’re talking about more than 80,000 Realtors.

Something that really drove this home occurred a few weeks ago when members from our association joined with 500+ Realtors® from all over Tennessee to participate in the Tennessee Realtors® Day on the Hill. (Georgia Realtors®- your Day at the Dome Conference is coming February 28 – March 1). This event was an opportunity for all Realtors, no matter from what part of the state they’re from, to visit with their elected officials and speak about matters concerning real estate and possible hindrances to homeownership. This year, Realtors across the state had three main issues we wanted to address:

1. Opposing the expansion of the County Powers Relief Act. Why would we take this stance? Tennessee REALTORS® supports keeping the County Powers Relief Act in its current state so more Tennesseans can realize the dream of homeownership. Affordable housing is an issue in Tennessee, particularly in today’s market with high prices on building materials and the current interest rates. The addition of impact fees on new development will only compound the problem and place affordable workforce housing even more out of reach for Tennesseans.
2. Assisting Supportive Housing Initiatives. What does this mean? In short, Tennessee REALTORS® is part of a supportive housing coalition, which is committed to promoting measures to house and support Tennessee’s most vulnerable residents. The Coalition hopes to create housing opportunities and initiate policy changes that will set Tennessee on a path to become a national model for scaling up evidence-based models and addressing critical housing needs now and into the future.
3. Opposing proposed legislation that would require landlords to pay an additional registration fee for information that’s already public record. Tennessee REALTORS® opposes this measure and sees it as merely a money grab for the local government as most of this information is already public record. Tennessee REALTORS® does not see a rational basis for requiring landlords to register with the local government.

Our state association, and its 36,000+ Realtors, believes that these issues impact current and potential homeowners. But aside from real estate, I think that we would all do well to remember that no matter what our occupation might be, or where we might live, we are stronger together. It doesn’t take a tragedy or a natural disaster to remember that individuals have the most impact when we act as one group. REALTORS® work in their individual communities, but we also work together to assist homebuyers achieve the dream of homeownership. That’s Who We R®.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® serve Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The Association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations/board of REALTORS® nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 MLS users. Local Association membership is comprised of REALTORS® servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines – appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multi-family, property management and residential. Working alongside REALTORS® are our Affiliate members, who represents related industries in sympathy with the objectives of the Association. Our Affiliate members include mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control and insurance.

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February 16, 2023

Steven Sharpe Receives Good Neighbor Award from Tennessee Realtors®

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Feb. 16, 2023)  -- Tennessee Realtors® presented their annual Good Neighbor Award, along with a $5,000 donation, to 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, Steven Sharpe, for his work with children with physical handicaps at Camp Horizon.

Sharpe, with his wife Lindsey, founded Camp Horizon in 2005, which is a camp for young people who have special needs. Each camper is paired up with a Doctoral candidate student volunteer from the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga. None of the volunteers or campers pay any sort of fees to attend the camp.

“For one weekend each year, campers are invited to step outside their limits and challenge their horizons in the outdoor environment with other kids with similar issues,” said Steven Sharpe.

“Many have no idea of how much REALTOR’s do within their communities.  Steven is an outstanding example of how REALTORS touch the lives of people,” said Angela Shields, CEO of Tennessee Realtors®. “Steven is the embodiment of the Good Neighbor Award and we are so pleased to support his work,” said Shields.

Camp Horizon ​​started with seven kids in 2005, and by 2019 had grown to 45 kids. The camp was postponed during COVID, but has rebounded and served 25 campers in 2022. The funds awarded will go towards improving accessibility to the facility.

“Camp Horizon is so thankful for the monetary support of Tennessee Realtors®, and for all the support of our volunteers that help make a difference in the lives of these children,” said Sharpe.

For information about Camp Horizon, visit their website (, and for more information about Tennessee Realtors®’ Good Neighbor Awards, visit

REALTORS: Mark your calendars for the Realtors Are Good Neighbors Volunteer Days on June 3-11. Have something planned for volunteer days? Email us and let us know so we can tell others about it!

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February 15, 2023

January 2023 Local Housing Market Statistics

When one looks at the big picture, the national housing market began the year in a state of rebalance with many buyers and sellers remaining cautious while they wait to see where the market is headed. Nationally, pending sales rose 2.5% month-to-month, marking the first increase since May, while sales of existing homes fell 1.5%, according to the National Association of Realtors® (NAR). Demand for housing persists, but higher mortgage interest rates have cut into housing affordability, with total home sales down 17.8% last year compared to 2021.

As sales slow, time on market is increasing with the average home spending 26 days on market, according to NAR. Seller concessions have made a comeback, giving buyers more time and negotiating power when shopping for a home. Although home prices remain high, mortgage rates declined steadily throughout January, falling to their lowest level since September, sparking a surge in mortgage demand. Lower rates should aid in affordability and may soon lead to an uptick in market activity ahead of the spring selling season.

Locally, our housing market reflected some of these national trends. New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 7.7% over January 2022 (888 to 956). Pending Sales were up 0.6% January 2022 (928 to 934). Inventory levels grew 68.9% over January 2022 (974) to 1,645 units. Prices were fairly stable. The Median Sales Price decreased 0.2% from January 2022 ($290,000) to $289,450. Days on Market was up 71.4% over January 2022 (21 days) to 36 days. The Months Supply of Inventory was up 88.9% over January 2022 (0.9 months) to 1.7 months.

So what can we take away from this data? One might conclude that the increased housing inventory, along with the trend of dropping interest rates, could combine to make this spring a time of renewed home purchases. Make sure to utilize the expertise of a Realtor who will work tirelessly on your behalf. Realtors work with clients all throughout the year to help with their client’s homebuying and selling needs. That’s Who We R®.

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February 8, 2023

Realtors® Are Good Neighbors

This week at a conference of Tennessee Realtors®, I was honored to receive the 2023 Good Neighbor Award for the work that I, alongside my wife Lindsey, have done with Camp Horizon, a camp we started in 2005 for young people who have special needs. My wife Lindsey, a physical therapist at T.C. Thompson Children’s Hospital, saw a need for her patients to experience life without the limitations that their physical handicaps imposed upon them. So, for one weekend each year, campers are invited to step outside their limits and challenge their horizons in the outdoor environment with other kids with similar issues. There’s a lot that goes into making this camp successful, and there are many people who graciously donate their time. Each camper is paired up with a Doctoral candidate student volunteer from the Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy programs at the University of Tennessee – Chattanooga.

While I am thrilled to receive such an honor, I can’t help but feel humbled to be in the company of previous Good Neighbor Award recipients who have done so much work in their communities. 2022 honoree, Cindy Lockhart of Nashville, a volunteer at Proverbs 12:10 Animal Rescue, has spent hundreds of hours caring, socializing, and training rescued animals. 2021 honoree Holly Swogger of Memphis founded a nonprofit “For Those Who Serve” to work toward establishing a new healthcare facility for military veterans and their families in the Memphis area.

I would be remiss if I didn’t recognize the first ever recipient of the Good Neighbor Award, fellow Chattanoogan Janice Robertson, who founded Snack Pack, a program that provides food for children over the weekend when school meals are not an option. Greater Chattanooga Realtors® admires the work Janice does for our community that we hold multiple fundraising efforts for Snack Pack, along with an annual donation. I also think it says a lot about our state association, Tennessee Realtors®, that they believe in giving back by presenting this award. Tennessee Realtors® provides $5,000 to the recipient’s charity, and the winner is entered in the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Good Neighbor Award.

While the work these people have all done might be varied, there is one constant between us all. We are all REALTORS®. We all believe in serving and helping others with the resources we’ve been afforded. And the community service provided by REALTORS® doesn’t always make the front page. In fact, the Community Aid and Real Estate Report, known as the CARE Report from NAR, shows that 82% of Realtors donate money to charitable causes every year, compared to the national average of 56.6% of Americans who do so. That translates to a huge impact not just in our area, but across the country.

Being a REALTOR® is more than just planting a “For Sale” or “Sold” sign in a yard. It’s working to make things better for everyone. I’ve heard many times over the years that REALTORS® serve as ambassadors to their communities, and I believe that wholeheartedly. We serve the needs of homeowners and those wishing to attain homeownership. All REALTORS® are good neighbors, and we truly love where we live. That’s Who We R®.

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February 1, 2023

Home Improvements & Their Return on Investment

There are a ton of good reasons to make home improvements, even in our current economy. You may want to boost your home’s future sales value, add livable space, or refresh an aging room. Or you may just want to enjoy your home more, especially if you wanted to move but the market didn’t cooperate. And it’s clear that during the pandemic, many of these improvements were designed to make the place where we spend the most time more desirable. 

The National Association of REALTORS®, along with the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, conducted a survey in 2022 to find out the project’s estimated average cost and return on investment, and the joy score, or satisfaction with the completed upgrade on a scale of 1 to 10. 

Look at the results of this research to see what might fit your budget and needs.

Turning an Attic into a living area. Average cost: $100,000. Return on Investment: $75,000 (75% return). Joy score: 10/10.

Adding a new Bedroom Suite. Average cost: $172,500. Return on Investment: $100,000 (56% return). Joy score: 9.5/10.

Completing Bathroom renovation. Average cost: $35,000. Return on Investment: $25,000 (71% return). Joy score: 9.6/10

Installing hardwood floors in Living Room. Average cost: $5,500. Return on Investment: $6,500 (118% return). Joy score: 10/10.

Kitchen upgrade. Average cost: $45,000. Return on Investment: $30,000 (67% return). Joy score: 9.8/10. 

Turning a basement into a living area. Average cost: $57,500. Return on Investment: $49,350 (86% return). Joy score: 9.7/10.

Just like the housing market changes, homebuyers’ preferences can also change very quickly. Adjusting and adapting to market conditions is crucial. That’s why it’s so important to utilize the expertise of a REALTOR® when entering the housing market. Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, a REALTOR will be on your side, making sure that your best interests are considered. REALTORS work for their clients every day. That’s Who We R®.

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January 26, 2023

2023-24 MLS Election Results

Congratulations to …

Christian Chacon
Jennifer Cooper
Rich Downing
Brian Kelly

Travis Close

on their election to the 2023-2024 MLS Committee. They will serve alongside Chair Jeff Nixon, Vice Chair Ryan May, John Martin, Robert Backer, Kadi Brown, and Elizabeth Key.

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January 25, 2023

Showing Up & Being Present

A few days ago I was installed as 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors® by my friend and fellow Realtor® Steve Champion.  After he made his very kind remarks about me, I had the opportunity to take my place amongst all the former presidents of our association.

Standing shoulder to shoulder with so much collective knowledge and leadership was truly humbling. I am thrilled to assume this position, being elected by my peers in real estate. Over the years, I’ve learned that any time you assume a new position it’s a great opportunity to set your sights on what you hope to achieve.

For example, Derek English, 2023 Immediate Past President, set a great example to all in a position of leadership at our association. During his tenure as president, he kept us focused and moving forward. Listening to his recap of 2022 certainly drove home all the goals that he and others accomplished including supporting Wreaths Across Chattanooga, our Scholarship Program, and providing numerous services to our Realtors at no additional charge that help with their business and safety.

Now that I have been installed as President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, it’s my turn to serve the home buying and selling needs of our community. So what’s my plan? Well, I’ve learned that sometimes the most important part of accomplishing a particular goal is simply to show up. Does this mean that you show up and let someone else do all the work? Certainly not. To me, “showing up” means putting in the time, day in and day out. It means being present.

And this doesn’t just apply to real estate. It applies to your family and friends. It means that when you’re spending time with your family, you’re there in the moment with them. You’re not distracted. It means that when you work with clients and customers that you’re present to what their needs are. This mentality has ramifications in any kind of work one might do, whether you’re in real estate, teaching, or healthcare.

One such example is that our association recently laid out a goal of helping drive conversations with our local officials. As Realtors, we have a unique perspective on our community, and we often have data that can help drive decisions that might have intended and unintended consequences. Greater Chattanooga Realtors® will strive to help make decisions, write policies, and execute plans that will shape our business and our area for years to come.

Regardless of a person’s profession, each of us are blessed with a variety of skills and talents. When people don’t show up with all their gifts, talents, ideas and efforts, the world is a worse place. So, for everyone in your life, show up.

My vow for 2023 is to show up for my clients, my friends and family, and the 2,700+ Realtors® who serve this great city and community every day. I challenge all who might be reading these words to do the same. Realtors show up and show out every day. That’s Who We R®.

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January 20, 2023

2023 Installation & Year in Review

Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® joined together January 19, 2023, to celebrate 2022 accomplishments and install the 2023 Officers and Directors

·  President Steven Sharpe
·  President-Elect Kadi Brown
·  Secretary-Treasurer Bev Boss
·  MLS Chair Jeff Nixon
·  Immediate Past President Derek English
·  Directors Connie Brewer, Jill Christy, Brian Erwin, Robert Fisher, Holly Harwell, Ryan May, Rolanda Daniel, Mike Purcell, and James Streeter

2022 President Derek English gave highlights from 2022, including:

·  Supporting Wreaths Across Chattanooga ($10,000), REALTORS® Relief Foundation ($10,000), and the Snack Packs Food Ministry ($36,000+)
·  Awarding five, $2000 Community Scholarships to rising college freshmen
·  Supporting the Realtor Party by participating in the state and national Hill Visits
·  Surpassing the RPAC goals with 987 investors, 27 of which are Major Investors ($1,000+) invest more than $92,000
·  Offering nearly 500 CE hours to Tennessee and Georgia licensees
·  Providing the Forewarn Safety App to nearly 900 members
·  Launching MLS Data Shares with Knoxville, Tennessee Virginia Regional, and FMLS in Georgia
·  Implementing the BrokerBay Showing Service
·  Hosting a Membership Breakfast with Superintendent of Hamilton County Schools Dr. Justin Robertson, Family Movie Night at the Tivoli, Economic Update Luncheon, and the second annual Member Appreciation Week.

Upon being sworn in, 2023 President Steven Sharpe addressed the nearly 150 attendees:

I want to take a moment to acknowledge my family who is here with me tonight. You already saw my girls doing the pledge but my wife Lindsey and my parents are here as well. I am grateful for your support leading up to this evening.

I also want to acknowledge the Association staff. They all do a tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to help make each of us look good when we are out there doing the business. Every single person at the Association wants us to be successful and thrive and their role is to help us achieve that. So, thank you to them.

And the reason we are all here this evening is you, the Realtor community. Thank you for your trust and support in electing myself and this Board of Directors to help guide the Association in 2023. Our commitment to you is to listen, to be present, and to engage to make sure that the interests of our community are heard.

Back in December, the Association went through a strategic planning process for the next 3 years. One of the primary objectives that we established was to work hard to make sure that Realtors had a seat at the table when it comes to the decision making process locally. This means that Realtor voices are heard at the City Council, the mayor’s office, the regional planning commission, and the local chamber of commerce.

I am a Chattanooga native, born and raised here. Many things have changed over the last 40+ years. We have something special that a lot of people naturally gravitate towards. We have a great environment for individuals looking to relocate as well as businesses looking for a new base of operations or expansion opportunities.

We want each of you to be involved in those conversations. That is what it means to have a seat at the table. The Board of Directors and myself want to be present and available to make sure your voice is heard in these conversations. Let us know how we can help you with these issues.

Finally, to the Board of Directors, thank you for stepping up and volunteering your time for the Association and the Realtor body. We are gathered here tonight to celebrate you and the things that you are going to do this year.

You are a leader. You have stepped up in front of everyone, put yourself out there, and were chosen to lead. All I ask of you is that you show up.

Just show up. Be present, much like our drive to have a seat at the table with our local officials, you have a literal seat at the table for the leadership of our Association. We will make decisions, write policies, and execute plans that will shape our industry for years to come. Show up.

Each of us are blessed with a variety of skills and talents. When you don’t show up with all of your gifts, your talents, your ideas, and your efforts, the world is a worse place. So, show up.

For images of the event, visit our Facebook album.

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January 19, 2023

Obituary: Beverly Jean Stakely

Beverly Jean Stakely (formerly with Crye-Leike) passed away Sunday, January 8, 2023. Visitation will be on Friday, January 20, 11 am-1 pm at Chattanooga Funeral Home North Chapel (Hixson), with a graveside service imediately following at Chattanooga National Cemetery.

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January 18, 2023

How To Prevent Seasonal Property Damage

The holidays always take a chunk out of our bank accounts. The last thing any homeowner wants to experience after the holidays is the pain of having to dig even deeper to pay for a home repair. Of course, some projects come up unexpectedly and have to be addressed but taking a little bit of time to prevent a large (and expensive) maintenance-related repair can help immensely in the long run.

But where’s a good place to start? Luckily, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR), has a great checklist to get homeowners started:

Check your gutters for seasonal debris. Make sure to remove leaves that have fallen into your gutters and check that pests or small animals did not seek shelter in them as they prepare for the colder months. Seasonal checks allow homeowners to ensure their gutters are in good condition, as it's common for underlying problems to appear during the winter.

Keep the winter weather outside by preventing drafts. Conserving energy at home is all about leaving the outdoor climate outside. Windows and doors are the main points of entry into your home for unwelcome weather and drafts, so investing in those is a sure way to keep winter weather from entering. Take simple steps like checking for holes in your screens, making sure your windows are the right choice for your region’s climate, and adding window film or insulation.

Confirm your gutters are the right size for your home. Sometimes gutters aren’t the right fit or size for a house, making it easier for the weather to damage other spaces through them. This is particularly common in older homes and is important for homeowners to assess before trouble starts surfacing.

Owning a home can be the key to financial stability for your family, but maintenance is key to making sure that your investment stays in good condition for years to come. If you have a home, or are looking to purchase property, be sure to utilize the expertise of a Realtor® in your real estate transactions. Realtors work for their communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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January 11, 2023

December 2022 Housing Market Statistics

If you, or your friends and family, have considered buying or selling a property in the last twelve months, you’re aware that 2022 was a turbulent year for the housing market. Inflation, soaring interest rates, and elevated sales prices combined to cause a slowdown nationwide. This slowing market harmed housing affordability. Affordability challenges have continued to limit national housing market activity, with pending home sales and existing-home sales falling 37.8% and 35.4% year-over-year, respectively, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). Higher mortgage rates are also impacting prospective sellers, many of whom have locked in historically low rates and have chosen to wait until market conditions improve before selling their home.

So how does this affect us? Economists predict sales will continue to slow somewhat but expect some welcome relief for prospective buyers in the form of softening housing prices in many markets over the next 12 months. Even more welcomed news is that these prices are expected to drop further in the high cost of living areas.

National inventory shortages will likely keep prices from dropping too much, as buyer demand continues to outpace supply, which remains limited at 3.3 months, according to NAR. Even if prices fall, many prospective buyers will find it difficult to afford a home in 2023, as higher rates have diminished purchasing power, adding hundreds of dollars to monthly mortgage payments.

Here in the Greater Chattanooga area, new listings decreased 20.3% to 693. Pending sales were down 20.3% to 661. Inventory levels grew 57.0% to 1,780 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.3% to $300,000. Days on Market was up 47.6% to 31 days. Months Supply of Inventory was up 90.0% to 1.9 months.

There was another bit of interesting news this past week. According to a forecast by the financial services website Bankrate, the interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. is expected to drop to 5.25% by the end of this year, which would be 1.49% points lower than the current rate, and nearly two percentage points lower than 2022′s peak rate of 7.12%.

So inventory is increasing, and prices may be starting to ease. These factors are just a few of the reasons why it is absolutely critical to utilize the expertise of a Realtor®. We are bound by our Code of Ethics to make sure that our clients’ needs are met responsibly. Realtors® work tirelessly for their clients and provide expert knowledge. That’s Who We R®.

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January 9, 2023

OBITUARY: Joyce Ann Siniard

Joyce Ann Siniard (Central Real Estate Inc.) passed away on Wednesday morning, January 4, 2023, at Life Care of East Ridge. A private family visitation and funeral service will be held on Tuesday, January 10 in the East Chapel. Interment will be in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

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January 4, 2023

Where We’ve Been, And Where We’re Going

As my term as 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors® begins, I think it’s important to talk about where I’ve been, where I came from, and where I plan to lead our association in 2023.

I have had the pleasure of living in Chattanooga all 44 years of my life. I have witnessed first-hand the changes that our community has undergone. One thing that has remained constant is that real estate is still a people business. It is a face-to-face, voice-to-voice, handshake at the end of the deal business. I consistently see up close the importance of building relationships and how to best serve the needs of all parties involved.

Looking back, I believe the importance of these relationships, and the need to competently serve others led me to a career in real estate. In 2007 I became a REALTOR®, and then a Managing Broker in 2015. Every day I have the privilege of guiding fellow Realtors in their efforts to do the business the right way. Helping others led to me wanting to serve our association, Greater Chattanooga Realtors®. Some folks might think that we only serve Chattanooga, but our association represents all 2,700 Realtors in our area, which serves Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia.

This is a large area, but regardless of where Realtors provide services, Greater Chattanooga Realtors® strives to be present in our community. Our presence allows us to not only help existing homeowners maintain value in their largest investment, but to also be a voice for our local and state elected officials, and to serve those who are looking to move to our community.

As this year begins, I am encouraged by the direction that our Association is going. We have spent the last year strengthening relationships throughout our region. We have data sharing agreements with many of our neighboring real estate associations that enable our agents to see most properties available in our region. We continue to promote the importance of education by providing free courses to our members. Finally, we encourage our members to take an active interest in political causes through our Realtor Political Action Committee. We saw growth in both participating members as well as dollars donated in 2022.

I am very thankful to my friend Derek English, who was the 2022 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®. Derek and the Board of Directors have set an impressive precedent for me to follow, and thanks to his leadership we have some clear objectives to work towards during my term. Everything Derek did this past year has given our association a great foundation moving into the new year.

I’m so thankful for those who have helped me in this journey, especially my family. Lindsey, my wife, is a physical therapist who helps transform lives every day and our two daughters who work so hard in all their schooling, sports, and activities. Working in real estate often means long and unconventional hours, and I’m so thankful for their endless support.
And so begins my term as 2023 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®. Regardless of who is leading our association, all who are in my position know how important the role of a Realtor is. We serve as ambassadors for those looking to move to our community. Each day, Realtors work with those who have just arrived, and those who have spent their whole lives here, like me. Realtors, here and across the state, and our country, help their communities every day. That’s Who We R®.

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December 28, 2022

Thanks For a Great 2022, And Looking Towards 2023

As I write this, January 2023 is almost here, which means my term as President of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is coming to an end. While there are many proud moments from this past year, there are a few I want to spend some time reflecting on.

For myself and other Realtors, our community is something we all feel strongly about. I feel like it is a Realtor’s duty to give back to the community that gives so much to us. I was especially proud that Greater Chattanooga Realtors® continued our support of Snack Packs Food Ministry by making our annual $10,000 donation, and also providing more than $25,000 to a total donation of $35,623. This support was not just in the monetary donations, but also the volunteering of the many members over the school year to assist in preparing the bags. This accomplishment was not just the work of a few people, but from Realtors all over the greater Chattanooga area. Thanks to the efforts of these fine people, food insecure school children in Hamilton County will have better access to food. Greater Chattanooga Realtors® also played a part in offering five scholarships to incoming college freshman, contributed to the Wreaths Across America and worked with Habitat for Humanity throughout the year. These are a few of the high points and certainly proud accomplishments in 2022.

Advocacy is another area that I am passionate about, and in February I was excited to have a great group of Chattanooga Realtors participate in the Realtor® Day on the Hill, where Realtors from across the state visited with our elected officials at the state capital. In May, many of the same Greater Chattanooga Realtors® traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with our federal officials. Getting this one-on-one time with officials is how REALTORS® ensure the needs of property owners across the city, county, state, and nation remain top of mind. Our officials know that Realtors see the community from a unique perspective, and we appreciate the opportunity to work alongside them. Advocating for homeownership and private property rights will certainly remain a passion of mine and my fellow Realtors in the new year to come.

I was especially thrilled when our Placemaking Committee partnered with the Lookout Mountain Conservancy to help establish, clean and maintain a new trailhead in St Elmo. So many people make the Scenic City their home because of our beautiful outdoor amenities, and helping to preserve this natural beauty was certainly a highlight. I’m excited to see this partnership continue, and to forge other partnerships in the future.

So as I conclude my time as President, I would like to take a moment to thank my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ as I would be nothing without him. I thank all of my Board of Directors for working on the many items that we were able to accomplish. We brought new benefits and services to our members that made our association the flagship in the state on how real estate is conducted. I would like to thank my committee chairs and committee members for their hard work bringing productive and forward thinking ideas to the Directors. I would also be remiss to not mention my gratitude to the staff at the Greater Chattanooga Realtors for their hard work in all that they do. Our accomplishments would not be possible without their commitment to the members and services we use on a daily basis. I thank my wife, business partners, and the members and staff of our brokerage. This group of people offered me encouragement and were always there when I needed someone to take an appointment or cover for me when association meetings, events or travel had me indisposed.

My time as president might be all but over, but I am certainly handing the reigns to someone who is especially suited for this position. Steven Sharpe is a brilliant real estate practitioner who I have great confidence in and much respect for as my successor. Over the past few years we have become good friends and I know that he will help lead Greater Chattanooga Realtors® with his steady leadership in his term as president. I want to remind my fellow Realtors that they can RSVP to the 2023 Board of Directors Installation & Reception at

And so, I believe it’s fitting that as one last time as president, I urge consumers to utilize the expertise of a Realtor. Not just because we’re knowledgeable and the trusted source of knowledge for real estate, but because Realtors serve others in so many different ways everyday. Realtors work for the benefit of others. That’s Who We R®.

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December 21, 2022

Real Estate Statistics From 2022 To Help Look into The New Year

2022 is coming to a close, and for many that provides a great chance to reflect on the previous year. Looking backwards can be especially useful if we use that knowledge to help shape our expectations for the coming year.

Jodie Cordell, a licensed real estate agent in Florida, recently wrote in an article for The Close, Real Estate Stats Your Homebuyers Will Want to Know in 2023, and many of these statistics make me think back on this year and my previous years experience in real estate. I will be using Jodie’s stats as a jumping off point, as most of this information is relatable to our local market as well.

  • In today’s market, homebuyers searched an average of 10 weeks for a home. That’s an increase from eight weeks during 2020 and 2021, an indication that the market is cooling slightly, giving homebuyers a better shot at getting into a home they love.  This increased time frame for homebuyers in the Chattanooga area through the early and middle parts of the year was much shorter. However, in the last few months we have seen this timeframe increase due to rising interest rates and inventory shortages. Recently, the overall period from first introductions to the day an offer is being accepted is more in line with the 2020 and 2021 numbers in the greater Chattanooga market.
  • In 2022, homebuyers typically purchased their homes for 100% of the asking price, with 28% purchasing for more than the asking price. This statistic is relatable in the Chattanooga area as well with continued migration trends from homebuyers from other states and business growth. Inventory shortages throughout 2022 caused a competitive market in Chattanooga with strong homes sales at or above list price.
  • April is the most competitive month of the year for homebuyers. According to, there is a 29% surge of listings during April, and homes typically sell for higher during that month, as well. In the Chattanooga market we see a few periods during the year of surging homes coming onto the market, with early spring and late summer always competing for the hottest market for sellers to be ready to list their home with a Realtor.
  • The median home price in 2022 is $357,300. That’s a $46,700 increase from January 2021 to January 2022. We have seen a similar increase in the median home price in the greater Chattanooga area as well. The 2022 Market Report will be released early in January and I am interested to see how these numbers compare, so stay tuned.
  • Typical recent home purchases were 1,900 square feet with three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and built in 1993. I find this statistic very interesting and have begun the process of digging into our local data to compare what our average size and age of home was in 2022.
  • The median listing price grew by 13.0% over last year. But signs show that home price growth is moderating. This information is not surprising and in the greater Chattanooga area we have seen the median price increase as well. This increase is forecasted to continue, but with a softening or leveling compared to the spike we experienced in 2022.
  • Twenty-nine percent of first-time homebuyers cite “saving for a down payment” as the most challenging part of the home buying process. This is a challenge that we will continue to see increase with rising inflation and the cost of living increases. I know from real life conversations that young families are struggling with saving for their down payment.  Many have had to postpone being able to purchase their first home. Thankfully there are some great mortgage lenders offering programs to assist many of these buyers and I hope that 2023 brings even more assistance.

The year is coming to a close, but many of the topics and issues we’ve discussed are sure to remain in 2023. That’s why utilizing the expertise of a Realtor® in your real estate transactions is so crucial. The market may shift, but the ease of mind when working with a Realtor remains the same, year in and year out. That’s Who We R®.

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December 15, 2022

Obituary: Ron Oslin

Ron Oslin (T.R.E.E.S.) passed away on December 12, 2022. Visitation will be held at Chattanooga Funeral Home, East Chapel, on Saturday, December 17, 2022, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm, with the service immediately following. Burial will follow at Hamilton Memorial Gardens in Hixson, TN.

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December 14, 2022

November Local Housing Market Statistics

I’m pretty sure I speak for everyone when I say that I’m absolutely thrilled that we are all returning to a more normal type of holiday season. Meeting with friends and family is certainly something that none of us will take for granted again. Yes, after a sometimes harrowing period of time, most parts of our lives are going back to how they were. Interestingly, when it comes to real estate, I think we’re finding that the real estate market is doing the same. Far from the buying and selling frenzy of the past two and a half years, the housing market is returning to its normal pace. Usually the holidays usher in a few weeks of a slower real estate market, and then the pace usually picks up with the warming temperatures in the spring. 

Housing affordability continues to be a major roadblock for market participants, with mortgage rates more than double compared to this time last year. Buyers are delaying home purchases in hopes rates will drop, while many sellers are holding off on listing their homes due to weakening buyer demand, unwilling to trade in their current lower rates for significantly higher borrowing costs on their next property. As a result, existing-home and pending home sales have continued to slow as we move into winter. This is resulting in a higher housing inventory.

Although buyers have more options to choose from, home prices remain high, and soaring borrowing costs have caused monthly payments to increase significantly, with the average homebuyer paying 77% more on their loan per month compared to the same period a year ago, according to

There was some recent news that might impact our area in 2023. In a recent article from, Chattanooga was ranked #9 in the top 10 hottest forecasted housing markets in 2023. Our ranking is based on the combined yearly percentage growth in both home sales and prices expected in 2023 among the top 100 largest markets in the country per’s metro level housing forecast. With the latest and continued decrease in mortgage rates, our area is poised to have a stronger 2023 than most nationally.

Locally, for November  New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 13.2% to 863. Pending Sales were down 27.8% to 688. Inventory levels grew 61.3% to 2,006 units and prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 5.4% to $295,000. Days on Market was up 63.2% to 31 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 90.9% to 2.1 months.

Regardless of what’s happening around the corner, or around the country, your best bet is utilizing the services of a Realtor®. Realtors work with their clients every day to help ensure that they get the most from their most valuable investment. That’s Who We R®.

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December 7, 2022

Greater Chattanooga Area ranked No. 9 on the® 2023 Forecast of Top Housing Markets

Greater Chattanooga Area ranked No. 9 on the® 2023 Forecast of Top Housing Markets 

Greater Chattanooga Area takes spot in annual ranking of areas poised for highest home price appreciation and sales growth

CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Dec. 7, 2022) – The greater Chattanooga area has been ranked No. 9 on the® 2023 Top housing markets forecast. Market areas on the list were selected because they are not only poised to see the strongest combined growth in home sales and listing prices in the coming year, but up to this point they have seen lower price increases and a relatively smaller affordability crunch than other markets across the U.S. 

Mainly concentrated in mid-size markets east of the Mississippi, with local industries tied to manufacturing, education, healthcare and government, this year's top 10, in rank order, are:

Hartford-West Hartford, Conn., 
El Paso, Texas, 
Louisville, Ky., 
Worcester, Mass., 
Buffalo-Cheektowaga N.Y., 
Augusta-Richmond County, Ga., 
Grand Rapids-Wyoming, Mich., 
Columbia, S.C., 
Chattanooga, Tenn., and 
Toledo, Ohio. 

See®’s 2023 Top housing markets forecast for the full ranking of the 100 largest U.S. markets.

Home sales across the top 10 markets are forecasted to grow by 5.2% year-over-year in 2022, whereas the national homes sale projection is for declining sales (-14.1%). Additionally, average home prices in the top 10 are expected to increase 7.3% – compared to 5.4% for the U.S. as a whole.

Projections for Chattanooga, Tenn.-Ga.

November 2022 median home price: $397,000

Forecasted 2023 home sales change: +2.9%

Forecasted 2023 home price change: +8.2%

Forecasted 2023 combined sales and price change: +11.1%

“The secret is out about the greater Chattanooga area, and with our relatively low cost of living, our ground-breaking internet speeds, and abundance of outdoor activities, our scenic city is positioned to be home to the many newcomers moving to our area,” said Derek English, 2022 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®.

“Realtors in our area will certainly be ready to provide the expert housing advice of all who move to the Scenic City,” said English.

At a time when housing costs are a concern for many, areas like the greater Chattanooga area offer relative affordability, having experienced less of a price surge than other extremely hot, pandemic-era markets. They also have a greater share of homeowners who own their homes outright, without a mortgage, giving more residents equity to build on. In the top 10 markets, about 23% of housing inventory is affordable at the median income level, compared to just 17% of affordable homes nationally. Better affordability offers some insulation from the impact of rising mortgage rates. 

“As many households keep a close watch on their spending, we expect these top housing markets to be in relatively high demand,” says® Chief Economist Danielle Hale. “We’ve seen lower price increases, more general affordability and more use of government-backed mortgage products for veterans, first-time and minority buyers in these top markets, providing opportunities for all home buyers to stretch their homebuying dollars. Many of these areas flew under the radar in the pandemic frenzy, and are now well-positioned to bubble up with solid job prospects without the big-city price tag.” 

Top Markets Sidestepped Steep Prices of 2022

According to®’s analysis, this year’s top 10 housing markets didn’t get as caught up in the wild buying frenzy – and price increases – of 2022 as other areas. Sale prices in the 12 months ending August 2022 increased by 10.5% on a year-over-year basis, compared to a growth rate of 12.6% for all 100 largest metros. The top markets have also seen less of a dip in sales in recent months, with sales declining by 9.1% year-over-year, compared to an average decline of 12.3% for all 100 metro areas. 

“Made in America” Mid-Sized Metros Poised to Bubble Up 

Representing a shift from remote-work and tech-industry influenced home buying, this year’s top markets have a renewed focus on domestic industry and trade. The pandemic exposed an achilles heel of the far-flung supply chains that had become the norm, namely, that logistics can be disrupted by a wide array of events. This has renewed corporate, government, and consumer focus in these markets where “Made in America” happens. On average, these mid-sized metros employ a higher proportion of workers in manufacturing, government, education and healthcare jobs relative to the 100 largest US metros, while jobs in tech, professional services, information technology and leisure/hospitality are less common in these areas. Having largely avoided the pandemic housing boom that we saw in other markets, home buyers in the top markets can find solid job prospects and affordable housing options. 

Buyers Take Advantage of Government-Backed Loans 

Home sales in the top 10 metros also tend to leverage more government-backed mortgage products such as VA loans and FHA loans. Between Jan.-Aug. 2022, the share of mortgaged-sales with a VA loan was 9.4% in the top 10 markets vs. 7.5% among all the 100 markets reviewed. These types of loans help buyers safely enter the market with lower down payments and often slightly lower mortgage rates.®’s Methodology®’s model-based forecast uses data on the housing market and overall economy to estimate 2023 values for these variables for the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas by population size. These markets are then ranked by combined forecasted growth in home prices and sales. In cases of a tie, forecasted year-over-year sales growth was used as a tiebreaker.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is the voice for real estate in Greater Chattanooga. A regional organization with more than 2,700 members, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® serve Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The Association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations/board of REALTORS® nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 3,000 MLS users. Local Association membership is comprised of REALTORS® servicing the Greater Chattanooga area and specializing in a variety of disciplines – appraisal, commercial, industrial, land, multi-family, property management and residential. Working alongside REALTORS® are our Affiliate members, who represents related industries in sympathy with the objectives of the Association. Our Affiliate members include mortgage lenders, home inspectors, title and closing services, pest inspection and control and insurance.

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December 7, 2022

4 Must-Do’s For Homeowners in December

December tends to be when most of us are scrambling to ensure everything is in place for the coming holidays. But taking extra time to ensure that you (and you’re home) are prepared can go a long way.

In a recent article on, by the National Association of Realtors®, Stacey Freed provided a great checklist to help make sure that you’re prepared for (almost) everything this holiday season might bring, along with some tips on saving money for next year:

Clean Light Bulbs and Fixtures. Two great reasons to clean your light bulbs: You want as much light in your house as you can get as the days grow shorter, and you’ll save money. Dirty bulbs apparently shed 30% less light than clean ones, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Wipe bulbs with a cloth dampened by a mix of one ounce of dish soap, one-fourth cup of white vinegar, and three cups of water. Get to this task in early December, so you’re ready for the curtain fall on the shortest day of this year – December 21.

Evaluate Homeowner’s Insurance. The holidays. You love them, but they do seem to eat up more cash than other times of the year. Sure, you can scrounge around for change under your couch cushions, but that’s not going to offset much. So why not get a home insurance checkup? Call your agent to go over the type of coverage you have, how much you really need, and how you can lower your premiums before your next monthly installment.

Pack a Home Emergency Kit. The last thing you want during the holidays is for an emergency to chill your family’s cheer. Prepare for power outages and weather-related emergencies with an easy-to-find emergency kit. Some items to include are bottled water, a hand-crank radio, a flashlight, batteries, a portable charger for your phone, warm blankets and, of course, a first-aid kit to patch up any nick or scrapes. Singing carols ’round the flashlight may not be ideal, but it’ll beat trying to celebrate in the dark.

Buy Holiday Lights (After Dec. 25). It’s tough to think about next Christmas when you’re still stuffed from a holiday dinner with all the trimmings. But think you must if you want to save on next year’s holiday. From December 26 through year’s end, big-box stores try to clear the shelves of all that glitters.

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, remember that Realtors are glad to help our clients and community get the most enjoyment out of their property investment.  That’s Who We R®.

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November 30, 2022

Realtors Give Back - In Our Community & Across the Country

It’s hard to believe, but the holidays are officially upon us, whether we’re ready for them. As 2022 President of Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, I’m proud of the many ways our Realtors and Association have given back to our area.

In 2022, Greater Chattanooga Realtors® continued our financial commitment to the Snack Pack Food Ministry, one of Greater Chattanooga Realtors® community partners. With a $10,000 annual donation, and a very successful (and fun) trivia night, Realtors helped raise more than $35,600 for this worthy cause. The Snack Pack Food Ministry helps feed nearly 2,500 food-insecure children in 22 Hamilton County every weekend while school is in session. This organization adds so much value to the quality of life by helping those in need in our community

We are also delighted that planning has already begun with our other community partner, Habitat For Humanity of Greater Chattanooga Area, for Tee Up and Wine Down in 2023. We will be sure to announce details as they are confirmed. Another highlight was our Association donating $10,000 towards Wreaths Across Chattanooga. This organization aims to place a wreath on each veteran’s grave who served our nation, and Realtors are honored to help with this project. Greater Chattanooga Realtors® also made a $10,000 donation to the REALTOR® Relief Fund, which helped many in our community after tornadoes struck northern Tennessee in December of 2020.

One of the newest additions to the Greater Chattanooga Realtors is the Placemaking Committee. In its second year Greater Chattanooga Realtors Placemaking Projects transform underutilized and blighted spaces into safer, vibrant, and active public places for Chattanooga and Hamilton County. We seek projects that are functional, safe, and attractive to the local community. This is an opportunity to redesign spaces for the community and enhance its beauty. Applications are requested and reviewed for funds to be awarded from Greater Chattanooga Realtors as well as an NAR grant to the one local organization. Our local Realtors also pitch in on volunteer days to assist in completing the chosen project. This year we have assisted the Lookout Mountian Conservancy on the St Elmo Trail Conservation project and connector to the Guild-Hardy Trail.

As much as our Association is doing for others locally, I find it remarkable that this charitable giving has increased in the Realtor community nationwide. In fact, a recent study from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) shows a measurable increase in giving and volunteering by Realtors. Two out of three Realtors – 66% – volunteered monthly, spending an average of eight hours volunteering each month – both figures have remained steady since 2018. 79% made charitable donations last year.

This report, the Community Aid and Real Estate Report, or CARE Report, offers insight into the monetary and volunteer contributions of NAR members, broker-owners and association executives or multiple listing service staff. This year’s CARE Report found that the median donation by Realtor® associations was $12,070 last year, compared to $10,000 in 2020 and $5,000 in 2018.

2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith describes Realtor involvement in charitable efforts. “Realtors are deeply involved in their communities and this report shines a light on the great volunteer efforts by NAR members. It is inspiring to see Realtor associations across the country continue to boost local charitable efforts, and I’m proud to be part of such a compassionate and caring group.”

So while Realtors focus on the real estate needs of their own communities, it’s clear that Realtors are making a difference across the nation, and Greater Chattanooga Realtors is proud to be part of this effort to serve our neighbors. Realtors love and work where they live. That’s Who We R®

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November 28, 2022

Obituary: C.G. Griffith, Jr.

Former REALTOR® C.G. Griffith, Jr. (Crye-Leike) passed away on November 22. Services were held on November 27.

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November 17, 2022


Congratulations to:

     2023 President-Elect Kadi Brown

     2023 Secretary-Treasurer Bev Boss

     2023-24 Directors Connie Brewer, Jill Christy, Holly Harwell, and James Streeter

These newly-elected REALTORS® will serve alongside:

     2023 President Steven Sharpe

     2023 MLS Chair Jeff Nixon

     2023 Immediate Past President Derek English

     2022-23 Directors Brian Erwin, Robert Fisher, Ryan May, Rolanda Pullen, and Mike Purcell.

We invite all members to celebrate with these newly-elected Officers & Directors on January 19.

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November 16, 2022

October 2022 Local Housing Market Statistics

It’s no secret that the real estate market is experiencing a much-needed and expected correcting shift. While this “shift” needed to occur to help maintain a healthy real estate market, I believe it’s important to look at some national housing data to see where we are in the big picture. For instance, existing home sales declined nationwide for the eighth consecutive month, falling 1.5% as of last measure, according to the National Association of REALTORS® , with sales down nearly 24% from the same period in 2022. Pending home sales also declined, dropping 10.9% month-to-month, exceeding economists’ expectations. Stubbornly high inflation and soaring borrowing costs have eroded buyer purchasing power and have caused the market to cool rapidly this year.

But there might be some good news concerning inflation. A recent report showing that the rate of inflation declined in October is good news for the real estate industry and possibly a bellwether of declining mortgage rates in coming months. Experts will be keeping a close eye on these rates in the following weeks.

While inflation shows some hopeful signs of stabilizing, affordability continues to be an obstacle for buyers and sellers. Mortgage rates have doubled since March, and home prices remain elevated due to a limited supply of homes, although price gains are beginning to slow down. As a result, many homeowners are waiting until market conditions improve to sell, while other sellers are increasingly cutting prices and offering concessions to attract a greater number of buyers.

So how does this national housing data fit in with us locally? In October, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 9.0% to 1,058. Pending Sales were down 30.9% to 808. Inventory levels grew 55.0% to 2,049 units.

Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 10.9% to $305,000. Days on Market was up 47.1% to 25 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 75.0% to 2.1 months. These numbers are refreshing and in fact just show signs of normalcy and stability coming back after the wild ride and frantic growth to our local markets over the past two years.

I had conversations last week with a number of industry professionals while attending the National Association of Realtors NXT conference and will be providing a more detailed account of our time there in next week's article. In short and to not say too much too soon, the common theme in our industry is to get to work and to set our projections to where we were in 2020. The market was good then and the market is good now. The past two years have created an unrealistic expectation to the reality of what we are seeing in today’s market and the buzz in the news is just that, only a buzz. News outlets are continuing to talk of the up and the downs because the real estate market has become as popular to comment on and is monitored by consumers almost as much as the sports and the weather.

The housing market continues to shift every day, which is why it is so crucial to utilize the expertise of a Realtor®. Whether you’re buying or selling, or moving locally or across the country, Realtors have the knowledge and tools needed to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. That’s Who We R®.

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November 9, 2022

Realtors Meet To Discuss Important Industry Issues

Last week I wrote about how real estate is generally thought of as local. In fact, when most people think of real estate three words come to mind; location, location, and location. Realtors, for the most part, help property owners in the same communities they live and work in.

As I prepare to join other Realtors® from all over the country for NAR NXT, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Fall Conference in Orlando, Florida, I’m reminded of how important it is to have a network of fellow professionals. NAR is the country’s largest trade association, and an estimated 12,000 Realtors® and industry stakeholders from all 50 states, several U.S. territories and 60 countries will join. And while it’s great to catch up with fellow colleagues, it’s certainly not all fun in the sun. Participants can choose from more than 100 education sessions and interact with almost 400 exhibitors at the real estate industry's largest trade show.

2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith has a great summary of our fall convention. "Realtors are ready and set to grow at the industry's preeminent gathering for real estate professionals. Realtors and real estate professionals worldwide will join one another to learn, share best practices, network, give back to the Orlando community, and focus on what's new and coming soon to our ever-changing industry."

NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun, who has presented to our association numerous times, will share his latest outlook for the residential housing market on November 11, and present his commercial real estate and economic forecast on November 12. Dr. Yun’s expertise will certainly be met with excitement.

From the world of politics, Karl Rove, political strategist and former deputy chief of staff for President George W. Bush, and April Ryan, CNN political analyst and TheGrio White House correspondent, will discuss the impact of the 2022 elections and provide their 2023 outlook during the Federal Legislative and Political Forum on November 12.

The wide range of speakers at NAR NXT truly allows for Realtors to learn from the best in their respective fields. Jay Shetty, bestselling author of "Think Like a Monk" and media game-changer – with more than 50 million social media followers – will address attendees on November 12.

For sports fans like me, there’s an especially interesting speaker. Venus Williams – legendary tennis champion, seven-time Grand Slam winner, entrepreneur and philanthropist – will join 2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith for a fireside chat on November 13. These sessions have been the highlight of many meetings in the past.

NAR NXT will also include forums about regulatory issues, emerging technology, and real property valuation. And finally, the association's Board of Directors will meet and deliberate issues that impact NAR members' daily business on November 14.

After 2020, I can almost certainly guarantee that none of us attending are taking for the granted the absolute joy of meeting together in the same place. In the coming weeks, I look forward to updating folks on the changing landscape of the real estate market/industry.

Realtors across the country (and world) work in their communities everyday to meet the property needs of those around them. That’s Who We R®.

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November 3, 2022


The Nominating Committee presents the following Candidates for the 2023-24 Board of Directors:

2023 President-Elect (Choose 1): Kadi Brown

2023 Secretary-Treasurer (Choose 1): Bev Boss OR Ellis Gardner

2023-24 Directors (Choose 4): Connie Brewer, Jill Christy, Rich Downing, Holly Harwell, Matt McDonald, Karen Parris, James Streeter

Those elected will serve alongside the 2023 Officers & Directors: President Steven Sharpe, MLS Chair Jeff Nixon, Immediate Past President Derek English, and Directors Brian Erwin, Robert Fisher, Ryan May, Rolanda Pullen, Mike Purcell.

Online voting begins Thursday, November 10, when each REALTOR® member eligible to vote will receive an email from containing the secure voting credentials unique to the email recipient. Voting will remain open until 5 pm on Wednesday, November 16. Election results will be announced on November 17.

2023 President-Elect

KADI BROWN, RCC/CNHS (The Group Real Estate Brokerage)

After serving a 2 year term on the board of directors I believe I have found my footing and I have a better understanding of the board’s importance within our local Association. I want to continue representing a voice for our Association and REALTOR® body. I want to contribute to our organization’s forever-evolving needs and to be the best steward to our local members and community. I feel confident I can bring a level of observation and, from my real estate and personal experience, an open mind to consider all options and thoughts before interjecting my opinion. And of course I always strive to have a little fun along the way.

LOCAL: Board of Directors (2021-2022); Governmental Affairs Committee (2017); Placemaking Task Force Chair (2020)

CHAPTERS & COUNCILS: WCR Member (2015-17); 2016 Co-Chair of WCR’s Bras for the Cause

COMMUNITY: NNH Board Member (2015-18) and Co-Chair Not So Silent Auction (2015-16, 2020); Baylor School Alumni Board (2019-20); Unfoundation (2016-17); Wine Over Water (2017-18)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Co-founder/Co-owner of The Group Real Estate Brokerage, a small boutique real estate company that focuses on quality versus quantity and has ranked in the top 10 of local real estate brokerages.

2023 Secretary-Treasurer


I genuinely enjoy being able to grow REALTOR® membership engagement and feel that there is more I can do to add value to the Association and mentor and encourage others to be involved. I would love to continue serving as Treasurer for a second term.

LOCAL: Board of Directors (2019-21, 2022 Treasurer); Budget & Finance Committee (2021, 2022 Chair); Community Education & Scholarship Committee (2021 Director Liaison), Community Involvement Committee (2016-20, 2018 Co-Chair); Diversity Inclusion Committee (2017-2020, 2020 Director Liaison); Governmental Affairs Committee (2021-2022); Leadership Academy Graduate (2017); Leadership Development Committee (2018-2020, 2022); Placemaking Committee (2021-2022), Professional Development Committee (2018-2020); RPAC Committee (2022)

STATE & NATIONAL: Tennessee REALTORS® Board of Directors (2021-2022; Tennessee REALTORS® YPN Forum

CHAPTERS & COUNCILS: Home Builders of Greater Chattanooga (2018-20); WCR Attendee

COMMUNITY: Habitat for Humanity (2016-22); Junior League (2018-22); Teacher Support (2005-22)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2008-09 Teacher of the Year; Agent of the Month; Multi-Million Dollar Producer

ELLIS GARDNER, ABR, AHWD, CRS, GRI, SRES, SRS, C2EX, e-PRO  (Keller Williams Realty)

My contribution to Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® in a word: Governance. As I progressed from local rep to state and national officer for CRS/Residential Real Estate Council, I learned and gained specific skills about motivating volunteers along a shared path. Likewise, as a leader in the national and state Young Professionals Networks, I enjoy mentoring the next generation of REALTOR® leaders just as my mentors guided me. Additionally, my NAR national exposure has forged lasting friendships with REALTORS®across the nation, and I can bring their experience/ perspectives back to Greater Chattanooga Realtors.

LOCAL: Budget & Finance Committee (2022); Community Partnerships Committee (2018-2022); Diversity Inclusion Committee (2008-2022); Education/Professional Development Committee (2019-2022); Grievance Committee (2009); Leadership Academy Graduate (2004); Member Services Committee (2006-7, 2007 Chair);

STATE/NATIONAL: Tennessee REALTORS® YPN Forum (2021, 2022 Chair); National Association of REALTORS® Federal Financing & Housing Policy Committee (2019-2020)

CHAPTERS & COUNCILS: 2018-19 CRS/RRC Regional VP (Region 9); 2020 CRS/RRC Regional VP (Region 4); 2017 CRS/RRC TN President; 2015-16 CRS/RRC TN Finance Chair; 2011-20 CRS/RRC TN Chattanooga Representative

COMMUNITY: Chattanooga Connected Diversity Committee (2014-20); The Ed Johnson Memorial Project Committee (2016-20); Mountain Art & Community Center Board (2018 – present)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2007 Crye-Leike Circle of Excellence; 2015 CRS of the Year for Tennessee; 2008-2018 RE/MAX Executive Club

Certifications: Digital Marketing, Inside Sales, Luxury Home, Residential Listing, RE Investing, Smart Home,

2023-2024 Directors

CONNIE BREWER, AHWD, GRI, MRP, PSA, C2EX (Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty)

As a REALTOR®, I want to continue to increase my involvement in our industry and community. The opportunity to serve on our board would give me a broader knowledge of our Association, expand my leadership skills, and allow me to represent our colleagues.

LOCAL: Grievance Committee (2020, 2021 Chair); Education/Professional Development Committee (2019-2020); Leadership Academy Graduate (2020); Leadership Development Committee (2022); RPAC Committee (2019-2021); RPAC Major Investor (2020-2022); RPAC Trustee (2022)

STATE: Tennessee REALTORS® Grievance Committee (2022); Women’s Council of REALTORS® (2015-present, 2021-2022 Liaison, 2021 Nominating Committee, 2015-2021 Social Media Committee)

CHAPTERS & COUNCILS: Women’s Council of REALTORS® (2015-present, past Membership Director, Project Teams, 2019 President-Elect, 2020-2021 President); CRS/RRC (2020-present); Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga

COMMUNITY: Hydrocephalus Walk Chattanooga; Life Group Leader (2020); Sleep in Heavenly Peace (2020-present); TN Dachshund Animal Rescue (2019-present); Make-A-Wish Foundation, Santas for Seniors

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: 2002 Presidential Award with major insurance company; 2019 Presidential Award Women’s Council of REALTORS® (Tennessee)

JILL CHRISTY, RENE, SRS, C2EX (Keller Williams)

I desire to develop further cohesiveness and community between the Association and its members. I plan to build engagement at the Association with its members by establishing both interpersonal rapport and secular value - for more than CE classes. The goal is to raise the standard of competency and professionalism among REALTORS®. It's important to me to engender confidence with the Chattanooga community in our roles as REALTORS® within local and state issues.

LOCAL: Budget & Finance Committee (2021); Community Involvement Committee (2016-2018); Diversity Inclusion Committee (2016-2018); Elev8 Tech Conference Committee (2022); Governmental Affairs Committee (2016-2018, 2019 Chair); Leadership Academy Graduate (2021); Placemaking Committee (2022); RPAC Committee (2018-2022): RPAC Major Investor; RPAC Trustee (2022)

STATE & NATIONAL: Tennessee REALTORS® Spring Conference & Hill Visits (2018-2019); Tennessee REALTORS® Fall Convention ( 2018-2019); NAR Legislative Meetings & Hill Visits (2019)

CHAPTERS & COUNCILS: Certified Residential Specialist, Women's Council of REALTORS®

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Clifton Hills Elementary (2013-2020): Home Builders Association of Greater Chattanooga; Medal of Honor Donor & Committee (2020-present); SnackPacks Donor & Volunteer (2017-present): Warm Coats for Kids (2017-present)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Top 20% at Keller Williams East (2018-present); Top 25 Individual Agents (2020-2022); KW Leadership Council (2019-2023); 

RICHARD DOWNING (TN Valley Homes and Land)

We will again go through serious challenges over the next 2-3 years where our industry will have to change, or good people and offices will fall by the wayside. In my many years of leadership, I have found that some people can build a vision and see their way toward the vision. Unfortunately, many people can’t see beyond today’s problems and need to be able to turn to someone who has climbed out of the hole before. From my military and business experiences, I offer that leadership, direction, and experience.

LOCAL: Obtained Principal Brokers License (2008)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Dayton City Chamber of Commerce (2021-2022); United Way (1997-1998)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: United States Navy (1969-1975); Computer Industry (1978-2008), including VP ACER Computer, Senior VP for Seagate Tech managing $8,800,000,000 revenue, President of MCIS, and President & CEO of Financial Institute Technology; Current owner of DSD Insurance, Founder/owner TN Valley Homes and Land, and DSD Developers

HOLLY HARWELL (Real Estate Partners)

As a REALTOR® for 20 years now, I feel I have the experience that would greatly help our board. I have spent most of my adult life giving back to my community by being involved in many organizations and now have the time to give back to our Association. As Chattanooga continues to grow, it brings some housing challenges. Thus, we need experienced leaders who know the community and the real estate industry. I am excited about the opportunity to help.

COMMUNITY SERVICE: American Heart Association Board of Directors (1990s); Friends of the Festival Board of Directors (2001-2013, 2012-2013 President); Hosanna Community Board (2002-2006, 2005-2006 President); Arts & Education Council Board (2006-2010); North Chattanooga Chamber Board of Directors (2008-2012, 2012-2013 Chair); Memorial Hospital Foundation Board (2009-2015, 2013-2014 Chair); Girls Preparatory School Board of Directors (2013-2021, 2017-2019 Chair)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Leadership Chattanooga (1999); Women of Distinction (2013); Girls Preparatory School Margaret Rowlings Lupton Award of Excellence (2014) 

MATT MCDONALD (The Group Real Estate Brokerage)

I have been prepared for effective leadership on a Board of Directors by the Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® Leadership Academy and by my position on the Historic Zoning Commission. I have had a wonderful career as a REALTOR® and want to give back to help lead.

LOCAL: Leadership Academy Graduate (2017)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Chattanooga Historic Zoning Commission (2018-2023)

KAREN PARRIS, AHWD, SHC, GREEN, C2EX (Coldwell Banker Pryor Realty)

I want to increase my overall scope and knowledge of the decisions made at the board level. The experience I have gained serving on other committees and 14 years as a REALTOR® has prepared me to serve as a Director alongside the other board members to accomplish our goals in the coming years.

LOCAL: Grievance Committee (2017-2019; Diversity Inclusion Committee (2021-2022); MLS Committee (2021-2022); Placemaking Committee (2021-2022); Professional Standards Committee (2020-2021)

STATE & NATIONAL: Professional Standards Committee (2020-2022)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: Participated with the Placemaking Committee to clear trailheads for Lookout Mountain Conservancy (2022); Ronald McDonald House Volunteer (2018-2020)

BUSINESS ACCOMPLISHMENTS: Certified Relocation Specialist (2010-present); Rising Star Award (2009); Multi-Million Dollar Producer (2013-present); International Sterling Society (2015)

JAMES STREETER (Keller Williams)

Through the Community Partnerships Committee, I have had the privilege of being directly involved with the 2021 Tee Up & Wine Down and the 2022 Trivia Night. I believe these events are important to the success of the charities they benefit and are good for the community we serve. Additionally, I believe the leadership academy is valuable to those who are interested in becoming involved with the Association and bridging the gap between the Association and the membership it serves. At this point, these are the areas I have had the most involvement and interaction. I have truly enjoyed this time and feel it has been well spent. I have learned a great deal and wish to have an opportunity to learn, grow and give back even more. I come with a servant’s heart and a willingness to contribute in any way that is helpful and beneficial. I consider myself to collaborate and work well with others while being thought-provoking and considerate of any possible outcomes.

LOCAL: Community Partnership Committee (2020-2022); Education/Professional Development Committee (2019-2020); Leadership Academy Graduate (2019); Leadership Development Committee (2020-2022)

COMMUNITY SERVICE: East Ridge Masonic Lodge (2010-present; Helf all appointed and elected positions); Chattanooga Scottish Rite (2011-present); Alhambra Shrine/Shriner’s Children’s Hospitals (2011-present); Ronald McDonald House; Snack Pack Ministries (2020-present)


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November 2, 2022

Want To Make An Impact? Look At The Big Picture

As Realtors®, we tend to think locally. So whether we’re urging the public to get involved in the election process or even recommending a new restaurant to clients, Realtors think about our own communities because that’s where we live and work. But sometimes we need to zoom out to get a bigger picture, and when I take a step back, I’m very encouraged with what our National Association of Realtors® (NAR) is doing on a grand scale.

You might not know it, but the National Association of Realtors® is America’s largest trade association, representing more than 1.5 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries. That’s a lot of Realtors, and with this many people, we can make a real impact across the country.

One example is a partnership just announced between NAR and the National Forest Foundation, which will result in 1.575 million trees being planted across the United States. The initiative, which will plant at least one tree for each Realtor® by the end of 2025, was spearheaded by NAR’s 2022 President Leslie Rouda Smith.

What led Realtors to be involved in such an effort? President Smith explains. “As part of our association’s comprehensive sustainability and resilience plan, NAR is leading by example, like we always do,” said Smith, who is a Realtor from Plano, Texas. “We’re helping to foster more vibrant communities by increasing the number of trees around us, delivering cleaner air, enhancing stormwater mitigation and encouraging biodiversity in ecosystems. We are thrilled to partner with the National Forest Foundation as part of our ongoing efforts to support the millions of consumers and communities that we, as Realtors, serve every day.”

Sure, all these trees will help beautify areas across the country, but what’s the environmental impact? According to EPA calculations, planting 1.575 million trees reduces 750,000 metric tons of carbon in the atmosphere. This is equivalent to 145,931 homes’ electricity use for one year or the annual operation of over 160,000 gas-powered passenger vehicles.

As to where these 1.575 million trees will be planted, the decision will be made based on repopulation needs in areas affected by events like wildfires, drought or deforestation. NFF only plants native, ecologically appropriate trees and targets support to areas that need the most help.

“We are excited to partner with NAR to expand our tree planting efforts,” said Mary Mitsos, President and CEO at the National Forest Foundation. “The future of our national forests depends on partnerships like this one to sustain natural ecosystems, foster resilient forests and promote healthy communities. Each contributing dollar means one more tree planted to help to mitigate wildfires, offset carbon footprint, combat climate change and maintain 193 million acres of National Forests. We’re grateful to NAR for engaging with us on this critical initiative and look forward to what we can accomplish by 2025.”

For me, looking at the big picture also causes a very interesting reaction; it causes me to examine my own area even closer. In fact, our association recently applied for a sustainability grant from NAR and aim in February 2023 to host a sustainability summit to highlight local organizations that have such programs. If the grant is approved, we will announce more details about a mini tradeshow and speakers featuring ways we each can take to protect natural community assets.

Seeing the big picture makes me work even harder for my community everyday to make it better, and this mindset is shared by more than 1.5 Realtors across our nation. Realtors live and serve their communities everyday. That’s Who We R®.

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October 27, 2022

Obituary: William “Bill” Keith Sewell

William “Bill” Keith Sewell (Century 21 Prestige) passed away on October 25, 2022. The family will have a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society benefit on Bill’s behalf on February 4th, 2023, with more details to follow.

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October 27, 2022

State Constitutional Amendments: Each Election is More Than Just a Vote for Candidates

For the past ten months I have written about real estate trends and local market reports. I have been encouraged and thanked by many who have shared how much they have enjoyed the content each week. This week I decided I would venture into the topic of our upcoming election. If you are a Tennessee voter like me, you may have just recently heard about a few unexpected topics that voters will be deciding on November 8 and because nothing is more important than being an informed voter, I wanted to draw your attention to these topics.

State and Federal Elections will take place on Tuesday, November 8, with Early Voting currently underway until Thursday, November 3. Tennessee voters can keep up to date with the most accurate polling locations and hours information on Candidates are making their last push with events and mailers over the next week or so, but there is more on the ballot than candidates that you should be aware of.

There are four proposed Tennessee State Constitutional Amendments that voters will have the opportunity to vote up or down. Amending the State Constitution is a big deal and should not be taken lightly. The most important part of any Amendment is to understand its implications. If you don’t understand it, please get informed. If you don’t have time to get informed, then you should simply not vote for the Amendment – skip over it. If there is one thing we should approach carefully and cautiously it is making any changes to constitutional or historical doctrine. We should also ask ourselves what are we trying to correct and what are the unforeseen ramifications for the future. Herein are the four Tennessee Constitutional Amendments that I found via an online source, Ballotpedia. There are many others and I encourage you to seek as many as you need until you feel you fully understand the proposed changes.

1. Constitutional Amendment 1 – For 75 years “The Right to Work” has been law in our State Constitution. This amendment would add a new section to article XI of the Tennessee Constitution to make it illegal for any person, corporation, association, or the State of Tennessee or its political subdivisions to deny or attempt to deny employment to any person because of the person’s membership in, affiliation with, resignation from, or refusal to join or affiliate with any labor union or employee organization

Not to be confused with the Employment-at-Will Act which outlines that Employers may legally terminate an employee at any time for any reason, or for no reason without incurring legal liability.  However, an employer may not discriminate against any employee on the basis of the employee's race, sex, age, religion, color, national origin, or disability. Likewise, an employee is free to leave a job at any time for any or no reason with no adverse legal consequences. There are a few exceptions, but they mostly have to do with penalties related to service in jury duty, the military, or workman’s compensation claims.

2. Constitutional Amendment 2 would provide for an acting governor when the elected governor is unable to fulfill the duties of the office. The speaker of the Senate, who also serves as the Lieutenant Governor of Tennessee, would serve as acting governor. The acting governor would perform the duties of the office until the governor provides a written, signed declaration saying they can perform the office's powers and duties again. The ballot measure would also allow a majority of the commissioners of administrative departments of the Executive Department to submit a written, signed declaration stating that the governor is unable to perform their powers and duties, thereby allowing for an acting governor until the governor provides a written, signed declaration saying they can perform the office's powers and duties.

Article III – Section 12 of the current State Constitution outlines the succession plan already in place if the Governor dies but does not currently provide a process for the governor to be temporarily relieved of his power and duties.

3. Constitutional Amendment 3 would remove language from the Tennessee Constitution that allows the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as criminal punishments. The ballot measure would replace the language with the statement, "Slavery and involuntary servitude are forever prohibited." The ballot measure would also state that the language does not prohibit an inmate from being forced to work when the inmate has been duly convicted of a crime.

Tennessee’s Constitution has expressly prohibited slavery since it was first adopted 1870, so the amending of historical language is more about its removal than a change of current practices.

4. Constitutional Amendment 4 would repeal Section 1 of Article IX of the Tennessee Constitution, which says that religious ministers are disqualified from being elected to the state General Assembly. In 1978, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that forbidding religious ministers from public office was unconstitutional. Due to the McDaniel v. Paty, the constitutional language is not enforced.

This change is an opportunity for an Amendment to “clean up” language that is unenforceable.

As I stated earlier, change is being proposed to us daily. What we must do is to become empowered and informed to ensure that any proposed change(s) does not open or cause future proposals to erode our values and liberty as citizens. I hope this snapshot into the four proposed Amendments to our Tennessee State Constitution benefits you as you prepare to cast your vote.

As Realtors®, we are bound by our Code of Ethics to serve the housing needs of those around us, and our local elections are crucial to ensure that our communities are strong and vibrant. All throughout the year, be assured that  Realtors will help not only in the homebuying process, but remain active participants in making where we live a better place. That’s Who We R®.

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October 19, 2022

Obituary: Velma “Carolyn” Beam

Velma "Carolyn" Beam, mother and mother-in-law to Brenda and Mike Purcell (RE/MAX Renaissance) passed away on October 12. Visitation will be on Thursday, October 20, from 6-8 pm at Chattanooga Funeral Home North Chapel. A graveside service will be on Friday, October 21, at 12:30 pm at the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

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October 19, 2022

Looking For A Way to Make Your Listing Stand Out? Look Down

Housing statistics all over the country show that the nation’s real estate market is cooling from being red hot over the past few years. Even before the pandemic, housing inventory was a significant issue. Now that the market has cooled, homebuyers are finding more choices than they would have a few months ago.

While buyers are enjoying the increased housing inventory, the flipside is that sellers are now looking for ways to make their property more attractive to prospects. One way to bolster a home’s appeal is to take a close look at renovations. But which renovations get the most “bang for your buck” with homebuyers?

That’s where the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) comes in. A few months back, they released their 2022 Remodeling Impact Report. In this report, researchers took a deep dive into why a homeowner remodels, the outcome of taking on projects, and the increased happiness in the home once a project is completed. The report also contains the typical cost of 19 remodeling and replacement projects, as estimated by members of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI).

So what were the main takeaways from this report? Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights for Research, observed, “This year, the winner was hardwood flooring. Hardwood floor refinishing and putting in new wood flooring had the most significant value, and these projects also had high Joy Scores (calculated by NAR for each project based on the happiness homeowners reported with their renovations) among homeowners. Hardwood flooring looks beautiful in photos and videos, can be easier to clean for new pet owners, and adds warmth to a home that is appealing to both home buyers and homeowners.”

Interestingly, hardwood floors were more desired than kitchen-related projects. “While most of us spend a great deal of time in the kitchen—eating, cooking, working—the kitchen-related project does not bring the highest return on value or the highest Joy Score, according to this year’s report. This may already be an aspect of the home that is highly customizable with features and finishes, and we all use the kitchen differently, so there is room for interpretation of the overall return,” said Lautz.

And so, if you’re looking to sell your home in a more competitive market, the key to getting more offers might be that hardwood flooring project. But whether it’s a buyers or sellers market, utilizing the expertise of a Realtor® will help ensure that you get the most out of your most valued investment. Realtors work for their clients and communities in all kinds of markets. That’s Who We R®.

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October 17, 2022

BrokerBay is Live | Next Steps Re: ShowingTime After October 31

We’ve only been live with BrokerBay for three weeks, and we're pleased to share that already 63% of Active listings currently have “yes” for the “Use BrokerBay” field. Thanks to our MLS Participants and Managing Brokers for their help in onboarding  agents to this latest MLS benefit. We’ve compiled this BrokerBay FAQ to assist with this transition both now and as new agents enter the business. 
In 2015 when we converted to Flexmls, we began sending a data feed to ShowingTime and added the ShowingTime button in Flex. However, when launching BrokerBay, we removed the ShowingTime button, and now we need to eliminate marketplace confusion by having all listings populate in two showing platforms.
We will maintain the ShowingTime feed of all listings through October 31, 2022. Each Participant should make an independent decision on whether they wish to continue using ShowingTime after October 31.
If a Managing Broker determines their office will only BrokerBay after October 31, no action is required.
If a Managing Brokerwish determines their office's listings will populate in ShowingTime after October 31, he/she should complete the Broker Back Office data agreement and return it to We are working with BrokerBay to disable the ability for cooperating agents to book showings when “Use BrokerBay” is “no” in Flexmls. Until that programming is complete, if “no,” listing brokers should (1) Provide alternate showing instructions in the Agent Only Notes and (2) Turn off showings in BrokerBay.

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October 10, 2022

Obituary: Ann Walldorf

Ann Walldorf, wife of Past President and REALTOR® Emeritus Rudy Walldorf (Herman Walldorf Commercial), passed away on October 5. Visitation will be on Friday, October 14, 10:30am at First Presbyterian Church Chattanooga (554 McCallie Avenue), with a celebration of life begining at 11:30am.

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October 6, 2022

Rising Mortgage Rates Starting To Slow Housing Market

There’s no denying that interest rates have been climbing as the temperature outside has fallen. And just like being surprised when stepping out on a brisk fall morning, these higher rates are shocking to many homebuyers looking to enter the housing market.

Mortgage rates rose by more than a full percentage point in September. According to Freddie Mac, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 6.7% from 5.66% in the first week of September. As a result, home buying is 12% more expensive now than just a month ago, meaning current buyers need to spend about $250 more every month to buy a median-priced home compared to buyers who purchased their home a month ago. Unfortunately, this increase means that many folks looking to buy are being left out in the cold.

Because of these fast-rising rates, the housing market has slowed down. However, as we head into the last quarter of the year, activity may decline even further. Every year, transactions and prices tend to be above-trend in the summer, while activity typically slows down in the fall and winter. The impact of seasonality is vital to the housing market since it affects housing demand and supply. Specifically, the fourth quarter is typically one of the slowest quarters for home sales, nationally representing 24% of the total activity throughout the year. Compared to the third quarter, activity typically drops by 15 percentage points in the last quarter of the year.

So, what do the experts say? National Association of Realtors® (NAR) Chief Economist Lawrence Yun expects the economy will remain sluggish throughout the remainder of this year, with mortgage rates rising to close to 7% in the coming months. “Only when inflation calms down will we see mortgage rates begin to steady,” said Yun. As a result of the current interest rate environment and weaker economic activity, NAR expects (on a national scale) existing-home sales to decline 15.2% in 2022 to 5.19 million units, while new home sales are projected to fall by 20.9%. But we’re already starting to see a slowdown.

To measure this activity, NAR utilizes the Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI), a leading indicator for the housing sector based on pending sales of existing homes. A sale is listed as pending when the contract has been signed, but the transaction has not closed, though the sale usually is finalized within one or two months of signing.

The Northeast PHSI decreased 3.4% from last month to 76.6, down 19.0% from August 2021. The Midwest index fell 5.2% to 88.4 in August, a 21.1% drop from the previous year. The South PHSI slid 0.9% to 105.4 in August, a decline of 24.2% from a year ago. The West index rose by 1.4% in August to 71.0, down 31.3% from August 2021.

“Home prices are the least affordable in the West and, consequently, the region suffered deeper annual declines in contract signings due to rising interest rates when compared to other areas of the country,” Yun added. “However, the recent increases of the last two months, though small, are encouraging.”

So, what are we seeing in the local market? Well, a quick look at the numbers breaks down like this, 908 homes Closed in the last 30 days in our MLS, 638 homes went under contract and 1,785 homes are currently on the market. As Realtors we monitor these numbers on a regular basis. The inventory of listings has grown over the past few months and while interest rates are impacting many buyer’s purchasing power, our local market is still showing signs of strength. Of course, with what is being reported on the national and in other regional areas, we are certainly monitoring the signs of similar changes locally. We will be reviewing the official numbers from last month in the coming week and I will be providing a statistical look at the changes we are seeing from previous months, as well as an update on the changes since a year ago in my next article.

As Realtors, it is our responsibility to help guide homeowners and sellers in a fast-changing market. Look to those who have the expertise to help you, as a buyer or seller, get the most out of your most valuable investment. Realtors work for their clients and community every day. That’s Who We R®.

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September 30, 2022


Multiple Listing Services Partner to Display Listings to Benefit Buyers, Sellers, and Real Estate Professionals

CHATTANOOGA, TN, and ATLANTA, GA, September 19, 2022 / -- Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® and the largest MLS in Georgia (FMLS) announced a data-sharing agreement today that significantly increases real estate listing visibility and crosses state lines in Georgia and Tennessee.

This important partnership between one of Tennessee’s largest MLSs, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® (GCR) and America’s fourth largest MLS, FMLS, will open up significant real estate referral opportunities between the two organizations and their members.

The partnership benefits nearly 60,000 brokers, agents, and partners throughout Georgia and Tennessee. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® serves members in Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. GCR already has a data share in place with the Knoxville Area Association of REALTORS® and TN/VA Regional MLS. Those data share partnerships expose MLS listing information to more than 12,000 real estate professionals in Tennessee. Based in the Atlanta metro area, FMLS has members in Georgia and almost every state in America. The data share partnership between GCR and FMLS further expands the benefits for the respective users and clients.

“There is a lot of synergy between the two in the regions, not only from a geographic perspective, but also from in services to each of our members,” explains Jeremy Crawford, President and CEO of FMLS. “This multi-year agreement is ideal for expanding access to MLS content in the southeast to benefit our Brokers & Agents and their clients. This deal has great benefit to everyone involved and helps the real estate market work more efficiently,” Crawford continues.

FMLS will be able to bring new technology to Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®, as well as additional training and support options.

“We’re especially excited to bring added listing exposure and an even greater level of service to our members,” states Carol Seal, CEO of Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®. “This is a seamless extension of our geography, and the additional buying power we’ll have will really help. Our MLS Committee and Board of Directors unanimously approved the partnership, and we look forward to a long and beneficial relationship,” Seal concludes.

The agreement provides local brokers and agents in both organizations with real-time access to reliable listing data from each other’s markets. In addition, FMLS and Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® adhere to strict RESO listing data standards, making this a seamless partnership. According to Crawford and Seal, the data share agreement will go live in the next few months,

About Greater Chattanooga REALTORS®:

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is a regional organization with more than 2,700 members in southeast Tennessee and northwest Georgia. The Association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations/boards of REALTORS® that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), with more than 3,000 MLS users. See for more information.

About FMLS:

The First Multiple Listing Service (FMLS) was founded 65 years ago by eight brokers who wanted to share real estate listings and connect buyers and sellers. FMLS is the fourth largest MLS in the U.S., and as Georgia’s largest MLS, it serves 68,000 members and partners in their home state and through data shares and MLS relationships in Alabama and Tennessee.   In addition, its world-class technology platform and FMLS Training Institute fuel the growth of agents, brokers, and appraisers across the region. Find out more at

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September 29, 2022

MLS Service Are Expanded to Include Additional TN Counties

The MLS Committee and Board of Directors unanimously approved expanding Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ MLS service area to include the following Tennessee Counties: Bledsoe, Bradley, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, and Rhea, meaning any listings taken by MLS Participants and Subscriber in these counties are required to be entered into the MLS. This policy is effective immediately, and the MLS Rules will be updated to reflect the following:

Section 1.12. Service Area. Only listings of the designated types of property located within the service area of the MLS, which includes Bledsoe, Bradley, Hamilton, McMinn, Meigs, Polk, Rhea, and Sequatchie County, Tennessee and Walker, Dade, and Catoosa County, Georgia, are required to be submitted to the service. Listings of property located outside the MLS’s service area will be accepted if submitted voluntarily by a Participant, and as long as listing agent/licensee is licensed in the state where property is located, but cannot be required by the service.

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September 27, 2022

BrokerBay Showing Service is Live!

We are now live with BrokerBay, our new MLS-wide showing service. We are thrilled to offer this service as part of our MLS subscription at no additional cost. Here’s everything you need to know to get started. 

Managing Brokers

•  Login to FlexMLS > Menu > Products > BrokerBay > Setup Your Account > Verify Contact Info > Create a Password

•  From Your Dashboard, Click on the Admin Queue > Unconfigured

•  This shows which listings in your office need to be prepared for showings.

•  Email agents to prompt them to set up listings. In the header, select View Details > Email Info to Agents

•  Your agents can now follow the steps below to prepare their listings for showings ahead of our going live next week.

•  Sign up for the Managing Broker & Admin Training (September 28, 11 am)

•  If you see a pop-up about concierge phone services, you may ignore that pop-up for now. For now, focus on getting your agents adjusted to BrokerBay.

Listing Agents

•  If your Managing Broker has taken the above steps, Login to FlexMLS > Menu > Products > BrokerBay

•  Verify Contact Info > Create a Password > Agree to Terms of Service

•  From your Dashboard > Tasks > Configure Instructions (for each of your listings)

•  Add Showing Instructions to your listings to ensure showings will be processed correctly. Follow this tutorial,

•  By default, some Showing Instructions are checked, such as “leave card,” which is prohibited per our MLS Rules

•  Change your default settings at Account Settings > Listing Settings > Deselect “Leave Card > Save!

•  Review your Agent Notes in FlexMLS and remove references/phone numbers* to other showing services.

•  Sign Up for Agent Training (October 6, 1:30 pm)

Help & Training

•  Visit BrokerBay’s Help Articles for assistance or submit a request to BrokerBay

•  Training Opportunities (all via Zoom)

•  View the recorded training 24/7

•  September 28, 11 am – Training for Admins & Managing Brokers

•  October 6, 1:30 pm – Training for Agents


•  Over the next week, the “Use Showing Service Y/N” field will change to “Use BrokerBay Y/N”

•  If you wish to use a showing service other than BrokerBay, please denote that information in the Agent Notes

•  By default, some Showing Instructions are checked, such as “leave card,” which is prohibited per our MLS Rules. Change your default settings: Account Settings > Listing Settings > Select/Deselect > Save!

•  Download the BrokerBay app so you can book showings on the go.

•  Appraisers, Pest Control, Home Inspectors will contact the listing agent who will book a showing on their behalf as these eKEY holders are pre-loaded in the booking roster.

•  *Booking Showings – While most REALTORS® will use BrokerBay via desktop or App, you may also call 888-594-8304 to book/cancel/change showing appointments.

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September 21, 2022

Realtors & Their Safety

With our name and reputation being our brand, Realtors need to promote themselves and maintain visibility as part of our business. But sometimes, this self-promotion can lead to dangerous situations. For example, in the recently released 2022 Member Safety Report, 23% of REALTORS® were more likely to say they had experienced a situation that made them fear their safety or personal information. This number is up from 2021 (14%), which is a sign that Realtors should remain diligent and take advantage of safety training. It’s a hopeful sign that 73% report having personal safety protocols in place that they follow with every client, and this trend is more likely among females (76%) than among males (67%).

And threats aren’t just limited to in-person encounters. Residential REALTORS® most often reported feeling unsafe after receiving a threatening or inappropriate email, text message, phone call, or voicemail (33%) and during a showing (27%), and Commercial REALTORS® most often reported feeling unsafe during a showing (29%) and after receiving a threatening or inappropriate email, text message, phone call, or voicemail (29%).

Realtors know first-hand how stressful the property buying process can be. However, it’s easy to get swept up in the sometimes frantic race to find that perfect home, so we must not cut corners when it comes to safety. One startling statistic from the 2022 Member Safety Report is that the typical respondent meets prospective clients they’ve never met before, either at their office or in a neutral location 66% of the time. Meeting a stranger with who you’ve had no previous interaction could prove dangerous.

These types of situations show why safety training is so important. Nationally, 40% of REALTORS® said that they have participated in a self-defense class, and 43% of men and 54% of women carry a self-defense weapon or tool. Among those who participated in a REALTOR® safety course, 75% said they feel more prepared for unknown situations after taking a REALTOR® Safety course. Locally, we offer members complimentary self-defense classes throughout the year. Greater Chattanooga Realtors believe in promoting safe business practices, creating a culture where members are committed to excellence, and educating members on safety.

One way Realtors can help homeowners have the best possible experience is to address safety and security best practices relating to real estate. That’s what our goal has been for this past month. Realtors love serving our community, and we want nothing else than to help our clients safely and professionally. Safety is our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R®.

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September 9, 2022

Greater Chattanooga Realtors® Raise $35,623 For Snack Packs


CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (Sept. 7, 2022)  -- Greater Chattanooga Realtors® presented a $35,623 check to Janice Robertson, founder of the Snack Pack Food Ministry, during their annual Realtor Day with Snack Packs.

The check includes an annual $10,000 donation and the proceeds from Greater Chattanooga Realtors®’ recent Trivia Night. That event raised an additional $25,623.84 thanks to the efforts of their Community Partnerships Committee and Janice Robertson’s affiliated firm, Real Estate Partners, who issued a challenge to their agents to support the fundraiser.

“Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is thrilled to continue our support for Snack Packs,” said Derek English, 2022 President. “Snack Packs does so much to help area school children. It’s important for REALTORS® to give back to our community,” said English.

The Snack Pack Food Ministry helps feed nearly 2,500 food insecure children in 22 Hamilton County every weekend while school is in session. Snack Pack Food Ministry is one of Greater Chattanooga REALTORS community partners that add value to the quality of life in our community.

“Our Community Partnerships Committee works hard all year to give back,” said Garrison Parks, 2022 Chair of Greater Chattanooga Realtors® Community Partnership Committee. “I’m proud to be a Realtor, and proud to be a part of this group that serves so many,” said Parks. 

“The Snack Pack Food Ministry is so thankful for the monetary support of Greater Chattanooga Realtors. We are also thankful for all of them that give of their time to come and pack,” said Janice Robertson, Realtor and founder of Snack Pack Ministries. “The children are blessed by Greater Chattanooga Realtors,” said Robertson.

For more information about Greater Chattanooga Realtors’ Community Partnerships, visit

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September 7, 2022

Realtor® Safety Month: Safety Protocols When Working With a Realtor®

In a few days, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) will release its 2022 Member Safety Report, which surveys Realtors around the nation about how safe they feel while on the job, their personal safety experiences, and their brokerage’s safety procedures and protocol. NAR publishes this report each September for Realtor Safety Month. Yet, safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors® all year long.

In previous years, a small but noticeable number of respondents reported they experienced a situation in which they feared for their safety, or their personal information being comprised. Realtors understand the safety risks associated with real estate transactions, so it is imperative to create and share safety protocols with clients to learn about what they may encounter throughout a real estate transaction.

Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is committed to providing consumers and Realtor members with the resources and education to stay safe and secure. In addition to providing members with safety- related training, some safety protocols are expected to provide a safe experience for all parties involved.

Meet your agent at their office. Instead of meeting for the first time at a property, a Realtor may set up the initial meeting at his or her office. Most agree that meeting at a real estate professional’s office is much more comfortable and appropriate for the first meeting. Generally speaking, meeting a stranger at an unfamiliar location inherently creates additional tension, which is not helpful when initiating a real estate transaction. By meeting at a Realtor’s office, it allows the time for introductions and also offers the ideal time to outline the processes and procedures in preparing a buyer to purchase a home or land.

Secure your personal information. Some real estate offices may make copies of your driver’s license and mortgage preapproval letter for their records during the initial stages of a Buyer’s home search. This step allows the agent to keep a record of your information at their office and it should be stored securely. So be sure to have these items on hand for your initial meeting. As Realtors, we safeguard our clients’ data and ensure that it stays away from prying eyes. Keeping this information safe and secure is crucial in maintaining a safe agent and client relationship.

Stay away from carpooling. Even though people are returning to a pre-COVID world where carpooling was common, don’t expect your Realtor to drive you to a property unless it is discussed ahead of time. Driving separately is a safety precaution for you and your Realtor – so do not feel offended. Most people don’t pick up hitchhikers and understand the importance of not transporting strangers to a property showing. Driving separately also enables both parties to depart separately from the showing and return to other business, such as returning to the office or picking up the kids from school. It is still common to spend an afternoon seeing properties, but busy schedules and the ability to remain flexible has certainly made driving separately more common in our market.

Your agent might walk behind you. Realtors typically let buyers take the lead when exploring a home. This safety protocol is common and also allows you to view each room on the property first and make your own impressions. A well-trained Realtor will always be engaged with their client and by using a simple phase like “after you” is a polite way to remain out of the way.

View a vacant property by day. Your Realtor may only show vacant properties by day, so you can see what safety hazards exist, such as loose floorboards or any other defects. So when viewing a vacant, or even an occupied property, expect to view it during daylight hours.

Concealed carry permits. Realtors have been the target of many crimes over the years and Realtors who have done everything right have still become victims of crime. An increase in crime over recent years has caused many Realtors to become responsible gun owners as an additional measure of protection. Others carry less lethal means of protection while some choose self-defense training. Another commonly used safety tactic is the buddy system. Realtors may ask another Realtor to tag along on a showing to provide additional support.

As a consumer, please consider the risks that Realtors encounter daily and be understanding when asked to provide identification or to schedule a meet and greet in advance of an impromptu showing.

Safety is our priority year-round, and I urge other Realtors to check safety-month-2022 for all the different courses being offered this month, especially. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R®.

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September 1, 2022

Realtor® Safety Month: How to Avoid Real Estate Cyber Scams

September is Realtor® Safety Month, which is recognized by the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) as well as State and Local Associations across the country. While we focus on safety throughout the month, safety is a focus for Greater Chattanooga Realtors® all year long. As my first in a series of articles, today I’m writing about an issue that affects Realtors and consumers alike – cyber-crime.

Phishing, hacking, and wire fraud are all ways people attempt to steal from others online.  As many real estate searches and transactions have moved online, the chances of being caught up in a cyber scam have become even greater.

Most people are familiar with those occasional emails from a foreign prince asking for social security or banking information, but many people don’t know that they need to watch out for more realistic scams when buying or selling their home. Cybercrimes have become increasingly sophisticated over the years and the people perpetrating them focus on situations where a lot of money is changing hands, making real estate transactions an ideal target.

NAR recently warned its members and consumers about one example, a wiring scam during the closing stage of the home buying and selling process. Hackers will break into the email accounts of consumers and real estate professionals to get details about a real estate transaction. The hacker will then send an email pretending to be the buyer, seller, real estate agent or someone else involved in the closing process and say there has been a last-minute change and provide new wiring instructions for funds to be sent; the instructions send the closing funds directly into the hacker’s bank account.

While it may seem like there are hundreds of ways for a criminal to take advantage of a consumer online, there are just as many ways consumers can protect themselves. Here are a few tips to help home buyers and sellers recognize and avoid real estate scams: 

Do not send sensitive information via email. Do not send banking information, your social security number or anything else that could be used to comprise your identity over email. If you absolutely must send personal or sensitive information via email, only use encrypted email. Many title companies and lenders offer assistance in transmission of these requests, and you should always call them directly to verify any request and ask for the encryption platform they prefer.

Do not click on unverified email. If you do not recognize the name or email address of the sender, do not open the email. Also beware of any attachments or downloadable files from unknown email addresses; they can contain viruses or provide a way for a hacker to access your computer. We recommend that if you suspect an email as being fraudulent or a request that seems out of the norm, make a call to your Realtor, title company, or lender to discuss any concerns.

Do not use unsecured Wi-Fi. It may seem harmless to check banking information using the free Wi-Fi at your local coffee shop but using an open connection can leave you vulnerable to hackers and scammers. Only access sensitive information on your home computer or on a secured network.

I tell my clients, if you have a suspicion of fraud, or if something just feels “off,” just pick up the phone and verify the information with your Realtor or lender. And if you suspect that fraud has or is in the process of occurring, contact all parties contacted to the transaction immediately. Unfortunately, often there is nothing that can be done to retrieve money stolen in the scam, however, you should still report the incident to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center or the Federal Trade Commission.

Educating our clients on these dangers is a top priority. Realtors do our best to make sure the public knows the prevalence of wire fraud and we advise clients to call and verify information before they wire funds. To ensure they are reaching the right person, buyers should contact their Realtor using numbers provided in advance.

For my fellow Realtors, I urge you to visit for 5 training classes/webinars and other tools, as well as 5 Safety Action Items for REALTORS®. These include Planning Your Safety Strategy, Tips and Best Practices, Training Videos, Personal Protection Resources, and Taking the REALTOR® Safety Pledge. These items will help Realtors keep Safety as our priority year-round. Realtors are focused on protecting our clients and ourselves. That’s Who We R®.

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August 26, 2022

Obituary: Peggy Kibble

Peggy Kibble, mother of Rob Kibble (The James Company), passed away on August 30. Visitation will be on September 1, from 2-5 pm at Heritage Funeral Home, East Brainerd Chapel, with a Celebration of Life immediately following. 

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August 26, 2022

Obituary: Barbara Thornton

Barbara Thornton, mother-in-law of Rob Kibble (The James Company), passed away on August 25. Visitation will be on August 28, 11am-1:30pm, at Heritage Funeral Home & Crematory, Battlefield Parkway. A graveside service will be held at Pine Grove Cemetery on Sunday, Aug. 28, at 2pm.

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August 24, 2022

What’s Happening With Home Buying

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the importance of consulting an expert, whether it’s a REALTOR®, physician, or a mechanic. This past week I was privileged to do just that while attending our Economic Outlook Luncheon with speaker Dr. Jessica Lautz, who is NAR’s Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insight.

The annual Economic Outlook Luncheon is an extremely insightful event that the Greater Chattanooga Realtors® holds each year with the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga. These meetings involve engaging speakers from the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), and from the National Association of Realtors® (NAR).

This year, 200 Realtors® and home builders met to discuss today's evolving real estate market. As Dr. Jessica Lautz of NAR put it, “We are in a new housing market paradigm, but we continue to see multiple offers for properties due to limited housing inventory. Affordability is the concern, where local home prices have risen 17.5% year over year.”

Dr. Lautz summarized the current housing situation by showing that tight lending, low housing inventory, and changing housing demographics are affecting the market in ways we haven’t seen before. Different from 2008, sub-prime lending is not happening, which shows that our country is not experiencing a housing bubble, but the low housing inventory is a result of under-building by anywhere between 4.5 and 6.5 million homes. As a result of the market, more families consisting of multiple generations are living in the same home, which is increasing the average amount of time an individual stays in a home.

Dr. Lautz also showed a study from NAR that surveyed individuals on the amount needed for a down payment. Typically, a down payment is around 10% of the price of a home, but a large chunk of respondents (35%) still believes that 16%-20% is required to finance a property. It’s crucial that, as Realtors®, we help educate buyers that this large amount isn’t normally required for a down payment.

There were also some generational findings that Dr. Lautz shared that brought a particular group into focus. Dr. Lautz jokingly said that Millennials were everyone’s favorite topic, and their housing situation is an interesting snapshot of what the real estate looks like for younger Americans. Millennials, who Dr. Lautz defines as being between 22 and 40 years old, are the “largest adult generation today and they are the largest generation of home buyers at 37%. Millennials and first-time buyers face multiple challenges such as rampant competition in the housing market, low housing inventory, and buyers who are able to pay all cash for properties.” She also noted that the median age for first time homebuyers is 33, and the percentage of young adults (25-34) who are living at home is over 17%. This represents a large group of people who may look to enter the housing market down the road.

We should never stop learning, and that’s why I love these events. The collective knowledge of our local home builders and Realtors helps us all serve our community better. And so, whether you’re looking to build or purchase a property, it’s crucial to look to the experts. Realtors help our community and serve our clients in so many different ways every day. That’s Who We R®.

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August 22, 2022

Obituary: Shea Williams

Sharon Melissa “Shea” Williams, mother-in-law to Communications Director Josh Branum, passed away on August 16. Visitation will be on Saturday August 27, 2-4pm at Lane Funeral Home (601 Ashland Terrace).

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August 17, 2022

July 2022 Local Housing Market Statistics

At a time of year when homebuying activity is typically very strong, soaring homeownership costs have caused home sales to decline nationwide for the fifth consecutive month. In addition, existing-home sales have fallen 5.4% month-to-month and 14.2% year-over-year, according to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR). But there is a bright spot. Inventory of existing homes has continued to climb this summer, with 1.26 million homes available at the beginning of July, equivalent to a three-month supply. And despite the summer slowdown, homes are still selling quickly, with the typical home staying on market for an average of 14 days.

The U.S. housing market has continued to cool, as rising mortgage rates and record-high sales prices have stifled affordability, weakening demand and pricing out many buyers. According to NAR, the median household income has failed to keep pace with increasing mortgage payments, with the costs of buying a home about 80% more expensive now than they were just three summers ago. As more and more prospective buyers find their home purchase plans delayed, many are turning to the rental market, where competition has intensified due to increased demand.

Looking locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region decreased 13.3% to 1,393. Pending Sales were down 15.1% to 1,062. Inventory levels grew a significant 23.2% to 1,822 units. For some perspective, the number of homes for sale in July 2021 was 1,479. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 17.8% over the July 2021 amount ($263, 050) to $310,000. Days on Market was down 6.3% to 15 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 21.4% to 1.7 months.

The housing market continues to shift every day, which is why it is so crucial to utilize the expertise of a Realtor®. Whether you’re buying or selling, or moving locally or across the country, Realtors have the knowledge and tools needed to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. That’s Who We R®.

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August 10, 2022

Repairing Your Credit Score

Most people know the importance of maintaining a high credit score, especially when weighing financial options for purchasing a home. But what if you’ve fallen behind on some payments, and your credit score has suffered as a result? What can be done to help bring that score back to where it should be?

In a recent article at, Jamie Wiebe shared these useful insights for individuals who are trying to rebuild their credit score:

Pull your credit report. There are three major U.S. credit bureaus (Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion), and each releases its own credit scores and reports (a more detailed history that’s used to determine your score). Their scores should be roughly equivalent, although they do pull from different sources. For example, Experian considers on-time rent payments while TransUnion has detailed information about previous employers. Also, it’s a good idea to check with your credit card company. Many include free access to scores and reports. Check with individual companies for details.

Assess where you stand. It’s simple: The better your credit history, the higher your score—and the better your opportunities for a home loan. The Federal Housing Administration requires a minimum credit score of 580 to permit a 3.5% down payment, and major lenders often require at least 620, if not more. So what can you do if your credit report is in less than shipshape? Don’t panic, there are ways to clean it up.

Improve your credit score with error disputes. A 2013 Federal Trade Commission study found that 5% of credit reports contain errors that can erroneously ding your score. So if you spot any, start by sending a dispute letter to the bureau, providing as much documentation as possible, per FTC guidelines. You’ll also need to contact the organization that provided the bad intel, such as a bank or medical provider, and ask it to update the info with the bureau. This may take a while, and you may need documentation to make your case. But once the bad info is removed, you should see a bump in your score.

Erase one-time mistakes. So you’ve made a late payment or two—who hasn’t? Call the company that registered the late payment and ask that it be removed from your record. If you had an oopsy and missed just a payment or two, most companies will indeed tell their reporting division to remove this from your credit report.

Increase your limits. One no-brainer way to increase your credit score is to simply pay off your debt. Not an option right now?  Here’s a cool loophole: Ask your credit card companies to increase your credit limit instead. This improves your debt-to-credit ratio, which compares how much you owe to how much you can borrow.

Pay on time. If you’re often late with payments, now’s the time to change. You have the power to improve your credit score yourself. Commit to always paying your bills on time; consider signing up for automatic payments so it’s guaranteed to get done.

Give yourself time. Unfortunately, negative items (such as those habitually late or nonexistent payments) can stay on your report for up to seven years. The good news? Changing your habits makes a big difference in the “payment history” segment of your report, which accounts for 35% of your score. That’s why it’s essential to start early so that you’re sitting pretty once you’re shopping for homes and find one that makes you swoon.

Thanks for these tips, Jamie. Maintaining a healthy credit score is very helpful when looking to purchase something as expensive as a car or house. When you’re looking to purchase or sell real estate, utilize the expertise of a Realtor to make the process as seamless as possible. Realtors work for their community every day. That’s Who We R®.

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August 3, 2022

A Shift, Not a Bubble, in Real Estate

If you follow the news, and especially if you follow real estate, you know that inflation has led to increased mortgage rates, which has also contributed to the recent cooling of the residential real estate market. There are a lot of moving parts and it’s becoming a little more difficult to know where the market is heading.

I always say to consult an expert, whether it’s a REALTOR®, physician, or a mechanic. And so I look to two such experts when it comes to market trends in real estate: Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), and Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insight.

"Contract signings to buy a home will keep tumbling down as long as mortgage rates keep climbing, as has happened this year to date," said Yun. "There are indications that mortgage rates may be topping or very close to a cyclical high in July. If so, pending contracts should also begin to stabilize." But what does this mean for home sales, at least in the short term? "Home sales will be down by 13% in 2022, according to our latest projection," Yun added. "With mortgage rates expected to stabilize near 6% and steady job creation, home sales should start to rise by early 2023."

So home sales are having an inverse relationship with the rising mortgage rates. But does this mean that we’re experiencing a housing bubble? In a report for the National Housing Conference, researchers David M. Dworkin and Bill McBride explain the difference in today’s market and the market of 2008. “During the housing bubble, toxic mortgages with teaser rates (usually around 1%) made houses seem more affordable. But when teaser rates reset to market levels, many of these mortgages failed because homeowners could not afford the actual cost of the mortgage. Today, soaring housing costs are driven by the compounding impact of apparent underproduction between 2008 and 2020, housing supply chain failures since 2020, and increased demand since 2020.”

So no, according to experts, we’re not about to experience another housing bubble, but we are experiencing something else that is an obstacle to buyers; housing affordability. In fact, excluding the housing bubble of 2004-2008, it is the worst affordability since 1989, according to Dworkin and McBride. In fact, according to NAR, buying a home this past June, on a national average, was about 80% more expensive than in June 2019. Nearly a quarter of buyers who purchased a home three years ago would be unable to do so now because they no longer earn the qualifying income to buy a median-priced home today.

What are some trends in the houses that are being purchased? Lautz offered five “touch points” for REALTORS® to reach out to clients in the current climate:

•12% of buyers are purchasing homes virtually—and they want a REALTOR® to assist with the process.
•Remote work continues to influence buying trends: 34% of buyers want features that enable them to work from home.
•Consumers continue to have a skewed view of the typical amount required for a down payment. Thirty-five percent of buyers believe a down payment of 16% to 20% is required; 10% of buyers believe they need a down payment of more than 20%. However, the typical down payment for a first-time buyer is only 6% to 7%. For a repeat buyer, it’s 17%.
•There is value in promoting energy efficiency in listings: Forty-four percent of REALTORS® say it’s “somewhat valuable,” and 19% say it’s “very valuable.”
•Seven in 10 buyers report a desire for the latest in heating and cooling, windows and doors, insulation, lighting and appliances; however, the typical home purchased is 29 years old and unlikely to have the newest features. This disconnect presents an opportunity for REALTORS® to contact previous clients about satisfaction with their current home and any improvements they have made.

The insight that these experts provide is not only interesting, but crucial to getting the full picture of the real estate market. I’ll also add that Greater Chattanooga Realtors® is partnering with the Homebuilders Association of Greater Chattanooga to host our annual Economic Outlook Luncheon on August 17, and Dr. Jessica Lautz will be the featured speaker. visit for more details.

And so consult the experts, get the data, and be prepared. An important step to take in this process is consulting a Realtor® to help walk you through the homebuying or selling process. Realtors work for their clients and communities everyday. That’s Who We R®.

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August 1, 2022

Obituary: Judy Webster

Judy Webster (Keller Williams), passed away on July 31. Visitation will be on Wednesday, August 3, 4-8pm at Heritage Funeral Home (7454 E. Brainerd Road). A Celebration of Life will be held on Thursday, August 4, at 11am at Heritage Chapel. Read the full obituary.

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July 27, 2022

RESPA Protects Buyers and Sellers

It’s difficult to believe, but we are over halfway through 2022 and in a few short days students in our area will be returning to school. Vacations are wrapping up, school shopping is in full swing (don’t forget to take advantage of the tax-free weekend) and just around the corner is the Tennessee Primary Election slated for August 4. While we all are in the mode of dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s, and prudent Realtors are doing this daily as they assist buyers and sellers under the watchful eye of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

Signed into law in December of 1974, The Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA) became effective on June 20, 1975 and at its core protects consumers by requiring transparency and disclosures from those who provide real estate settlement services. RESPA was introduced to eliminate abusive practices in the settlement process, prohibit illegal referral fees or kickbacks, and limit the use of escrow accounts, and is now regulated by the CFPB.

In short, RESPA exists to protect consumers buying and selling real estate. The rules and regulations are numerous, and often confusing even to those in the industry and many consumers are completely unaware RESPA exists and why.

So why should a buyer or seller care about RESPA? Because RESPA helps to ensure homeownership is affordable. A consumer protection statute, RESPA helps consumers “shop” for real estate settlement services and because of disclosure requirements, it helps eliminate hidden referral fees that unnecessarily increase the cost of certain settlement services. RESPA provides that buyers have choices when it comes to service providers such as title companies and lenders. While a seller may request closing to occur at a specific title company or that a buyer use a preferred lender, RESPA prohibits a seller requiring a specific person or company be used when the buyer is paying for the service.

RESPA also requires that borrowers receive timely disclosures designed to spell out the costs associated with the closing, outline the servicing and escrow account practices and describe business relationships between settlement service providers at least three days in advance of closing.

Often in real estate, people hear of referral fees. A referral fee is a portion of the commission paid to another real estate agent or broker in exchange for a client referral. Consumers should be aware of laws regarding referral fees, specifically Tennessee Real Estate License Law and the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA). The following explanations are based on information provided by the Tennessee Association of REALTORS® and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

RESPA prohibits anyone from giving or accepting a fee, kickback, or anything of value in exchange for referrals of settlement service business to service providers (lenders, title companies, closing attorneys, appraisers, etc.) in conjunction with a federally related mortgage loan.

It’s important to note that Tennessee Real Estate License Law prohibits a licensee from paying a referral fee to a non-licensee. Consumers sometimes request a fee for referring a prospect to a licensee or for finding available property. Such requests are commonly referred to as birddog fees or finders fees, and these fees are illegal.

It is a RESPA violation for someone to receive money or a thing of value solely for sending someone settlement service business. Consumers should consider the following helpful tips:

•Compare the costs (fees, interest rate, points, etc.) of settlement service providers before agreeing to use one to whom you were referred.

•Ask for a Good Faith Estimate (GFE) before you agree to the loan and paying any fees.

•Ask the builder whether you are required to use a certain service provider in order to get special concessions.

•Ask your REALTOR® to verify the validity of fees being charged.

•Ask to see the HUD-1 Settlement Statement before going to closing. Compare the charges with the Good Faith Estimate and ask about any charges that have changed or that you do not understand.

•Forward any tax or insurance bills you receive, immediately to your lender (if the lender is supposed to pay the bill).

•Check your annual escrow account statement for mistakes.

•Make a “qualified written request” when asking your lender for information or making a complaint.

•Make your mortgage payment on time, even if you have sent a complaint to your lender.

Lastly, it’s important to read the FAQs about Escrow Accounts on before filing an escrow complaint with a banking or government regulator.

Taking the time to revisit these topics is important because buying and selling property is complicated, but thankfully Realtors® work with their clients to help navigate the rules and the real estate transaction so that their best interests are being met. Realtors serve their community’s homebuying needs each day. That’s Who We R®.

Founded in 1912, Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® is a regional organization with more than 2,700 members servicing Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade, and Walker counties in northwest Georgia. The Association is one of approximately 1,100 local associations/board of REALTORS® nationwide that comprise the National Association of REALTORS®. Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® owns and operates a Multiple Listing Service (MLS), which is one of approximately 600 MLSs in the country and services more than 2,900 MLS users.

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July 25, 2022

Position Statement: Proposed Changes to the Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations

On behalf of the Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® and our 2,500 members we would like to thank the City of Chattanooga and The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency for the opportunity to comment on the proposed changes to the Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations.

Although we recognize that a lot of time and work went into these proposed changes, we do not believe that the community and stakeholders have had ample time and opportunity to properly analyze and respond to the proposed regulations. It is important that all parties involved understand the impact and consequences of the regulations being proposed on our community.

One concern we have is with the proposed street pattern and extension changes under 401.3. Our members have found that most homeowners prefer a subdivision with a cul-de-sac and one entrance in and out of the subdivision. Requiring connectivity to other subdivisions raises questions of increased traffic through those subdivisions and altering the landscape of neighborhoods that would normally be safe child friendly neighborhoods.

Another concern are the proposed changes to grade/slope discussed under 401.6. Our members have previously voiced our concerns about putting strict slope regulations on development specifically during our review of the Natural Resources Assessment. As we stated then and will reiterate here, steep slope regulations are detrimental to development in Chattanooga.

Although we have outlined concerns with the proposed regulations, the entirety of the proposed Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations raises the biggest issue of all. Stricter regulations will affect the cost of housing in the city period. As we repeatedly state, the more regulations placed on development the more increased costs to future homebuyers. In June 2021, the median sales price in Chattanooga was $280,000 compared to $335,000 in June 2022, which is a 19.6% increase. The more regulations the City of Chattanooga continues to implement the less opportunity for affordable housing in the area, which we think is essential to consider especially with the announcement of Mayor Kelly’s Affordable Housing Initiative.

We therefore respectfully ask that the community and stakeholders have more time to review the proposed Chattanooga Subdivision Regulations. It is important that we continue to discuss moving the city in a positive direction to ensure that all future development is not only forward thinking but also affordable for those who are profoundly affected in our community the homebuyer. The Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® are willing to meet with the City of Chattanooga and The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency to formulate a plan that will be beneficial not detrimental to the development community.

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July 20, 2022

A few To-Do’s for July to Save Money & Get Ready for Fall

July means hot temperatures, kids on their summer break, and maybe a bit of traveling. But if your busy schedule allows, this time of year might be a great opportunity to knock out some home projects that could make things much easier on your wallet, your life in general, and help secure and maintain the value of your home in the future. Homeownership is much more than just making your house payment, and the investment you make throughout the year in keeping the interior and exterior of your home in peak condition will pay dividends in its future value and your earned equity moving forward.

But where’s a good place to start? Kelley Walters, writer for NAR’s, has some out-of-the-box tips from her latest article. These ideas might not be the first things you think of when looking at home projects, but I think you will appreciate her points . Kelley has this to pass along to homeowners gearing up for those mid-year projects:

Organize the Basement. The two most common types of clutter? Old clothes and seasonal items. Just the kind of stuff that winds up in the basement. So this month, face your messy basement head on. Not only will you regain space, but you'll also save time and could even knock out clutter-related depression. And yes, that's a thing.

Now that you've got your basement organized, maybe it's a good time to consider this next project:

Finish the Basement. The solution to a cramped house could be right under your feet. Transforming an unfinished basement into a media room, home office — or even a rentable space — builds equity, upping your home's resale value. Start this project now, and you can kick back and enjoy your new space all winter long.

Buy Paint on Sale. July is not really the time of year you think of painting, right? It's usually too hot and humid. Probably why so many places put paint on sale this month. Stock up now, and you'll be ready for that painting project on your fall to-do list. (P.S. Latex and acrylic paint can last up to 10 years; oil-based, up to 15.)

Hit Up Recycling Centers. Summer is home improvement season. That also makes it the savvy buyer's time to seek out deals at recycling centers and home improvement resale stores. Since this is project time — not to mention moving season — lots of folks are ditching their old stuff. Take advantage and grab it up at super-low prices.

Kelly really offers some great tips on paint sales, purchasing repurposed items and getting the basement cleared out or even renovating it into a new usable space, but let’s think about some projects that you can tackle (no pun intended) outside your home before the Saturday/Sunday football seasons and baseball pennant races start.

Cleaning out and clearing overgrowth off your property. This is one item that no one really enjoys doing, but this time of year is certainly when mother nature likes to take her turn of reclaiming that back property line or the tree’s limbs overhanging your roof. Just be careful to pace yourself and don’t take on the project if you are not comfortable with the scope or the degree of difficulty involved.

Dont’ feel quite up to tackling the outdoors? Refreshing that back patio or deck could certainly go a long way. Both of these items can make a huge difference, and while the labor may be intense during these dog days of summer, a plan to have a pressure washing project in the afternoons can make the latter part of the day a welcome reprieve from the heat. I mention this as outdoor living spaces are always a plus when adding value to a property’s livability and a favorite amenity for future buyers.

No matter the effort involved by you or the impact on your pocketbook, these projects can be rewarding to the overall maintenance and upkeep of your property’s value. Trust me when I say that a Saturday afternoon in the fall in a newly refreshed outdoor living space, well maintained yard, newly reclaimed basement media room, or just the peace of mind that you don’t have a bunch of clutter in your storeroom will make your investment all that more rewarding.

And so, as Summer stays with us and the temperatures remain hot, remember that no matter the time of year, it’s always a great idea to consult a Realtor® for your homebuying or selling needs. Realtors have the expertise to make sure you get the most out of your investment all year long. That’s Who We R®.

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July 15, 2022


The Tennessee and Hamilton County General Election will be held on August 4, 2022.  Early voting runs July 15-30.

Our RPAC Trustees are pleased to support the below-listed candidates, who maintain philosophies consistent with the goals of the REALTOR® Party and are supportive of the concepts of private property rights and the free enterprise system. The REALTOR® Party is bi-partisan and does not consider political party affiliation in determining which candidates to support.

City Council, District 8: Marvene Noel (Special Election to fill Unexpired Term)

Hamilton County Sheriff: Austin Garrett

Hamilton County Trustee: Bill Hullander

Hamilton County Commission, District 2: Chip Baker

Hamilton County Commission, District 4: Warren Mackey

Hamilton County Commission, District 6: David Sharpe

Hamilton County Commission, District 7: Lee Helton

Hamilton County Commission, District 9: Steve Highlander

Hamilton County Commission, District 11: Joe Graham

Hamilton County School Board, District 3: Joe Smith

Hamilton County School Board, District 5: Charles Paty

Hamilton County School Board, District 8: Larry Grohn

Hamilton County School Board, District 11: Steven McKinney

With any questions about the RPAC Trustees processes, contact Governmental Affairs Director, Christy Auld.

Review the RPAC Trustees Policies & Procedures at About Us > Governing Documents

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July 13, 2022

June 2022 Local Housing Market Statistics

Rising inflation, soaring home prices, and increasing mortgage interest rates have combined to cause a slowdown in the U.S. housing market. To help quell inflation, which reached 8.6% in May, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point in June – the largest hike since 1994. Higher prices and 30-year fixed mortgage rates approaching 6% have exacerbated affordability challenges and rapidly cooled demand, with home sales and mortgage applications falling sharply from a year ago.

Across the nation, monthly mortgage payments are up more than 50% compared to last year, and this increase in rising costs of homeownership means that there are many sidelined prospective buyers. Nationally, the median sales price of existing homes recently exceeded $400,000 for the first time, a 15% increase from a year ago, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. However, as existing home sales continue to soften nationwide, the housing supply is slowly improving, with inventory up for the second month. In time, price growth is expected to moderate as supply grows; for now, however, inventory remains low, and buyers feel the squeeze of higher prices all around.

Locally, there are many hopeful signs of a stabilizing housing market. One very promising indicator is the sharp increase in housing inventory. As we know, increased housing inventory supply will help lead to more affordable prices in the long run. Inventory levels grew 31.9% to 1,638 units. New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 22.4% to 1,633. Pending Sales were down 5.1% to 1,089.

Prices continued to gain traction in our area. The Median Sales Price increased 19.5% to $328,725. For reference, the Median Sales Price in June 2021 was $275,000. Days on Market was down 23.5% to 13 days. Buyers felt empowered as Months Supply of Inventory was up 25.0% to 1.5 months.

One thing that’s certain is that nothing stays the same, and this is especially true in the real estate market. We currently find ourselves in a time of change, and that’s why if you’re looking to enter the housing market, whether it’s to buy or sell, utilizing the expertise of a Realtor® is so critical. Realtors have the tools and the data to help make the most out of your most valuable investment. That’s Who We R®.

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July 12, 2022

Coming soon! Data Share with the TN/VA Regional MLS

Coming soon! Data Share with the TN/VA Regional MLS: Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® has partnered with the TN/VA Regional MLS* to data share through Flexmls.

Similar to our data share with Knoxville (launched in June 2021), this partnership will:

•  Allow our MLS Participants and Subscribers to view listings in the TN/VA Regional MLS without the cost of subscribing to the TN/VA Regional MLS; and

•  Better serve clients interested in the TN/VA Regional MLS market.

Data Sharing:

•  Provides ONLY the ability to view MLS data and listings and

•  Does NOT include the offer of cooperative compensation.

Unless you subscribe to both MLSs (Chattanooga and TN/VA Regional), you will negotiate cooperative compensation as you would when selling property not listed in the MLS to which you subscribe.

All MLS users are reminded that the respective MLS Rules & Policies continue to apply for each MLS to which you choose to subscribe. As soon as we finalize the data share set-up, we will send out information on how to view the TN/VA Regional MLS data and listings from your Flexmls account.

*The TN/VA Regional MLS is jointly owned by the Northeast TN and Bristol TN/VA Associations. Together, their service area includes Carter, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Sullivan, Unicoi, and Washington counties in TN and Lee, Scott, and Wise counties in VA.

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July 8, 2022

TREC’s New CE Portal for Licensees

On July 8, TREC launched a new licensee portal and transitioned CE data from to CE Broker, a third-party continuing education tracking system. TREC is no longer updating CE data through In order to view your TREC CE credits, you must create a free* CE Broker account:

1. Visit
2. Click on BASIC*
3. Enter your license number
4. Create your username and password
5. Enter your new dashboard to see your continuing education
6. Bookmark the new site for quick reference. 

*Some licensees report getting a pop-up window to enter a credit card. For a Basic (free) account, you may disregard credit cards requests, account status is "not complete," and the "activate free trial." 

Unfortunately, this change prevents our Staff from viewing and assisting in checking your CE credits. However, the new platform provides a more seamless way for uploading CE credits following one of our classes. 

Questions? Email

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July 6, 2022

Being “Green” Saves Money

The summer heat has arrived. As a result, we’re seeing some surprisingly large electric bills. Soaring temperatures aren’t just uncomfortable. Extreme temps put an incredible strain on our power grid, which can cause power outages. And there’s nothing worse than being without power during a sweltering summer day, right?

So, what steps can we take to help ease the burdens and save money? When working with one of our local Realtor members, you might learn about the green fields in our MLS, powered by Flexmls. There are also a few local Realtors who carry NAR’s Green Designation that can assist you with implementing green features into your remodel, new construction, or existing home. These Realtors can assist in being the source for the source in Information regarding curbside recycling, dual flush toilets, energy-rated HVAC systems to hot water recirculation, low emissivity windows, and rainwater collection systems, and will be sure to highlight such green features for sellers and buyers.

In the tightening market of the past couple of years, many new homeowners feel lucky to have purchased the home they are did, no matter its efficiency levels. These homeowners should fear not, as many companies specialize in retrofitting and providing green services to suit many varying budgets. There are many resources available to help make any home more energy efficient, which also means more money in your pocket over the long-term.

Locally, EPB and TVA offer the Home Uplift program (HUP), which provides no-cost home energy upgrades to qualifying homes in our community. Such improvements could include HVAC repair or replacement, insulation, weather stripping, and more energy-efficient lighting. On average, HUP participants have saved more than $400 annually on their energy bills. This service is valuable in helping many in our community. To get started, visit

Chattanooga has also been blessed for over 15 years with green|spaces , which is one organization in particular that offers assistance to homeowners and company owners alike through advocacy and incentive campaigns, education and training classes, design competitions, and other programs, green|spaces has advanced the sustainability of living, working, and building in Chattanooga.

Lastly, another resource is the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE), operated by the North Carolina Clean Energy Technology Center. DSIRE is a comprehensive source of information on incentives and policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency in the United States. Visit, enter your zip code, and view all the different tax incentives for your area. 

These are a few of the great steps to get you started on an energy-saving journey. Many people think a REALTOR’s job is finished once a transaction closes. In reality, REALTORS are a valuable resource even after the housing transaction. No matter the time of year, REALTORS serve their clients and community in their home buying and energy conservation needs. That’s Who We R®.

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June 29, 2022

Community Partnerships Make Us Stronger

Love where you live. On the surface, it’s pretty simple, but loving where you live means being actively invested in the community. That is why in addition to the causes our members support individually, Greater Chattanooga Realtors partners with charitable organizations to positively impact where we live, work, and play.

Thus, I want to highlight the work of our Community Partnerships Committee, whose focus is supporting our ongoing work with Habitat for Humanity & Snack Packs. These volunteers are the boots on the ground and the behind-the-scenes cheerleaders getting their fellow Realtors engaged. In 2021, their collective efforts of our bi-annual Tee Up & Wine Down for Habitat brought in more than $61,000!

Now our Community Partnerships Committee is focused on Trivia Night benefitting the Snack Pack Ministry. This event has been on a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, and we’re excited it's back this year. Snack Packs serves our neighbors in an extraordinary way. An estimated one out of four school-aged children are food insecure, which, in Hamilton County equates to nearly 11,000 children in need of food.

It takes approximately $80 to provide this ministry to one child. In addition to volunteering for the monthly packing days, Greater Chattanooga Realtors is hosting Trivia Night on August 4 at The Comedy Catch to raise awareness of this important organization. Our 2019 trivia night raised more than $54,000, and we hope to do it again this year. But we need the community's help.

This event is open to the public, and trivia teams will enjoy food, drinks, door prizes, and a comedy show. This year's theme is "Battle of the Decades," and there are prizes for the most creative team decked out representing their favorite decade. Visit for more info and to sign up before the July 21st deadline or teams fill up, whichever first occurs.

Regardless of whether you're able to participate in person, you still can help. Our Community Partnerships Committee is challenging the entire membership to see how many children we can feed for the 2022-23 school year. To accept this challenge, make an $80 contribution(s) now through July 21st to sponsor 1 child. At Trivia Night (August 4th), we will announce the following winners:
• REALTOR® with the most sponsorships
• Office with the highest percentage of REALTOR® participation
• Office(s) with 100% participation

I can’t say enough good things about those who serve on the various committees at Greater Chattanooga Realtors®. I know it’s not always easy to find the time to step away from business and volunteer, and I am proud and grateful for all Greater Chattanooga Realtors members who serve with "skin in the game.”

Our Community Partnerships Committee is just one example of how Realtors do more than just buy and sell real estate. Realtors give their time and efforts in so many different ways to give back to our community. Realtors serve in many different ways, and we invite you to do the same. That’s Who We R®.

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June 23, 2022

Supra eKey Co-Op with Great Smoky Mountains Association/MLS

Greater Chattanooga REALTORS® has added Great Smoky Mountains to our list of Supra e-Key co-op partners.

All e-Key holders are reminded that Supra eKey Reciprocity is a privilege, not a right. Anyone accessing a keybox in another market should:

•  Contact the listing agent to confirm any showing instructions and related appointments;

•  Follow the listing agent’s/seller’s showing instructions and local MLS Rules; and

•  Ensure you are licensed to conduct business in the state where the property is located.

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June 21, 2022

What Increasing Interest Rates Mean For Homebuyers

No matter your occupation, we’ve all noticed rising prices in items that are part of our everyday life. Whether it’s fuel, clothing, or groceries, inflation has been taking a steadily increasing amount from our pockets. It’s no different for real estate. In case you missed it, this past week’s announcement by the Federal Reserve set a big increase in interest rates and means several more rounds of rate hikes are on the way in upcoming months. 

Dr. Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist for the National Association of REALTORS® shared valuable insight on what’s happening and what to expect, “So far, the short-term fed funds rate that the Fed directly controls has risen by 175 basis points. But the 30-year fixed rate mortgage has risen even more – by nearly 300 basis points. On the same $300,000 mortgage, the monthly payment has risen from $1265 in December to $1800 today. That's painful and, consequently, will shrink the buyer pool.”

Yun continues, “Home sales have recently been trending down towards 2019 figures. Sales could fall even further with some inventory sitting on the market for more than a month like in the pre-pandemic days. Pricing a listed home properly will, therefore, be the key to attracting buyers. In the meantime, rental demand will strengthen along with rents. Only when consumer price inflation tops out and starts to fall will mortgage rates stabilize or even decline a bit. That is why providing additional oil supplies will be critical in containing consumer prices and interest rates.”

These higher interest rates are aimed to combat inflation and will definitely throw a wet blanket on the real estate industry until they come back down again. And for those who don’t think these rates will have much of an effect, consider that higher interest rates equate to less buying power. Compared to only a year ago, if you were looking to purchase a $400,000 home, with the increased rates, your buying power decreases to the $300,000 range. Buyers may have to look at smaller homes with less amenities to stay in their comfortable budget range.

So yes, the housing market continues to shift everywhere which is why it is so crucial to utilize the expertise of a Realtor®. Whether you’re buying or selling, finding the right window to purchase or a sell a home is essential. Always trust your real estate needs to a Realtor®. That’s Who We R®.

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June 14, 2022

May 2022 Housing Market Statistics

After two years of record-setting activity, there are beginning to be signs that nationally the housing market might be cooling. High home prices and a surge in mortgage interest rates are slowing buyer activity, with home sales declining for the third consecutive month under the weight of soaring homeownership costs. The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) reports existing home sales were down 2.4% from the previous month, while pending sales fell 3.9% as of last measure, extending the trend of recent months. Economists predict sales will continue to soften in the near future, which may put downward pressure on home prices.

Across the country, the slowdown in sales has provided a much-needed lift to housing supply, with inventory up 10.8% from the previous month according to NAR, although supply remains down 10.4% compared to this time last year, with only 2.2 months’ supply of homes at the current sales pace. As the nation continues to explore ways to solve the ongoing housing shortage, estimated at 5.5 million homes, the White House recently unveiled the Housing Supply Action Plan, which aims to expand housing access through a number of administrative and legislative actions and help relieve the nation’s housing crisis over the next 5 years.

Locally, a somewhat different picture has emerged for May. Not only did inventory increase, but sales increased as well. When looking at the local market, New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 9.5% to 1,415. Pending Sales were up 4.5% to 1,162. Inventory levels grew 4.7% to 1,232 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 21.2% to $315,000. In April, the Median Sales Price was $302,500. Days on Market was down 36.4% to 14 days, which was the same amount of time as April. Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 1.1 months.

The housing market continues to shift everywhere which is why it is so crucial to utilize the expertise of a Realtor®. Whether you’re buying or selling, or moving locally or across the country, Realtors have the knowledge and tools needed to make sure you are getting the most out of your investment. That’s Who We R®.

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June 8, 2022

Celebrating Homeownership Month

In June of each year, Greater Chattanooga Realtors® joins other associations around the country to celebrate homeownership by showcasing individual homeowners, government officials, and various programs that protect and promote the American Dream of homeownership.

The purpose of Homeownership Month is to encourage current and future homeowners to advocate for homeownership and to ensure current and prospective homeowners have their voices heard at local, state, and national levels of government.

To many people, the very nature of owning a home offers a sense of pride and security. It also represents a testament to one’s hard work and sacrifices. As Realtors, we believe it is vital to take time out to observe and promote homeownership and the benefits it provides. In addition to personal pride in ownership, homeownership strengthens American communities, offers long-term, generational-building opportunities, and helps stabilize and solidify America’s broader economy.

Here is an interesting fact that really highlights the importance of real estate transactions to our economy. The measured impact of a single property sold in Tennessee for 2021, generated $93,000 for the economy. This amount is measured by the total economic impact of real estate related industries on the state economy, as well as the expenditures that result from a single home sale, including aspects like home construction costs, real estate brokerage, mortgage lending and title insurance.

And while prices have increased, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) released a study showing that the U.S. homeownership rate surged 1.3% to 65.5% in 2020 – the highest annual rise ever – as 2.6 million more households became homeowners compared to 2019. This was the largest annual increase on record. More and more people are experiencing homeownership.

Throughout the year, REALTORS® are looking to engage current and future homeowners – to highlight the importance and critical benefits of homeownership in America. That’s Who We R®.

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May 25, 2022

Memorial Day Message From 2022 President Derek English

As President of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors®, I have enjoyed sharing local market statistics and real estate trends as part of my presidential duties. In fact, I’ve been humbled by the generous (if not exaggerated) compliments I’ve received from friends and acquaintances who express their interest and appreciation for these weekly articles. Admittedly, I didn’t expect nor anticipate becoming an amateur writer, but I’ve become fond of this platform as a way to communicate what I feel to be important news and topics. This week, I wanted to take a break from talking real estate and direct attention toward our upcoming Memorial Day. 

While most people are making plans and preparations for cookouts, pool parties, and other festivities on this last Monday of May and the unofficial start of Summer, the meaning of Memorial Day means far more than the sun and fun that most associate with celebrating the three-day weekend.

Originally known as Decoration Day, Memorial Day originated in the years following the Civil War, but didn’t become an official federal holiday until 1971. While Waterloo, New York takes the credit as the birthplace of our Memorial Day celebration, many historians credit the earliest organized remembrance of our fallen soldiers to formerly enslaved residents in Charleston, South Carolina in 1865. Many Americans observe Memorial Day following long-standing family traditions such as visiting cemeteries, attending memorial events or demonstrating their respect with patriotic decorations.  

Wearing a red poppy on Memorial Day is a tradition in remembering those who fell. This tradition echoes back to a poem called “In Flanders Field” written by a brigade surgeon named Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. The poem accounts the red flowers growing in the Spring in the battle-ravaged land across northern France and Flanders (northern Belgium).

This year Memorial Day falls on May 30th. This is especially symbolic as on May 5, 1868, General John A. Logan called for a National Day of Remembrance to be held on May 30, 1868, which continued to be celebrated on May 30th for a hundred years. In 1968 Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act making Memorial Day the last Monday of May. Originally this day was in remembrance of lives given during the Civil War and has naturally become accepted to include lives laid down for our freedoms from the first World War, World War II, The Vietnam War, The Korean War and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Each year on Memorial Day a national moment of remembrance takes place at 3:00 p.m. local time. Please take this time on Memorial Day to remember and demonstrate your gratitude and reverence to the men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedoms.

Here are some ways to celebrate this upcoming Memorial Day:

• Visit the Chattanooga National Cemetery – 1200 Bailey Avenue, Chattanooga, TN
• Chickamauga and Chattanooga National Military Park - 3370 Lafayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe, GA
• Charles H. Coolidge Medal of Honor Heritage Center - Alexander Bonnyman Exhibit unveiling event from 5pm-7pm (this is a ticketed event –
• Third Annual 2022 Memorial Day 1M, 5K, 10K, 13.1, and 26.2
• Wear a red poppy and/or place a flower on a soldier’s grave
• Place an American flag outside your home at half staff until noon. In the afternoon, place your American flag at full staff and leave it there.
• Remember to observe a moment of silence at 3pm.

I hope everyone has a safe and reflective Memorial Day.

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May 18, 2022

April 2022 Local Market Statistics

It’s hard to believe that spring is here and summer is just around the corner. While rising temperatures 
usually signal that a “hot” real estate market is on its way, the housing market hasn’t cooled off for the past couple of years. The April housing market statistics show that homes continue to sell at a very fast pace. However, a few national factors are starting to affect the real estate industry.

According to Freddie Mac, the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage exceeded 5% in April, the highest level since 2011. The recent surge in mortgage rates has reduced the pool of eligible buyers and caused mortgage applications to decline. We’re seeing a significant impact on refinancing applications, which are down more than 70% compared to last year. As the rising costs of homeownership force many Americans to adjust their budgets, an increasing number of buyers are hoping to help offset the costs by moving from bigger, more expensive cities to smaller areas that offer a more affordable cost of

Affordability challenges limit buying activity, and early signs suggest that this competition may somewhat cool the market. Nationally, existing home sales are down 2.7 percent as of last measure, while pending sales dropped 1.2 percent, marking five straight months of under contract declines, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. Inventory remains low, with only a two-month supply at present, and home prices continue to rise, with the median existing home at $373,500, a 15 percent increase from this time last year. However, homes are still selling quickly, and multiple offers are common in many markets.

Locally, New Listings in the Chattanooga region increased 12.1 percent to 1,401. Pending Sales were down 2.6 percent to 1,143. Inventory levels shrank 3.2 percent to 1,060 units. Prices continued to gain traction. The Median Sales Price increased 20.5 percent to $302,500. Days on Market was down 39.1 percent to 14 days. Absorption rates were even with last year as Months Supply of Inventory remained flat at 1.0 months.

Regardless of the market, consulting the expertise of a Realtor remains the best way to stay ahead of a competitive market. Realtors have the tools and knowledge to give their clients every advantage they can have in this fast market. Realtors work tirelessly for their clients and communities to assist in their property buying needs. That’s Who We R®.

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May 11, 2022

Greater Chattanooga Realtors In Washington D.C. - Advocating For Property Ownership

Last week, Greater Chattanooga Realtors joined more than 9,000 Realtors from across the nation in Washington D.C. Our purpose was to further our work with Congress to advance policy initiatives that strengthen the ability of Americans to buy, invest, own and sell commercial and residential real estate.

This trip was extremely productive for all in attendance as we were able to meet in person after two years of virtual meetings and saw firsthand the importance and impact of being together furthered our knowledge and engagement in the legislative discussions as well as the classes and informative sessions we participated in throughout the week. Our advocacy as Realtors on the state and national level are alive and well. In addition, it serves as a reminder that our business and the rights of property owners must never be taken for granted.

This year’s key legislative issues centered around access to sustainable property ownership. You don’t have to be a Realtor to see that a historic 50-year record shortage of available homes severely limits access to the residential real estate market. Realtors believe that even relatively modest steps taken now to increase awareness and help bridge the gap will unleash tremendous economic activity and potentially create millions of new jobs. With Realtors from across the country there was also plenty of conversations and discussions related to rising material and fuel costs, the day-to-day cost of living and inflation, continued supply chain delays, as well as the events that continue to occur in the Ukraine. Overall, it seems these concerns are not just being experienced at our local or state level, but throughout our Nation as a whole.

The pandemic created shifts in the commercial real estate market, especially in the office and retail sectors. Policies that support repurposing underutilized or vacant commercial properties can revitalize communities by creating new commercial uses and housing. Thus, during our recent legislative meetings, Realtors across the country asked their elected officials to support these bills:
• The bipartisan Housing Supply and Affordability Act 
• The GREATER Revitalization of Shopping Centers Act 
• The bipartisan Neighborhood Homes Investment Act (NHIA) 
• The Revitalizing Downtowns Act

Shedding light on our industry’s support of the above-referenced bills were insights shared during the meetings from the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) economists and researchers, including:
• The U.S. has developed an underbuilding gap of 5.5 million housing units over the last 20 years. This translates into a $4.4 trillion underinvestment in housing.
• For middle-income households, there is only 1 affordable listing for every 125 households, a stark decrease from 1 listing for every 46 households in 2019.
• Nationally there are currently 165,000 homes listed for sale that middle-income families can afford to buy, a marked decline from 450,000 homes in 2019.
• Over the last two years, the percentage of single-family homes sold below $250,000 has plummeted from 47% of sales to 28%.

So why do we take the time to make this annual visit to the nation’s capital? 2022 NAR President Leslie Rouda Smith put it best in her opening remarks, “We don’t represent an industry. We represent a profession made up of 1.5 million individuals working every day in their communities to change lives.”  As a member of America’s largest trade association, Realtors know the importance of making our voices and the voices of homeowners heard.

It has been great returning to Chattanooga and spending these last few days talking with clients and colleagues about what we learned and shared with fellow Realtors from all over the country. The best part of being away is always coming home. Chattanooga was certainly at the forefront of many conversations over the past week, and I was honored to represent our industry and our city in Washington DC as the current President of the Greater Chattanooga Realtors.

Realtors are and have been essential in the conveyance of real property as a National Association for over 114 years. An app doesn’t advocate for equal protection under the Fair Housing Act. A website doesn’t fight for access to flood insurance; Realtors do. Realtors serve residential and commercial property buyers and sellers in every zip code every day. That’s Who We R®.