Georgia REALTORS® advocating on multiple fronts in 2021

by special contributor

Dorrie Love, President, Georgia REALTORS®

As we head full steam into spring, it seems that the historic market of 2020 has rolled over into 2021, and there are no signs of its ebbing anytime soon. The Georgia REALTORS® (GAR) Monthly Housing Indicators — which are published mid-month each month — recently gave us a snapshot of the first quarter, and I believe it sets the stage for the housing market for the remainder of the year. Prices continue to move upward throughout Georgia, with the average sales price rising 17% to $323,831. Pending sales are up 19%, which indicates that a seller’s market is still in effect. And as any Realtor can tell you, new listings are down, which creates competition for many listings as soon as they hit the market. In some of our metro areas, it’s not unusual for desirable listings to go under contract within a few days of the listing’s going live. Now is a great time to sell your home, and Realtors are your best resource for navigating an efficient sale that earns you the best price for your home.

As we move forward through 2021, the tone that I wanted to set as president of Georgia REALTORS® is one of respect. In order to achieve the unity that I believe everyone wants, we need to practice respect — of one another’s backgrounds, experiences, ideas and opinions. Last year, GAR instituted a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Task Force to evaluate and implement a long-term strategic plan to manage, integrate and sustain efforts to promote diversity, equity and inclusion within Georgia REALTORS®. The task force is working to raise awareness of GAR’s goals to advance diversity, equity and inclusion in leadership and membership, while facilitating an association-wide discussion about how GAR can become the diverse, inclusive community of members it envisions. Our task force members are working hard and meeting frequently, and several suggestions and initiatives for improvements have already been discussed, with implementation being the next step.

Another important initiative of our 2021 leadership team is communicating to both our members and the public how GAR stands as the first line of defense of private property rights and homeownership in Georgia. Our lobbying team worked overtime to ensure that real estate was declared an essential service in 2020. As we all saw, the need for a new home did not stop just because the world locked down. Georgia was a popular state for relocation in 2020 and continues to be in 2021. Most of the Realtors that I know have had their busiest year in their career. I can’t emphasize enough to consumers that in this fast-paced environment of selling, a Realtor will guide you through an array of challenges and choices that will inevitably come your way, whether you’re buying or selling.

In closing, I would like to speak directly to our members. If you have not attended a GAR conference or volunteered for a committee, there has never been a better time to get involved in our association. The network that you build with colleagues from across the state through your GAR contacts is invaluable. Many Realtors who attend our conferences end up with referral business — and just one closed sale from a referral will pay for your cost to attend a conference several times over. Additionally, we are seeking a variety of voices to get involved with our committees. From Governmental Affairs to Professional Development to Communications and beyond, we have several committees that need your voice as a volunteer to help GAR move forward. Visit garealtor.com to learn more about our upcoming Annual Conference & Expo this September and to volunteer for a committee in 2022.

Dorrie Love of Fayetteville is the 2021 president of Georgia REALTORS®

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