Market Restoration Tops Chris Polychron's Agenda as President-elect of National Association of Realtors

Chris Polychron is an executive broker with 1st Choice Realty in Hot Springs, specializing in residential sales, and is the 2014 president-elect of the National Association of Realtors . He has served on the National Association of Realtors board of directors since 2002. Polychron was elected president of the Arkansas Realtors Association in 2003. In 1996, he was named Arkansas Realtor of the Year and served as president of the Hot Springs Board of Realtors. Polychron was president of Grand National Bank in Hot Springs in 1979-84 before starting a career in real estate sales.

Polychron grew up in Little Rock and graduated in 1967 from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville with a bachelor’s degree in marketing.

The NAR, touted as the nation’s largest trade association, represents 1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

What got you interested in the real estate business as a career?

My former career as a banker helped me transition into real estate and has been a great benefit to my clients throughout my career. My wife, Janis, and I wanted to raise our family in Hot Springs, which in our opinion offers a wonderful quality of life, and I have been blessed to have made a lot of friends throughout my career and life; helping those friends find their primary or secondary home seemed like a natural career choice.

What are some of the common questions you’re hearing from clients these days?

I’m frequently asked about how the local market is performing, whether now is a good time to buy or sell, how high will mortgage rates rise and what will happen with home prices.

What are the biggest issues facing your profession?

The residential real estate market is in recovery mode as national existing-home sales should see an increase of 10 percent in 2013, and median existing-home prices are projected to be 11 percent above 2012, so that’s very good news. The biggest issue facing agents is ongoing mortgage lending challenges, stemming from Dodd-Frank Act regulatory reforms. New rules are precluding many would-be homebuyers from the housing market; to achieve a full recovery, the country needs a return to sensible lending standards so that buyers with good jobs and strong credit histories can be approved for loans.

What is your agenda as the president-elect of the National Association of Realtors?

At the top of my list is helping restore a healthy, functioning real estate market. Also on my agenda is identifying innovative ways to help consumers and Realtors stay a step ahead in the fast-changing real estate landscape. This includes pushing forward public policies that protect home ownership and real estate investment, and identifying innovative technologies, resources and practices that benefit consumers, Realtors and the industry.

If you were to provide some sage advice for a homebuyer/real estate investor, what would that be?

We’ve transitioned into a seller’s market in much of the country, and buyers are often competing for properties. Potential buyers need to be pre-approved for a mortgage, so they can quickly make an offer when they find the right home. Eliminating or reducing the number of contract contingencies can also make your offer stronger.

What’s the most significant thing you learned about the real estate business during your career? I’ve learned that every transaction is different, and regardless of how technology advances, real estate is still grounded in relationships. You can’t take the human element out of buying or selling a home or commercial property.

What was your best/worst decision during your career? I regret not leaving banking and getting into real estate sooner. There is nothing more gratifying than helping people achieve their dreams of investing in real estate or finding a house to call home.