Navigating the Market

Sep 1, 2020

Closing in on all things real estate with Holly Callanan, CEO of GHAR

Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, a seasoned seller, or a long-time homeowner, there are lots of factors to consider to ensure you’re making the right decisions in real estate. If you have questions about the current state of the market, want to know about popular features to look for, or need a better understanding of what questions to ask a prospective agent, you’ve come to the right place. We checked in with real estate guru, Holly Callanan, Chief Executive Officer of the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS®, to answer some hot topic questions. 

Tell us a little more about GHAR and how you work with your members?

To become a REALTOR®, licensed agents must belong to the National Association of REALTORS®, the state association (CT REALTORS®), and a local association. The Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® (GHAR) is the largest local real estate trade association in Connecticut, serving over 4,000 members in the 27 town Greater Hartford real estate brokerage community. The Association provides technology, training, networking, and business support to members, and supports a healthy real estate market by upholding high professional and ethical standards through a Code of Ethics, ongoing education and certification programs for our members.

This is such a unique real estate market. What challenges and opportunities are present for buyers and sellers?

This is an amazing time to become a homeowner because interest rates are at historic lows. Sellers are also at an advantage because the housing inventory in greater Hartford is low and that usually means prices go up to match demand. The housing market has really boomed this summer, which could be because people are spending more time at home and could be reevaluating their space.

What are people looking for when they buy a home right now? Are there any specific trends and/or features?

What we are hearing from our members is that their clients are looking for home office space and improved outdoor space. The pandemic has shed light on home life and what that looks like these days. We’ve seen an uptick in backyard pool installations, as families look for outdoor fun that they can enjoy at home.

Finding an agent is such a personal choice. What questions do you recommend asking when looking for someone to work with?

It is so important to find the right REALTOR® for your needs. Be sure to talk to people who have bought or sold their homes recently. Your choice should be based on a strong recommendation from someone you trust. Relying on your own instinct to determine if the agent is compatible is also important. It’s a big decision so asking to see testimonials, as well as how they like to communicate, and how often, so that the process is as comfortable as possible.

GHAR is located in the Design District which is home to dozens of home remodeling professionals. What do you love about being a part of this community?

We are fairly new to the neighborhood, having purchased the building at 430 New Park Ave in 2017, and it’s been just a perfect location. As an association of members who provide the dream of homeownership, it was important that GHAR purchase our own “home”. Becoming members of the Design District just makes sense. I personally love to see these small businesses that provide such a wide variety of home improvements, products, and services. The neighborhood has been a great fit for our association and for our members.

GHAR is the largest local real estate trade association in Connecticut, helping its members capitalize on the latest industry information, education, and connections. Learn more about the Greater Hartford Association of REALTORS® at