Hamilton Herald Masthead


Front Page - Friday, April 23, 2021

Winning the multi-offer faceoff

Lively is willing to share her secrets, but ...

Realtor Jennifer Lively is a member of the Charlotte Mabry Team at Keller Williams Greater Downtown Realty. She says knowing how to beat offers from competing buyers is critical in the current market. - Photograph provided

In a housing market as hot as Chattanooga’s, finding a Realtor who can win a multiple-offer showdown is critical, Realtor Jennifer Lively says.

Lively claims she’s won nine of the 10 multiple-offer faceoffs in which she’s been involved, which in baseball terms makes her a clutch hitter.

“I have a knack for it,” she says. “You have to know the market to win those.”

Lively has been learning the Chattanooga area market since her son took his first steps at the Crye-Leike office in Hixson, which was nearly 25 years ago.

She says she now feels like she’s learned everything there is to know about real estate, and is passing on her strategies in classes she teaches for her broker, Keller Williams.

Just don’t expect Lively to reveal her winning tactics outside her classroom.

“You have to take my class to learn my secrets,” she laughs.

Lively says there’s actually no secret to doing well in real estate. From the beginning, she says she’s simply prioritized the needs of her clients.

“For me, the most important thing about being an agent has never been where I rank on the MLS; rather, my goal is to get as many people as possible living the American dream,” she says.

“I don’t care if you’re spending $50,000 on your first home, or $500,000 on the sixth home I’ve sold to you; you’re going to get the same treatment from me.”

Lively describes her level of service as “working her fingers to the bone” to make sure a client finds the home they want or sells their house for the optimum price.

This includes guiding buyers and sellers through every step of the process and bearing the burden of what can be a stressful time.

“I make sure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible and that it’s enjoyable for you,” she says. “I don’t want you to be awake at night wondering if you’re making the right decision; I’m going to make sure you make the right decision.”

Lively says she’s even steered buyers toward homes that cost less than the amount for which they qualified to ensure they don’t overextend their budget.

“I was helping first-time home buyers who qualified for a $190,000 house, and I thought, ‘I’ve been here; I’ve been 25, and do they really want to do this?’ So, I found them a $165,000 house, just to make sure they understood what they were getting into.”

Lively says her client-focused approach to real estate has paid off. “I have customers who have used me to buy several houses over the years, and now I’m helping their children as they buy their own homes. That means a lot to me.”

Real estate entered Lively’s life at an unlikely place and time.

While she was taking a patient’s blood pressure at a doctor’s office, the person said, “You’re in the wrong line of work; you need to be a real estate agent.”

Lively did enjoy attending open houses with her mother and sister, and she wanted to do work that benefitted others, so she took the patient’s advice and registered for classes at TREES.

“I fell in love with real estate in the first ten minutes,” she recalls.

After starting her career at Crye-Leike, Lively switched to a local RE/MAX office. She says the culture and business assets available through Keller Williams Greater Downtown Realty then drew her to that brokerage in 2017.

“I love the family atmosphere. The brokers and agents all care about each other,” she says. “And the technologies available to agents allow us to provide the best possible service to our clients.”

After working alone for over 20 years, Lively joined the Charlotte Mabry Team in 2019. While she appreciates the support she receives as a member of a group, she says she values the team’s emphasis on customer service even more.

“I’m on one of the highest-producing teams in Chattanooga, which is great – not because of how much we sell but because of how much we care about our clients.”

Lively grew up 17 miles north of Chattanooga in Soddy-Daisy, where she lived a picturesque childhood across the road from her grandfather’s farm.

She reared her son, Hunter, in Soddy-Daisy, as well. A single mother by then, she often brought him along with her when she was showing a house.

Remembering this, Lively smiles and tells one of her favorite real estate stories, which took place when Hunter was 6 years old.

“I was showing two houses to a client. Both were priced a little over $700,000, and she couldn’t decide between the two,” Lively begins.

“We were standing in one of them, and the woman said, ‘Do you care if we look at the other house one more time?’

“I said, ‘No,’ but Hunter was ready to be done. As we were driving to other house, he said, ‘She needs to make up her mind.’

“Once we were there, he walked and, before I could say anything, said, ‘How can you not pick this house? Look at the detailed molding and the round staircase. And your Christmas tree will look perfect here.’

“She said, ‘Hunter, you’re right; this is my house.’”

Despite her son’s ostensibly natural flair for selling houses, Lively says she’s been unable to convince him to become a Realtor. But she still hopes he’ll change his mind.

In the meantime, she says she’ll continue to help people pursue the American dream of homeownership.

“The world has changed. I don’t think family and home have ever been as important to people as they are right now.

“But finding a space where you’re comfortable is tough. The key is first locating an agent who can find that place in a tight market and knows how to beat other offers.”

To become that agent, she reiterates, take her class.