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Walldorf is Third Generation Head of Chattanooga Realtors Group

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Following in the path previously walked by his grandfather, father and uncle, Nathan Walldorf was elected last week as president of the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors.

The 39-year-old Realtor, who works as an affiliate broker at the real estate agency founded by his grandfather Herman, was sworn in as the new volunteer head of the 1,600-member association by his father Charles, who headed the local Realtors group three decades ago.

Nathan Walldorf is a Chattanooga native and graduate of Baylor High School and Denison University who has worked as a Realtor for the past 10 years. Although he grew up in the real estate industry and into the family that owns Chattanooga's oldest real estate agency, Nathan didn't initially work as a Realtor. He spent four years in the ministry outreach Young Life, including a couple of years in Guatemala City, before joining the family business.

"It was a good move," he said Monday. "I enjoy working with people and in real estate every day is different and you're not stuck in an office."

Walldorf and other Realtors hope to be out of the office making even more home sales in 2016. In the first 11 months of 2015, home sales in Chattanooga were up 10.2 percent from the previous year, rising to 13,313 units sold.

Despite the Federal Reserve Board pushing short term interest rates higher, Walldorf said mortgage rates remain attractive "and with the growing economy in Chattanooga, we're seeing a health real estate market right now."

Walldorf said even with growing access to online data and listings, "it is important for buyers and sellers to have the professional help and guidance a Realtor provides."

Walldorf said GCAR help competing real estate agents work and learn together, which is important in an industry where buyers and sellers are represented by Realtors from different firms who must work together for a fair price and exchange. Such "cooperative competition" is facilitated by the Realtors' multiple listing service, as well education and public policy programs by the association.

Other officers elected to the Chattanooga Realtors' association include Mark Hite as president-elect, and Jennie Brockman as treasurer.

Founded in 1912, the Greater Chattanooga Association of Realtors services Hamilton and Sequatchie counties in Southeast Tennessee and Catoosa, Dade and Walker counties in Northwest Georgia.