Five Questions with: Chris Whitten

Chris Whitten is the owner and broker behind Premeer Real Estate, who recently received the Ben G. Mondor Award from the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce at the chamber’s 32nd Annual Celebration held at Bally’s Twin River Lincoln Casino Resort. The award recognizes a chamber member who exhibits the philanthropic spirit of Ben Mondor, former owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox. Whitten established Premeer Real Estate in 2013, now with three locations, in Smithfield, Uxbridge, Massachusetts, and Auburn, Massachusetts. The business established the Premeer Gives Back Program in 2019, which has donated $71,250 to local charities and nonprofits, such as the Izzy Foundation, The CASA Project, Pawfect Life Rescue, Earth LTD, and Project New Hope.

PBN: What’s your reaction to your recent Mondor Award from the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce, as a result of your philanthropic efforts with the Premeer Gives Back program?

WHITTEN: Honesty, humbled. It’s such an honor to receive an award like this.  More so, one named after Ben Mondor. I saw his amazing work and leadership with the PawSox firsthand in my past life as the co-host of the Tad & Chris morning show at Cat Country 98.1-FM. Yes, he was the man at the top, but every single member of his crew at McCoy carried out his charitable mission and they did it with a smile.

PBN: How was Premeer Real Estate founded and how did it later establish this charitable initiative??

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WHITTEN: Premeer Real Estate was founded with the idea that there’s more to a real estate transaction than just a purchase price and sales contract. We’re all moms, dads, sons, daughters, grandparents, friends and neighbors and the real estate process should be treated as such. We not only help many buy and sell real estate but also help facilitate the charitable work our communities thirst for! We believe investing in our communities is truly investing in our future and that together we truly can make a difference.

PBN: What’s your impression of the local real estate market this year and its trajectory compared to the past few years, in terms of supply, demand and financing? How will it change?

WHITTEN: Brace yourself. We’re only going up from here! After a brief slowdown in November, we are back to where we were the last two years. Critically low inventory and even more homebuyers entering the market. With rates strongly predicted to drop as the year progresses, that’ll only mean a more saturated buyer pool all fighting over a handful of houses hitting the market.

PBN: What has been one of your favorite real estate transactions in recent years that you could tell us about, and what made that deal so memorable?

WHITTEN: The answer to this question for almost every Realtor will be helping that first-time homebuyer purchase their first home. Just last week I was bubbling over with joy and excitement as I called my first-time homebuyers to tell them their offer on their dream home in Cumberland was accepted. The sounds of joy from their whole family celebrating on the other side of the phone still brings a smile to my face.

PBN: What’s your general advice for prospective Rhode Island homebuyers in this current market?

WHITTEN: Be patient. Now, more than ever, is the time to rely on a trusted Realtor to help navigate this fast-paced real estate market. Buying a home in this market is a lot like learning to surf at Narragansett Town Beach. It may take nearly a dozen times to get up on that board but stay the course, listen to your coach and you’ll eventually be bursting with joy as you ride that thing to shore.

Marc Larocque is a PBN contributing writer.