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Berkshire HathawayÕ HomeServices of America acquires Long & Foster

Long & Foster Real Estate is nation's largest independent residential real estate brand

HomeServices of America, the real estate arm of Berkshire Hathaway, announced Thursday that it is acquiring The Long & Foster Companies, one of the largest private residential real estate companies in the country.

According to details provided by the companies, the acquisition includes Long & Foster’s family of companies, including Long & Foster Real Estate and its affiliated mortgage, settlement services, insurance, and property management businesses.

In a release, the HomeServices said that acquiring the Long & Foster brands positions the company to be the “nation’s largest home ownership services provider based on transactions.”

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

In a release, the companies stated that Long & Foster Real Estate is the largest independent residential real estate brand by volume and the second largest independent brand by units, according to the 2017 REAL Trends 500 report.

Long & Foster Real Estate employs approximately 11,000 agents in over 230 offices in major markets in Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey.

In 2016, the company was responsible for nearly $29 billion in sales volume and more than 81,000 home sale transactions.

Also included in the deal is Prosperity Mortgage, which originated nearly 12,000 mortgages representing $3.3 billion in volume in 2016; Long & Foster’s settlement services companies, which closed over 20,000 title and escrow transactions in 2016; and Long & Foster Insurance, which issued approximately 8,300 property and casualty insurance policies in 2016.

With this deal, HomeServices now has more than 41,000 real estate professionals in 30 states and the District of Columbia. The company said that in 2017, it expects its sales associates to facilitate over $123 billion in residential real estate sales, nearly 340,000 home sale transactions, and nearly 200,000 mortgage, insurance, title, and escrow transactions.

Wes Foster, one of Long & Foster’s co-founders, will remain with the company as chairman emeritus. Jeff Detwiler, Long & Foster’s current president and chief operating officer, will become the company’s chief executive officer.

In this role, he will work with the company’s existing team of leaders to oversee growth initiatives and continue to manage day-to-day operations.

“Finding the right partner to maintain the legacy, culture, and integrity of Long & Foster was of utmost importance to me,” Foster said in a release. “I couldn’t be more pleased that we are joining an organization known for its impeccable reputation and commitment to protecting brands. Joining HomeServices ensures that our history of market leadership and industry expertise continues.” 

Detweiler called the deal a “clear win” for the company’s clients, agents, and employees.

“This is an important transaction for HomeServices and we are incredibly proud to have The Long & Foster Companies join the HomeServices family,” Ron Peltier, HomeServices’ chairman and CEO, said.

“Wes, together with his executive team, regional leaders, sales managers, and agents, has built an extraordinary organization that exemplifies an exceptional level of expertise, vision, and leadership,” Peltier added. “We are honored to be part of Long & Foster’s future and are committed to its continued growth and success.”

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