Warren Buffett’s Intero Real Estate acquisition includes two local offices | TheUnion.com

Warren Buffett’s Intero Real Estate acquisition includes two local offices

Intero Real Estate Services located in downtown Grass Valley.

Warren Buffett, the world's third-richest man according to Forbes, has purchased Intero Real Estate Services through his finance holding companies Berkshire Hathaway and HomeServices Inc. Headquartered in Cupertino, Intero serves 13 offices throughout Northern California and 60 offices nationwide.

Included in the acquisition are local Grass Valley and Penn Valley Intero offices, owned by broker and franchisee John Miller.

"We think we just took what was a great company and made it the second-largest company in the United States. I think it's a wonderful thing," Miller said. "The best part is the management of Intero is going to remain the same. So the things that people loved about Intero isn't changing, the only difference is we are becoming about ten-times larger."

The terms of the Intero deal were not disclosed, but Berkshire Hathaway has recently leveraged its position in the residential brokerage industry through the new brand, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. The company has bought eight brokerages in the past two years.

Since 2007, Intero has consistently ranked in the top 5 market share in Silicon Valley, based on volume. In 2013 the company closed nearly 7,300 units and $5.7 billion of volume, and generated more than $1.5 billion in sales.

According to Miller, locally, Intero has grown to 28 real estate agents in one year, and is also expanding into the office that was the Sole Sisters shoe store with a lower floor on the 100 block of East Main Street in Grass Valley.

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"We are opening a new office in South County near Lake of the Pines and we sold just over $5.4 million last month alone," Miller said. "We are on pace for a much bigger year this year, and we have donated over $3 million to local children's charities and we have raised over $10,000 here in Nevada County."

Miller added, "By this affiliation with HomeServices and Berkshire Hathaway, we are increasing our market share and our number of offices worldwide over ten fold."

Founded in 2002, Intero President and CEO Gino Blefari says despite the acquisition, the company's current executive management team will continue to lead Intero's strategic planning and growth initiatives as well as manage the day-to-day operations along with their sales management teams.

HomeServices will now have more than 23,000 real estate professionals operating in 25 states. In 2013, HomeServices' associates closed nearly $56 billion in sales volume, over 184,000 real estate transactions and closed approximately $3.7 billion in home mortgages.

"This transaction makes one of the premier firms in Northern California an even stronger organization," Blefari said. "By joining forces with HomeServices, we will be unmatched in our ability to serve the real estate needs of new and existing clients throughout the communities we serve."

Miller agrees, and says the only visible change in Intero's local offices will be the addition of their branding which will now include signs that will add "An affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway" on them.

"I think it gives us more leverage in the industry, it gives us a bigger network for referrals, it gives us a bigger footprint worldwide," Miller said. "I don't think there's anything but good out there in this deal."

For more information go to http://www.interorealestate.com

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email inatividad@theunion.com or call 530-477-4236.

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