Warren Buffett Buys Chicago Real Estate Firm

April 08, 2010

America’s favorite investor, Warren Buffett, is expanding his portfolio in the Chicago real estate arena.

Buffett’s brokerage company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., has purchased Elmhurst-based Schiller Real Estate. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Warren Buffett obviously sees a benefit to expanding his company's footprint in the Chicago real estate market.

Schiller will merge with Chicago’s Koenig & Strey Real Living, a residential brokerage firm that Berkshire affiliate HomeServices bought in September of last year.

“The acquisition of Schiller, merging with Koenig & Strey, further strengthens our presence in Chicago,” said Ron Peltier, chairman & CEO of HomeServices in a statement.

While median home prices fell 10 percent compared to 2009 numbers in the Chicago area, home sales rose 32 percent in February compared to last year.

“This is an important step in expanding Koenig & Strey’s footprint within key suburban Chicago markets,” said Koenig & Strey president & CEO Doug Ayers. “This opens a completely new market for us, and, with Schiller’s strength in the Elmhurst community, immediately positions our continued growth.”

HomeServices, based in Minneapolis, Minn., is the second largest residential brokerage in the country. Schiller, founded in 1970 by Bob and Anne Schiller, has a staff of 70. Through the merge, Koenig & Strey will become the third-largest residential real estate company in Chicago with 22 offices and close to 1,000 employees. The new location will be called the Koenig & Strey-Schiller Office.

“We are very proud to be a part of HomeServices of America and Koenig & Strey,” said Bob Schiller. “We are joining an organization consistent with our high standards of service and integrity, making this a win/win for our customers and associates.”

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