Local real estate companies announce merger

PARKERSBURG – Three real estate companies in Parkersburg and Marietta Friday announced they are merging and will be affiliated with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices.

“Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices is launching a new real estate brand in the third quarter and we have decided that we want to be part of this exciting new venture,” said Ted Gaston, owner of Old Colony in Parkersburg and Marietta.

The merger involves Old Colony and Terry Connolly, owner of Prudential Preferred Homes in Parkersburg, and Don Dooley and Linda McLean, owners of Coldwell Banker/Landmark Realtors in Parkersburg.

The companies will be merged into one late in the third quarter this year.

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices was announced in October by HomeServices of America Inc., an affiliate of Berkshire Hathaway, and Brookfield Asset Management. Berkshire Hathaway is a global conglomerate headed by Warren Buffett.

“Warren Buffett is the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, a multinational holding company which is respected throughout the world for its professionalism and integrity,” Gaston said. “We believe this will become the premier real estate brand in the United States and throughout the world.”

Connolly was enthusiastic of the possibilities from the local merger.

“We think it is a great opportunity for us to economize by combining various departments within our offices so that we don’t overlap services,” he said. “We also look forward to being able to increase our technology so we can better help our clients with the use of Internet and other social media to market their homes.”

Until the merger takes place, each office will operate under its existing brand, McLean said.

“We have been pleased with our relationship with Coldwell Banker for the past 30 years and will continue to be loyal to them until such time as we make the change this fall,” McLean said.

The new company will have from 40 to 50 sales associates in two offices in Parkersburg and Marietta, Dooley said.

“Our associates have the same values of professionalism, ethics, fairness and honesty and so we are comfortable that this transition will be a smooth one,” he said.

The location of the new office will be at one of the PMC buildings next to the Grand Central Mall. It is near major retail areas with easy access and ample office space and parking, McLean said.

“We have found the perfect new home,” McLean said. “Our landlord has been extremely helpful with suggestions and assistance to make the space into exactly what we need.”

Holmes R. “Butch” Shaver, the former owner of Old Colony and an agent for the firm, was equally excited with the merger. It will greatly improve service for clients and invigorate the firms, he said.

“It’s certainly going to re-energize me,” Shaver said.