Regional real estate firms merge

From left: Bill Dinkel, president of HomeSale Settlement; Todd Lechleitner, co-owner of Brownstone Real Estate; Scott Campbell, co-owner and president of Brownstone; and Rod Messick, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty. (photo/submitted)

One of the region’s largest residential real estate firms just got larger.

  • As of July 12, Lancaster-based Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Homesale Realty has absorbed Brownstone Real Estate, adding two offices and 38 agents in Lebanon and Hershey.
  • Terms of the merger were not disclosed.
  • “After 51 years in business, it was important for us to join a company that combines a similar hometown ideology with the leadership of a top national brand,” Brownstone co-owners Todd Lechleitner and Scott Campbell said in a joint statement. “Homesale Realty has a proven track record that will set our agents up for long-term stability, success, and continued growth.

The numbers: Homesale Realty is among the largest residential real estate firms in the U.S. Its market covers Central Pennsylvania and the Baltimore area.

  • The agency closed sales totaling more than $4.4 billion in 2021, according to industry research firm RealTrends. 
  • The two former Brownstone offices at 501 W. Governor Road in Hershey and 102 A Fairview Circle in Lebanon — bring Homesale to 35 offices and roughly 1,300 agents overall.
  • Campbell and Lechleitner are joining Homesale Realty as realtors.
  • “I’m so excited to welcome the Brownstone agents, employees, Scott and Todd to Homesale,” Homesale Realty CEO Rod Messick said in a statement. “Brownstone is a company we’ve admired for a long time.”
  • Founded in 1971, Brownstone covered Dauphin, Lebanon, Lancaster, Cumberland, Berks and Perry counties.

The background: The merger comes at a pivotal time for residential real estate.

  • Sales have been hot. However, rising interest rates threaten to put a damper on the market.
  • According to real estate tech firm Redfin, nearly 15% of home-purchase agreements fell through in June, the highest rate since March and April 2020, when the pandemic froze the market.
  • The rate was 12.7% in May and 11.2% in April, according to Redfin.

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