• Thu. Jan 28th, 2021

In bid for California growth, Windermere buys Sacramento real estate firm

Seattle-based residential real estate giant Windermere will make a new push into northern California by acquiring a Sacramento firm with 17 offices and 800 agents, the companies announced.

The 75-year-old Sacramento firm, Lyon Real Estate, will keep its branding and leadership, the companies said. Windermere declined to provide financial details about the deal.

Though Windermere has several offices in the San Francisco Bay Area and elsewhere in California, “this gives us a very strong foothold in northern California,” said Windermere co-president OB Jacobi in an interview. “We think it’s a very good springboard to growth for us.”

The Sacramento housing market, where the median sale price is $400,000, is more competitive than Seattle, according to a Redfin analysis of factors like how long it takes homes to sell.

Windermere’s 6,500 agents work across 300 offices in 10 Western states and Mexico. Lyon President Pat Shea said in a press release Windermere is “well suited to maintain Lyon’s legacy and grow it in the future.”

In Sacramento, the family-owned company dealt with scandal in recent years as former CEO Michael Lyon was convicted in 2011 for “secretly filming and recording nannies, relatives, friends and sex workers at his various properties” and again in 2018 for secretly recording acts with sex workers at his home, according to The Sacramento Bee. Lyon reportedly resigned as CEO in 2010.

Jacobi said the scandal was “certainly something you’ve got to think about,” but praised the company’s current leadership team.

“We’re pretty confident we can overcome all that,” Jacobi said.