Pleasanton Weekly

Real Estate - March 12, 2010

Keller Williams acquires Hometown GMAC

End of an era for 32-year-old downtown firm

by Jeb Bing

Hometown GMAC, a name that's almost symbolic with Pleasanton's historic downtown, has been acquired by Keller Williams Realty, which has its main office at West Las Positas Blvd.

Steve Fast, president and co-owner of Hometown, said all Hometown agents have agreed to transfer to Keller Williams. Except for pending sales that are in escrow, all transactions by Hometown Realtors will now be carried forward under the Keller Williams flag.

Fast said Hometown first started out as the Osborne Real Estate Agency in the mid-1970s. Real estate broker Mike Peel and other investors bought the agency in 1978 as the Pleasanton office of the national Better Homes & Gardens franchise. Better Homes Publishing sold its real estate franchises to GMAC in 1990. GMAC recently sold its holdings to Brookfield, one of Canada's largest real estate firms, which wanted to change Hometown's name.

"The Hometown name is part of Pleasanton," Fast said. "Peel and I saw no value in changing the name at a time when the real estate market is struggling, and our agents agreed."

Keller Williams plans to keep the Hometown office and will assume the lease starting March 19 when the Hometown plaque on the front wall visible from First Street will be replaced with the Keller Williams sign.

"Like any well known business that closes, it's sad," Fast said. "But Keller Williams is also a well-known and highly respected real estate firm. The people of Pleasanton will continue to be well served."

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