Compass to acquire Latter & Blum

Compass is entering the housing markets in Louisiana and Mississippi through its acquisition of Gulf Coast-based brokerage Latter & Blum. 

The Robert Reffkin-helmed Compass announced the acquisition on Wednesday. The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. 

“We are excited to welcome the #1 brokerage in the Gulf South to Compass,” Reffkin said in a statement. “We will now have a firm presence across the Gulf Coast, from Texas to Florida, providing more opportunities for our agents to transact and better serve their clients.” 

According to an announcement from Compass, the brokerages will use co-branding in the region before transitioning to operate entirely under the Compass branding. 

Founded in 1916, Latter & Blum is led by chairman Robert Merrick and CEO Lacey Merrick Conway. According to the release, they will continue to manage brokerage operations locally. 

“At Latter & Blum, we take pride in creating life-changing opportunities and meaningful careers for agents,“ Merrick Conway said in a statement. “This partnership enhances our commitment, providing our agents and the local community access to an expansive referral network and cutting-edge tools driving the industry forward while maintaining our local culture and expertise.”

The acquisition adds more than 3,000 agents to Compass’s nationwide agent count. In its Q4 2023 earnings report, the brokerage noted that it had an average of 14,689 principal agents during the final three months of the year. 

Compass recently announced that it had reached a settlement agreement in the nationwide commission lawsuits. In addition to paying $57.5 million, Compass agreed to changes to its business practices. Compass offices will now require or encourage agents to make it clear to clients that commissions are negotiable, that agents will have the freedom to set or negotiate commissions as they see fit, and that agents will not be required to make offers of compensation or accept offers of compensation from cooperating brokers.

Last month, Latter & Blum was named as a defendant in a commission lawsuit filed by home seller plaintiff Joseph C. Peiffer. It is currently unclear how this acquisition and Compass’ settlement, which were reached after the Peiffer suit was filed, will impact Latter & Blum’s legal challenges. 

In 2023, Compass agents closed $184.45 billion in sales volume, good for the top spot in the 2024 RealTrends 500 rankings, while Latter and Blum agents closed $3.605 billion in sales volume, leading the firm to claim the No. 59 spot.

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