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Tomlinson joins Coldwell Banker

Local group is company’s third-largest member

Tomlinson Real Estate Group Spokane offices Wednesday became affiliates of Coldwell Banker, in the process becoming the national company’s third-largest member.

The four offices – in Cheney, Spokane Valley, and the north and south sides of Spokane – join 12 Tomlinson offices in Eastern Washington and Idaho that already carry the Coldwell Banker brand, Tomlinson Chairman Bob Tomlinson said.

The 71-year-old Spokane brokerage, which will take the name Coldwell Banker Tomlinson, employs almost 1,000 people across its network, he said.

Tomlinson co-owns the company with Bryan Walker, Mike Hume and Fred Meyer.

Coldwell Banker President Jim Gillespie, who met with Tomlinson agents and brokers at the CenterPlace Regional Events Center, said they will add to a corps spanning six continents in 3,200 offices.

The company already has one Spokane affiliate, Coldwell Banker Northwest, and that relationship will not change, he said, adding that there are multiple affiliates in several markets.

Gillespie said he is optimistic about home sales in 2010, but urged buyers who can qualify for an $8,000 federal income tax credit to make their purchase before the incentive expires April 30. Although the deadline was extended from Nov. 30, he said congressional leaders tell him a second extension will not happen.

The tax incentive, plus the combination of high home inventories and low interest rates and home prices, makes this the “perfect time” to buy a home, he said, as long as buyers are confident about their jobs.

The market may be depressed now, but population growth and increasing sales to minorities and single women will create demand for almost 59 million new housing units nationwide by 2030, Gillespie said.