Sotheby’s International Realty buys local agency Pritchett-Rapf

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Sotheby's International Realty logo. Contributed photo

Pritchett-Rapf was the largest independent real estate firm in Malibu 

The local real estate market has made a major shakeup. International conglomerate Sotheby’s International Realty has just purchased one of the last independent real estate agencies in Malibu, Pritchett-Rapf. The more than 50-year-old Malibu agency with offices in Malibu and Topanga was the largest independent real estate firm in Malibu.

Sotheby’s announced its acquisition last week of all the assets of Pritchett-Rapf, that was founded in 1964 and is well known to longtime Malibu residents.

Sotheby’s will now be officially operated under the title Sotheby’s International Realty – Malibu Brokerage and Sotheby’s International Realty – Topanga Brokerage, under the leadership of senior vice president and brokerage manager Cristian David, who confirmed the news to the Malibu Times this week. The acquisition became official June 14.

David answered questions by email and wrote: “There were 28 agents affiliated with Pritchett-Rapf. Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc. has 48 agents combined in both the Malibu and Topanga Brokerages.” 

Asked to comment on local real estate and Sotheby’s presence in Malibu, David emailed, “The addition of Pritchett-Rapf Realtors extends the existing Sotheby’s International Realty network in the Greater Los Angeles area to over 700 independent sales associates and 12 offices. This allows the community to be better served by this expanded group of affiliated agents who will now have the best marketing tools in the business, a heritage brand, and referral network opportunities to resort markets beyond our coast and across the globe.”

This acquisition helps boost Sotheby’s robust market share. The international real estate agency brokered more than $4.8 billion in sales volume last year.

Broker and owner of Pritchett-Rapf Realtors, Jack Pritchett, will remain engaged as a senior advisor and sales associate, according to a press release issued by Sotheby’s. 

“Sotheby’s International Realty is a globally recognized leader in luxury real estate, and the brand’s unrivaled international network will provide the seasoned agents at Pritchett-Rapf Realtors a competitive advantage over local and national firms,” said Pritchett in the press release.

The president and chief executive officer of Sotheby’s International Realty, Philip White, released a statement: “Pritchett-Rapf Realtors has long been respected in Malibu as a premier real estate brokerage firm making it an ideal fit for our network. Their agents are deeply invested in the community where they have lived and worked for decades. We are excited to work with them and provide access to new marketing platforms to help expose their listings to the world via the Sotheby’s International Realty brand.”

That brand was started in 1976 when Sotheby’s International Realty was founded as an arm of Sotheby’s auction house that was founded in 1774. According to the company, Sotheby’s global footprint spans approximately 1,100 offices located in 81 countries and territories worldwide, including 48 company-owned brokerage offices in key metropolitan and resort markets. 

For decades Pritchett-Rapf had touted its local presence in the Malibu community and its “longstanding relationships with neighbors, retailers, business owners, schools, service groups, and city governments. This local profile gives us an edge in the competitive real estate market and also defines how we approach our work. We are members of a community that we love and offer each client the opportunity to become a part of the long history of Malibu, Topanga, and surrounding areas.”