Area board of Realtors turns 150

The Baltimore Sun

The Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors, founded in 1858 and the oldest real estate board in the country, is marking its 150th anniversary this year.

"Part of the significance is that the founding principles at the time are pretty much the founding principles of the national organization at the time," said Vito Simone, president-elect and broker-owner of Simone Real Estate in Pikesville.

The early ideas included having ethical business practices, sharing property information and lobbying the legislature. The National Association of Realtors, of which the Baltimore-area organization was a founding member, is 100 years old. Initiatives over the years have included fair housing legislation.

GBBR, which has nearly 5,000 members, will hold a ball Saturday to benefit its decade-old charitable foundation. The foundation has given $1 million to programs that include Adopt a Classroom, Chesapeake Habitat for Humanity, the Maryland Mentoring Partnership and the playground at Stadium Place.

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