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Ebby Halliday: Independent real estate powerhouse at 93

Brokerage founder has no plans to sell

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Men were jumping from Wall Street windows in 1929, the year that Ebby Halliday graduated from high school. She survived the Great Depression selling hats, and hat sales would later lead her to a career in house sales. Sixty years ago, Halliday founded Ebby Halliday, Realtors, and the company has grown to become one of the top independent brokerages in the nation. Halliday, 93, has seen some major changes in the real estate industry in her time. She remembers the days when MLSs, the RELO organization and computers were "new-fangled things," but there's one thing about her company that she would never change: its independence. "I have turned down so many offers to sell," she said. "They want to buy us, want to franchise us. I've elected to keep it independent and I have transferred 49 percent of my stock to the people who helped build it, and I have management in place to carry it on another 50 years." The remaining 51 percent of the company is held in trust for the company and its empl...