Chicago-based Baird & Warner, one of Illinois’ largest independent real estate firms, posted year-end sales of more than $6.2 billion in 2004, up 15 percent from $5.4 billion in 2003, the company said Monday.

The company sold 18,912 homes in 2004, a gain of 1,100 real estate properties over the 17,835 homes sold in 2003.

The independent real estate firm’s mortgage division, Baird & Warner Financial Services, reported 2004 home loan originations of $398 million, down 38 percent from 2003. The company said the number is in range with the mortgage industry’s expected decline range of 37 percent to 44 percent.

“Baird & Warner Financial Services underwent a year of restructuring in 2004 to position itself as a mortgage banker offering the broadest product menu with consistently excellent customer service,” said Timothy Good, the division’s president, in a statement. “We finished the year in a very strong position and are optimistic about the market and our continued growth during 2005.”

Baird & Warner is one of the country’s oldest real estate firms, with its 150th anniversary on March 28. The company has nearly 1800 real estate sales professionals in more than 300 communities throughout northeastern Illinois.

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