A longtime Lawrence real estate broker is opening his own agency.
J.R. Demby has started Lawrence's first exclusive buyers' agency -- a business that represents buyers, not sellers -- in the real estate market.
Historically, real estate agents have represented both the buyers and the sellers. New laws allow for a variety of combination representations, including dual agencies, in which the buyer and seller can be represented by the same agency but separate agents.
Starting this year, Kansas law allows companies to solely represent the home buyer. And Demby, who has dreamed of owning his own company for several years, jumped at the chance to open a buyers' agency.
"With all of the changes taking place in the real estate business, I thought this is something Lawrence really needed," said Demby, who calls his new company Demwall Buyers Company, a combination of his last name and his wife's, which is Wallace. Demby has worked as a real estate agent in Lawrence for 16 years.
"I really enjoy the relationship that forms between the Realtor and the buyer, and I just feel that that relationship deserves exclusivity."
In a buyers' agency, agents don't list homes for sale. They only list the buyers for a specified amount of time. Demby's obligation to his clients is to find them a house and represent them in the sale. This may include giving the buyer information about home inspection, appraisals or surveys, developing a community and competitive market analysis or offering financing options.
The most important part of the job is to offer clients full access to the Lawrence housing market, Demby said.
"When you are representing the seller, you are trying to get them the highest and best offer as quickly as possible," Demby said. "But the interests of the buyer are completely different."
As a buyers' agent, Demby can also act as an impartial consultant for both sides in the sale of a home, he said. As with traditional real estate agents, most of Demby's fees are generated from the sale of the home.
So far, referrals and company transfers have helped establish the Demwall Buyers Company, he said. But as more people in this area become familiar with this style of real estate representation, Demby hopes to expand his company.
He has already hooked up with a national organization of buyers' agents to help offer guidance. Demby said he has discovered many established, successful 20-year-old buyers' agencies in larger cities across the nation through the Internet.