A three-person partnership has purchased majority interest in the Wichita office of United Country Theurer Auction & Realty, moving the business farther east on Douglas.
Broker Steve Wilbur and former ReMax employees Donna Landreth and Karen Cheek purchased control of the office from founder Larry Theurer, who will continue to be involved in Wichita sales out of his Wellington headquarters.
The company's office moved last weekend from its space in the Eaton building to 2925 E. Douglas.
"This was just a beautiful opportunity," Wilbur said. "I did have a small ownership portion when I joined Larry, but it's been a dream of mine to operate my own shop kind of like a cooperative."
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The sale should close by the first of the year, Wilbur said, and there are no immediate plans to change the Wichita office's name: United Country Theurer Auction Realty.
The company's real estate specialties won't change, either: residential, farmland, recreational hunting land, historic structures and commercial real estate, the latter "an area that's growing for us with some properties downtown," Wilbur said.
Theurer said he sold the Wichita office to diversify the ownership of the company.
"We just look at this as an opportunity to grow our business," he said. "Bringing others in on ownership will allow me to devote more time to our farm and ranch business, which has been even better this year than in the past."
Landreth and Cheek bring expertise in higher-end property sales and brokerage administration, Wilbur said.
"Our vision will be the same," he said. "I see our roles changing a little bit over time, but I hope to see Karen more involved in the administration of the business. I will evolve more into the long-term vision of the company."
"United Country is a niche marketing company, and I see these new folks as a good fit for expanding the success of the business," Theurer said. "The people you bring in, if they've got a stake in the business, they're going to work harder to make it succeed."
Some of that vision, Wilbur said, includes new offices in Kansas and Oklahoma, as some of the company's niche sales — farmland, recreational land and historic buildings — grow.
Wilbur jointed Theurer in 2007, after six years as a residential broker and a career in the medical field.
Theurer founded the business in 1976.
United Country Real Estate brings together real estate professionals and auctioneers, with more than 4,000 agents and approximately 700 offices in the United States.