Buyer brokerage: Experimental evidence
This paper offers an experimental investigation of two commission structures for buyer brokerage. One commission structure is the currently used structure in the industry where both the seller’s broker and the buyer’s broker each receive a percentage of the sales price as their compensation from the seller. In an alternative commission structure, while the seller’s broker still receives a percentage of the sales price from the seller, the buyer’s broker is compensated by the buyer and the compensation is inversely related to the sales price. We find that how the buyer’s broker gets compensated has significant implications. While both commission structures yield a similar probability of reaching an agreement, the alternative commission structure yields a lower price and a longer time to reach an agreement. Furthermore, the alternative commission structure achieves a better alignment of the interests of the buyer and the buyer’s broker without affecting the earnings of the players in the transaction. We also find that the improvement in the alignment of interests is more significant for female buyers than for male buyers. Furthermore, a higher listing price by the seller and a higher initial bid price by the buyer each lead to a significant increase in the negotiated price.
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