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Restructuring Agency Relationships in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry: An Economic Analysis

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Abstract

Recent state legislative reforms of real estate agency relationships suggest that traditional agency law and practice are not meeting the needs of the parties involved in a residential real estate purchase and sales transaction. In this article, we argue that this is due, at least in part, to the bundling of information and representation services provided by brokers. This bundling results in a tradeoff between the benefits of buyers and sellers in sharing information prior to a match, and the cost to the parties individually of revealing information during bargaining. We conclude that, from an economic perspective, effective agency reform must solve this basic conflict, perhaps by unbundling the matching and representation functions.

Suggested Citation

  • Thomas Miceli & Katherine A. Pancak & C. F. Sirmans, 2000. "Restructuring Agency Relationships in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry: An Economic Analysis," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 20(1), pages 31-47.
  • Handle: RePEc:jre:issued:v:20:n:1:2000:p:31-47
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gene A. Marsh & Leonard V. Zumpano, 1988. "Agency Theory and the Changing Role of the Real Estate Broker: Conflicts and Possible Solutions," Journal of Real Estate Research, American Real Estate Society, vol. 3(2), pages 151-164.
    2. Thomas J. Miceli, 1988. "Information Costs and the Organization of the Real Estate Brokerage Industry in the U.S. and Great Britain," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 16(2), pages 173-188.
    3. Anglin, Paul M & Arnott, Richard, 1991. "Residential Real Estate Brokerage as a Principal-Agent Problem," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 99-125, June.
    4. Michael A. Arnold, 1992. "The Principal-Agent Relationship in Real Estate Brokerage Services," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 20(1), pages 89-106.
    5. Salant, Stephen W, 1991. "For Sale by Owner: When to Use a Broker and How to Price the House," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 4(2), pages 157-173, June.
    6. G. Donald Jud & James Frew, 1986. "Real Estate Brokers, Housing Prices, and the Demand for Housing," Urban Studies, Urban Studies Journal Limited, vol. 23(1), pages 21-31, February.
    7. Abdullah Yavas & Thomas J. Miceli & C.F. Sirmans, 2001. "An Experimental Analysis of the Impact of Intermediaries on the Outcome of Bargaining Games," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 29(2), pages 251-276.
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    Cited by:

    1. Thomas Miceli & Katherine Pancak & C. Sirmans, 2007. "Is the Compensation Model for Real Estate Brokers Obsolete?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 35(1), pages 7-22, July.
    2. Suvorov Anton & Tsybuleva Natalia, 2010. "Advice by an Informed Intermediary: Can You Trust Your Broker?," The B.E. Journal of Theoretical Economics, De Gruyter, vol. 10(1), pages 1-35, November.
    3. Han, Lu & Strange, William C., 2015. "The Microstructure of Housing Markets," Handbook of Regional and Urban Economics, Elsevier.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • L85 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Services - - - Real Estate Services

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