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How Much do Real Estate Brokers Add? A Case Study

Author

Listed:
  • B. Douglas Bernheim

    () (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

  • Jonathan Meer

    () (Department of Economics, Stanford University)

Abstract

Sales commissions for residential real estate brokers historically average nearly six percent of a home’s closing price. Do brokers add sufficient value to justify those commissions? We address this question using a unique data set pertaining to sales of faculty and staff homes on the Stanford University campus. We find no evidence that the use of a broker leads to higher average selling prices, or that it significantly alters average initial asking prices. However, those who use brokers sell their houses more quickly.

Suggested Citation

  • B. Douglas Bernheim & Jonathan Meer, 2007. "How Much do Real Estate Brokers Add? A Case Study," Discussion Papers 06-041, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
  • Handle: RePEc:sip:dpaper:06-041
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    File URL: http://www-siepr.stanford.edu/repec/sip/06-041.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2009. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus FSBOMadison.com," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1878-1898, December.
    2. Jonathan Meer & Edward Van Wesep, 2007. "A Test of Confidence Enhanced Performance: Evidence from US College Debaters," Discussion Papers 06-042, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research.
    3. Steven D. Levitt & Chad Syverson, 2008. "Market Distortions When Agents Are Better Informed: The Value of Information in Real Estate Transactions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 599-611, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    Cited by:

    1. Genesove, David & Han, Lu, 2012. "Search and matching in the housing market," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(1), pages 31-45.
    2. Igal Hendel & Aviv Nevo & François Ortalo-Magné, 2009. "The Relative Performance of Real Estate Marketing Platforms: MLS versus FSBOMadison.com," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 1878-1898, December.
    3. Xianwen Shi & Aloysius Siow, 2014. "Information externalities and intermediaries in frictional search markets," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 47(4), pages 1131-1152, November.
    4. Ying Li & Abdullah Yavas, 2015. "Residential Brokerage in Hot and Cold Markets," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 51(1), pages 1-21, July.
    5. Derek Stacey, 2016. "Commitment And Costly Signaling In Decentralized Markets," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 57, pages 1507-1533, November.
    6. Maria Eugenia Sanin, 2016. "Tradable emission permits: beyond pollution abatement motives," Documents de recherche 16-01, Centre d'Études des Politiques Économiques (EPEE), Université d'Evry Val d'Essonne.
    7. Vrinda Kadiyali & Jeffrey Prince & Daniel Simon, 2014. "Is Dual Agency in Real Estate a Cause for Concern?," The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Springer, vol. 48(1), pages 164-195, January.
    8. Derek Stacey, 2012. "Information, Commitment, and Separation in Illiquid Housing Markets," 2012 Meeting Papers 401, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    9. Steven Stelk & Leonard V. Zumpano, 2017. "Can Real Estate Brokers Affect Home Prices Under Extreme Market Conditions?," International Real Estate Review, Asian Real Estate Society, vol. 20(1), pages 51-73.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    real estate broker; comission; home sales; home price;

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • D19 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Other

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