Wednesday, April 18, 2012
Marina Adshade highlights an eye-catching new study on real estate agents:
Being attractive, for both listing and selling agents, is associated with higher final sale price for a house, with the effect on house prices of having an attractive listing agent is about twice as large as that of an attractive selling agent.
The study also found that the gender of the agent affected the selling price:
It turns out having a male agent is bad for the selling price of a house. Both male listing agents (those acting on behalf of the seller) and male selling agents (those acting on behalf of the buyer) are associated with lower house prices than their female counterparts.
The study proposes two theories to explain why beauty matters:
Either attractive agents use their physical beauty to compensate for low productivity (i.e., they don’t actually work that hard to sell the house because their attractiveness helps get a higher price). Or they use their beauty to attract better listings that command higher prices but are no better (or worse) at selling them than other agents. The authors of this paper side with the second explanation – that agents don’t actually use their beauty to sell properties more successfully, but rather are better at attracting listings that they can sell for higher prices.