When a seller hires an agent to sell his/her property, a successful outcome depends on the list price, marketing time, unobserved relative bargaining power of the buyers and sellers, and the effort levels of the seller and the seller’s agent. A divergence with respect to the list/transaction prices and the expected effort levels between seller and agent will create a principal-agent interest conflict. This conflict in some cases results in an agent change before the house is sold. The change will reduce the relative bargaining power of the seller, affecting the observed marketing time and transaction price. This study estimates the effects of an agent change on marketing time and transaction price after controlling for degree of overpricing, list-price revisions, marketing time, and endogenous selection bias. Our results show that: (1) on average, an agent change increases the marketing time by about 3 months and adversely affects the transaction price by about 2.7 %. Furthermore, we found that an agent change before the expiration of the listing contract, compared to that of after the expiration, has a smaller effect on the marketing time (2.3 vs. 3.8 months) and has a smaller transaction price discount (2.1 % vs. 4.2 %).
The Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics – Springer Journals
Published: Mar 21, 2012
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