The Effect of Reputation and Competition on the Advice of Real Estate Agents
Posted: 22 Aug 2008
Date Written: August, 21 2008
We study a two-period bargaining game where buyers and sellers employ real estate agents to help them determine the sales price of a house. We find that agents are less likely to provide aggressive bargaining advice to their client when they receive percentage commissions and when they work for the buyer. In addition, we find that agents are less likely to suggest aggressive bargaining strategies when there is little market competition, the gains to trade are large, in markets where housing values appreciate slowly, and when dual agency is permitted. More importantly, we show that an agent is more likely to bargain aggressively and capture a portion of the gains to trade for a client when the house's sales price is closely related to the agent's reputation and future business (referrals).
Keywords: bargaining game, real estate agent, reputation
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