Marketing and Product Description: Value Added in the Real Estate Market

27 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2015

See all articles by Sebastien Gay

Sebastien Gay

The University of Chicago

Allen Zhang

Harvard University

Date Written: June 13, 2015


We consider the effect of marketing expertise on economic transactions, with a particular focus on the real estate market. We show that even as listing information becomes increasingly accessible on real estate aggregation websites, realtor expertise remains important in securing a desirable sale price. One main channel for the effects of such expertise is improving information dissemination to potential buyers through higher quality listings. Using listing photos and remarks as measures of quality, we find that realtor activity is correlated with significantly higher quality listings. We then measure the price impact of these measures of quality and find that, even after controlling for a large spectrum of house characteristics, listing quality is correlated with higher sale prices.

Keywords: expertise, transaction, real estate, specialization, value, marketing

JEL Classification: D8, L1, L8, M3, R2, R3

Suggested Citation

Gay, Sebastien and Zhang, Allen, Marketing and Product Description: Value Added in the Real Estate Market (June 13, 2015). Available at SSRN: or

Sebastien Gay (Contact Author)

The University of Chicago ( email )

Department of Economics
1126 East 59th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
773-834-0887 (Phone)


Allen Zhang

Harvard University ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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