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Want a better deal on buying a house? Find a physically unattractive real estate agent

Friday, June 14, 2013 by: Lance Johnson
Tags: real estate agents, home buying, physical beauty

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(NaturalNews) A study from Columbus State University suggests that physically attractive real estate agents tend to list property at a higher price and make more money from each sale. So when it comes to locking in the best deal on a house, it's now recommended that you find yourself an ugly real estate agent. The study makes perfect sense, regarding human nature and how beauty and impression influences buyer behavior.

Sean Salter, associate professor of finance at Middle Tennessee State University, says, "When you see a more attractive person, you think 'Superman.' They're going to be good at whatever they do. You think they're attractive, they're smarter, they're funnier - they're probably a better real-estate agent."

What the researchers examined

The researchers at Columbus State University, led by Professor Frank Mixon, began a study, gathering 402 volunteers who were instructed to observe photographs of real estate agents and rate them on a scale of 1 to 10. The volunteers meticulously rated the images, based on their own idea of beauty. An average view of beauty was created based on their collective opinion.

Then, the researchers delved through each agent's listings between 2000 and 2007, using the multiple listing service data. They dissected and compared listing prices, sales prices, and the amount of time each property was on the market.

In the end, their findings suggested that physically attractive agents attract a higher sale price. The prettiest and most handsome agents list homes on average for $20,275 more and typically sell homes for $15,622 more than their colleagues.

Knowing this, a home buyer may save thousands of dollars if they just go with an honest ugly real estate agent. On the other hand, a home seller could boost their profit by thousands of dollars just by choosing the most attractive agent.

Researchers not surprised by the results

Not shocked by the results, the lead researcher, Frank Mixon said, "There is a growing literature in economics that relates physical attractiveness to productivity in the workplace, and to all sorts of choices people make."

The researchers also wrote, "Given the nature of the brokerage system, this confirms our theory that beauty enhances an agent's wage."

Ugly real estate agents work harder and sell more to compensate

What the study also found out was that the least attractive brokers had, on average, 17 more listings and had closed, on average, 11 more total sales. In the long run, the least attractive agents compensated, working harder, selling more quantity.

The researchers noted that although the most attractive agents made the most money from each sale, they generally had fewer total sales, and it also took the attractive ones longer to close each sale.

Professor Salter says, "This suggests that more attractive agents may be using beauty to supplement, rather than to complement, other productive activities."

Through seven years' worth of real estate transactions, it didn't matter who was more attractive. It mattered who worked the hardest and who had more skill. Total income varied slightly between the attractive and the ugly.

Professor Mixon added that it's important to note that "attractiveness is not the be all, end all - it just helps to tip the scales when competitors are equally talented or skilled."

According to their research, the ugly real estate agents may not have made the most from each sale, but they worked harder, longer, and sold more homes over a seven-year period.

Sources for this article include:


Columbus State University (2013, June 3). More attractive real estate agents mean higher prices and profits. ScienceDaily.



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