You know you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but will judging your real estate agent’s “hotness” factor get you a higher price? It might, according to a study published inApplied Financial Economics that indicates that more attractive real estate agents get higher prices for homes[1]. Like it or not, explains one of the researchers who conducted the study, “when you see a more attractive person, you think ‘Superman.’” That instinctive response leads to better responses from buyers and sellers when it comes to negotiating top dollar for a property. For listing agents, each “attractiveness point” added an average of $10,989 to the listing price, and for selling agents, each point added $8,467 to the home’s actual sales price.

Attractiveness was determined by asking 402 people to rate male and female agents on a scale of one to 10 and then evaluating the past seven years of those agents’ property transaction histories[2]. Although these findings might lead you to go out and find the “prettiest” agent possible when listing your home, the researchers warn that their findings are not quite that simple. It turned out that although prices were definitely higher for attractive agents, attractive agents carried 17 fewer listings and made 11 fewer sales, on average, during the seven-year period reviewed. It also took “attractive” agents longer to sell properties.

Would you factor in an agent’s looks when making a decision about whether or not to work with that real estate agent?




by Carole VanSickle