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Do real estate agents have information advantages in housing markets?

Sumit Agarwal, Jia He, Tien Foo Sing and Changcheng Song

Journal of Financial Economics, 2019, vol. 134, issue 3, 715-735

Abstract: We use a large housing transaction data set in Singapore to study whether real estate agents use information advantages to buy houses at bargain prices. Agents bought their own houses at prices that are 2.54% lower than comparable houses bought by other buyers. Consistent with information asymmetries, agent buyers have more information advantages in less informative environments, and agent buyers are more likely to buy houses from agent sellers. Agent discounts are from both “cherry picking” and bargaining power, and bargaining power contributes more to the agent discounts. Agents’ advantage consists in their information of available houses and previous purchase prices.

Keywords: Housing market; Real estate agents; Information advantages; Bargaining power; Market distortion (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D14 E51 R30 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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DOI: 10.1016/j.jfineco.2019.05.008

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Handle: RePEc:eee:jfinec:v:134:y:2019:i:3:p:715-735