According to new research from Applied Financial Economics, the attractiveness level of your real estate agent can impact the listing and selling prices of your property. It turns out it is better to have a female agent than a male, but if you have a female agent that is super attractive you may not see your house get sold for quite a while.
Econ blog Big Think found that in the study’s analysis, the researchers control for age of the property, size of the house, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, location of the home and, as controls for quality, whether or not the house has hardwood flooring, brick siding and granite countertops. Marina Adshade wrote being attractive, for both listing (representing the seller) and selling agents (representing the buyer), is associated with higher final sale price for a house, with the effect on house prices of having an attractive listing agent is about twice as large as that of an attractive selling agent. However, the hotness of your selling agent has no impact on how fast your house will get sold so you may have quite some time to admire the beauty.
But if you are going to have an attractive agent you are better off with a woman as both male listing agents and male selling agents are associated with lower house prices than their female counterparts.
However, even attractive female or male agents don’t necessarily earn more annually than less attractive agents. They may get higher selling prices but their less visually pleasing colleagues can get their houses sold faster. The houses they sell go for a higher price, but they sell fewer houses than do less attractive agents (presumably because each house is on the market for longer).
This is not the first time we’ve heard about attractiveness levels being a big part of the real estate industry. Earlier this year we wrote about how more and more women are going into the real estate industry: now women control 50% of all commercial real estate activities worldwide, 50% of all real estate firm CEO’s are women and 50% of private real estate developers and owners are women. But despite this progress Forbes still considers the real estate industry to be one of the most sexist. Women make 69.8 cents to every dollar a man makes. This is when we heard about the term “real estate trixies” from a male real estate agent. Steve Quintana, a real estate broker, said he became aware of this group when he saw that these women were getting more listings in his area.
“If they are attractive, they really play it up in photos. It can be a coy pose facial shot, or a full body shot if that works or them. If they have been in biz for 40 years, the photo they use is from a couple of decades ago. When you meet them you actually do not know it is the same person,” he said.
Being too attractive is what often leads to clients and managers assuming these women only got the job because they are pretty. This causes some managers to think twice about hiring women that are “too attractive.” Girl On Top author and LinkedIn’s Connection Director Nicole Williams said:
In my experience attractive women (and men) know they have that to their advantage and will use it as necessary. Attractive and smart are not mutually exclusive (what the stereotype perpetuates). As I said, I’ve had my belief in women questioned many times because I’m a proponent of using attractiveness to your advantage. I think it’s important to define attractiveness – it’s not about killer good looks. Whether we like it or not, people make assessments about who we are based upon how we appear but the package isn’t about the size of your nose. It’s about pulling yourself together, posture, confidence, knowing how to accentuate the positive and downplay the negative.