Mastering the metropolis through research and thought leadership.
Working Papers

Competition in the Real Estate Brokerage Industry: A Critical Review

Working paper #825
Panle Jia Barwick and Maisy Wong
Brookings

The past decade has witnessed remarkable technological innovations and a proliferation of new business models in the real estate sector. However, much of the potential of these innovations has yet to be realized, and most real estate brokerage firms command a persistently high price (commission fee) for services rendered that seems to vary little with the associated cost. This paper identifies structural hurdles that have limited competition, including the current commission payment arrangement whereby the seller pays commissions to both the listing agent and the buying agent, high concentration in local markets, the threat of retaliation, and consumer biases. We then describe the negative welfare consequences of high commissions, discuss policy recommendations that could enhance competition in commissions, and conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of recent innovations in this industry.

Download full paper · 1MB PDF


In This Section
Explore Topics

1010 Affordable Housing Amazon Amenitization Architecture Artificial Intelligence Asia Australia automation Autonomous Vehicles bonds Borrowing Constraints Brexit California Canada Capital Business China Co-Working Environment coastal markets cold storage Colombia Commercial Brokerage Commercial Real Estate commissions Congestion consumer bias covid-19 CRE credit card market Credit Default Swaps Credit Insurance Credit Risk Transfers Culture Data Analytics data centers Data Collection Technology Debt Market Demand Demographics Density Development Discrete Choice disruption Diversity drones e-Commerce Economic Corridors economic policy economics education election studies Equity Funds Equity Market Ethnic Factors Europe Fannie Mae financial asset management Foreclosures Foreign Policy France Freddie Mac general equilibrium Global global economy Global Financial Crisis Globalization great depression Great Recession healthy buildings Hedonic hospitality Housing & Residential housing boom Housing Disease housing prices Housing Supply Identity Income Inequality India inflation Inter-generational mobility interest rates Investing jobs labor market Lagging Regions land use regulation Language life sciences Macroeconomics malls Market Pricing megacities Microeconomics Migration Minimum Payments Mixed-Use Mobility moral hazard mortgage insurance mortgage market Mortgage Rates Mortgages Multi-family Nation Building Non-Traditional Mortgages Office Market office sector pension funds Placed Based Policies Political Risk Price Discovery Private Equity Business public health public policy Public Schools real estate brokerage Real Estate Investment Real Estate Investment Trusts Recession Rental Retail Retirement reverse mortgages Risk Adjustment risk management risk-shifting robotics single family housing Slums Sorting South America Spatial Regions spillover effect stimulus package Sub-Prime Mortgages Sustainability Technology telecommunications trade transportation unemployment United States Urban Urbanization Warehouse welfare work from home

arrow_drop_up