They’ll sell you a home – and steal your heart.
A good-looking agent makes a significant difference to a property’s sale price, and can add up to $23,000 to the vendor’s pocket, research shows.
The saying goes that sex sells and that applies, perhaps surprisingly, to real estate transactions.
A team at an Australian university crunched the numbers – and looked at a lot of photos of handsome and beautiful agents – to determine whether buyers are swayed by a good-looking face.
Researchers at the University of NSW discovered attractive agents get 2.3 per cent more for their clients’ properties.
Lecturers Robert Tumarkin and Joakim Bang compared pictures of agents with the prices they achieved in the sale of high-end properties.
They found the “halo effect”, a term used in marketing and psychology to describe the bias shown towards good-looking people and the brands they are associated with, has an impact on the buying and selling of real estate.
That equates to $15,364 on top of the median Melbourne house price of $668,000.
In Sydney, that’s just over $23,014 on top of the median price; in Brisbane, it’s a bump of $11,289; for Perth vendors, it’s a $13,917 premium and in Adelaide, it amounts to $11,023.
If it sounds like puff, take pause, because there is even a term for studying the role of attraction in economics and the labor market – pulchronomics.
Some agents, whether aware or not of the halo effect, have not been shy about putting themselves on show.
One Victorian agent, Levi Turner of Bellarine Property, went topless in a marketing video this year for a home on the Bellarine Peninsula, promoting three bedrooms and a six pack.
To determine whether an agent is hot or not, the UNSW researchers used independent testing.
Because just as choosing a home is a matter of preference, so too is beauty in the eye of the beholder.