We knew it - a good looking estate agent can increase the value of a property. And now we have proof, right down to the tenth of one per cent.
A study by the University of New South Wales in Australia assessed how much a perceived ‘good looking’ agent - of either sex - could add as an 'attractive premium'.
It examined the what statisticians calls the standard deviation increase that occured in estate agents' physical attractiveness, finding that for every step up the ladder of perceived beauty, the final selling price of a property reliably increased by 2.3 per cent.
“Our research shows that that the degree of attractiveness of an estate agent spills over into the property they are selling, making it more attractive in the minds of buyers” says researcher and UNSW Business School senior lecturer Robert Tumarkin.
The study matched photographs of estate agents, who had been rated on attractiveness in independent tests with property sales that had generated the same average investment, and found that good-looking agents were achieving substantial price premiums.
It's an expansion of what is known by some psychologists and others as the 'halo effect', where a person's overall impression of something affects their evaluation of its individual aspects. In regard to property, the research suggests that a beautiful estate agent distorts our ability to isolate and accurately discern the true value of a property.
A similar US study in 2013 found that based on the nature of agent commission and the profits yielded from an increased property sale price, 'beauty enhances an agent's wage'.
Frank Mixon, a professor of economics at Columbus State University's Turner College of Business, qualified the conclusions by noting that “attractiveness is not the 'be all, end all' – it just helps to tip the scales when competitors are otherwise equally talented or skilled”.
We are grateful to agent comparison website LocalAgentFinder for drawing this to our attention. Now we’d like to hear what you say: if you have evidence this is correct (or incorrect, if you think one of your negotiators is less than gorgeous), please let us know by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org.