The purpose of this paper is to examine the widespread of property sellers choosing to sell by themselves or through an estate agent, what characterises them and the reason for their choice. In addition the paper contains comparisons of the gap between sales price and asking price between the sales methods and satisfaction with the sales process. This study is the first study of these phenomena carried out in Norway.
The data used for this study was obtained from a national survey including 1,649 house sellers. A logistic regression analysis is used to analyse the impact of household’s characteristics on the sales method.
The main findings of this study are that 83 per cent of the house sellers used an estate agent through the whole sales process and differences in the choices are related to urbanisation, age and education. The most important reason for preferring a real estate broker is that doing the sale on your own is considered too much work. Conversely, the most important reason for doing the sale on your own is that estate agents are too expensive. Those selling without an estate agent were more satisfied and the gap between sales price and asking price was smaller than for those selling through a real estate broker.
Issues concerning competition within the market for estate agents should be central topics for property management. Property sellers selling their property by themselves are an important contribution to increase the competition in the market for estate agents. This issue has not been on the agenda in Norway, or in Europe, in the same way as in the USA. This is probably due to the complexity in the legislation and strict laws within property sales in Central and Southern Europe. However, in Norway, UK and in the Nordic countries, the legal system is not complicated. It is rather the lockout of private individuals from the housing web sites and the fact that the property sellers are not familiar with this kind of transaction that has prevented property sellers to sell their house by themselves. Today Norway is one of few countries with a booming housing market, which also has increased the commission for estate agents. From 2010 private individuals got access to advertise their house on the housing web sites in Norway. These have influenced the focus on alternative sales methods.
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