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April 2015

Study finds a home's proximity to broker's office can translate to faster sale

April 2015

Research by faculty at Longwood University in Virginia confirmed a correlation between the location of a home and its proximity to the listing agent's office. Authors of the study concluded distance acts as a deterrent for brokers.

The findings, reported in the Journal of Housing Research, indicates for every mile between a property and its listing agent's office average time on the market increases 0.36 percent, while the overall likelihood of selling drops by 0.5 percent.

In reporting the findings, the Wall Street Journal used two equivalent houses with one located within a block or the listing agent and the other located 15 miles across town. The one farther away will take around 5 percent longer to sell. Moreover, it has a 7.5 percent lower chance of selling at all.

The professors who conducted the research analyzed data on more than 13,000 sold and more than 8,000 unsold homes. The data, collected from a multiple listing service in central Virginia, covered a decade.

Bennie Waller, professor of finance and real estate at Longwood and a co-author of the study, deduced that distance makes it more expensive in terms of the time and effort to market a property. He believes the findings are broadly generalizable even though researchers used only data from one location, but acknowledged the effect may vary with the density of a given market.

Scheduling open houses, being called up to provide buyers and agents unscheduled access to properties, and becoming familiar with a neighborhood and market conditions beyond a broker's typical range of operation can be a hassle for some brokers.

The Journal of Housing Research (JHR) is a publication of the American Real Estate Society. The publications seeks to serve as an outlet for empirical and theoretical research on a broad range of housing related topics.