Sex does sell in real estate: Study

Better-looking agents get bump in listings, sale prices, research shows.
May 31, 2013 02:00PM

Christopher Austad the agent and the former model

Being beautiful on the inside just doesn’t cut it for agents listing and selling homes. Rather, agents deemed to be physically attractive list homes for roughly $20,000 more and sell them for nearly $16,000 more than their, well, not-as-hot counterparts, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a study by three university professors.

The study asked a pool of 402 participants to rate agents on their headshots on a scale of one to 10 — one being hopeless and 10 being too hot to handle.

The team of three professors then analyzed the agent pool’s seven-year business histories.

What they discovered was that every increase of one point on the sexiness scale tacked on nearly $11,000 to asking prices and almost $8,500 to the closing price.

Despite the increased business and likely boosts to confidence, the differences in listing and sale prices did level out, according to the study. On average, the nice but not as nice-looking agents had 17 more listings and made 11 more sales in the seven-year span.

Christopher Austad, a former underwear model who works at Douglas Elliman, told the Journal that the full package is what should really count.

“Being attractive or aesthetically appealing does give you a leg up, but if you don’t have anything to back it up, nothing really materializes or comes from it,” he told the Journal. [WSJ] –Zachary Kussin