How Much Value do Real Estate Brokers Add? A Case Study

    Sales commissions for residential real estate brokers historically average nearly six percent of a home’s closing price.  Do brokers add sufficient value to justify those commissions?  We address this question using a unique data set pertaining to sales of faculty and staff homes on the Stanford University campus. We find no evidence that the use of a broker leads to higher average selling prices, or that it significantly alters average initial asking prices.  However, those who use brokers sell their houses more quickly.