Working Papers

The Impact of Presidential Elections on the Marketing Outcomes of Residential Properties. Geoffrey K. Turnbull, Bennie D. Waller and Justin Contat.

Using a data set from a central Virginia MLS, we show that the uncertainty in the housing market before an election has statistically significant effects on both price and time on market, though the sign and magnitude of the changes depend upon the type of election. For presidential elections without an incumbent running, we find that election uncertainty is associated with a decrease in both price and time on market, both before and after the election. In contrast, for presidential elections with an incumbent and gubernatorial elections, we find that election uncertainty is associated with an increase in price and time on market, both before an after the election. Our results also suggest that these effects are likely to persist even after the election has occurred.

Why Disclose Less Information? Toward Resolving a Disclosure Puzzle in the Housing Market. Xun Bian, Justin Contat, Bennie D. Waller Scott A. Wentland.

We examine the role of information disclosure in the housing market, offering both theory and evidence for observed variability in disclosure among property listings in a multiple listing service (MLS). Our initial empirical findings and the theoretical literature suggest a positive link between information disclosure (e.g. number of photos) and marketing outcomes (e.g. sale price, time on market). While intuitive, it raises an interesting puzzle: why then do some agents disclose less information? Analytically, we show that it can be optimal to omit information in some circumstances, particularly when homes are more heterogeneous along certain dimensions. Empirically, the data support the prediction that less information disclosure is beneficial for a large subsample of properties (i.e., high-end homes). Our results also reveal scope for new principal-agent issues, as agents generally disclose less when they market their own homes, and even less for their higher-end homes, more consistent with the optimal strategy.

Self-Help Recovery Housing: The Effects of “Sober Living” Houses on Neighboring Properties

This paper examines the marketing impact come of properties listed for sale relative to their proximity tof sober living houses on nearby properties.  Oxford Homes, also known as sober living homes, are a self-governed, community-based approach to addiction treatment typically located in residential neighborhoods.  While proponents of sober living homes contend that availability of sober housing and support for substance abuse patients is a key element in recovery such properties are beneficial to inhabitants with little to no detriment on nearby property values, there is no evidence as to the impact of such properties on neighboring property marketability. This study examines the presence of an Oxford House on nearby properties in a central Virginia urban area.

Property Occupancy: The Anomalies of Owner Agent Properties and the Resulting Impact of Principal/Agent Conflict. Geoffrey K. Turnbull, Bennie D. Waller and Velma Zahirovic-Herbert.

This study examines the marketing outcomes of client properties listed and marketed for sale by a real estate broker concurrently being marketed with clients’ listing agent’s personally owned property.  More specifically, we examine the various marketing outcomes dependent upon the property occupancy type of client and listing agent’s property (i.e., owner occupied, vacant or investment).  That is, does the occupancy type of an agent-owned property competing with a client property (owner occupied, vacant or investment) have a marketing impact on the outcome of the client property?  In this study, we examine the selling price and marketing liquidity of these client properties competing against concurrently marketed agent-owned properties.

Such conflict does impact the marketing outcomes both in terms of price and liquidity.  Dependent up the marketing combinatoric mix of client and owner agent properties being concurrently marketed; client property pricing outcomes vary upon occupancy types.  For example, a client-occupied property competing with owner-agent occupied property will transact at a $251 discount, while a client-vacant property will sell at a pricing premium of approximately $2,500 when concurrently being marketed with an agent-occupied property.  However, the major finding or take-away from the study is that all client properties regardless of occupancy type competing with a concurrently owned listing agent property regardless of occupancy type will endure significantly longer marketing duration ranging from 6.23% or about 5 additional days on market for client-vacant properties competing with agent-owned vacant properties to 37.71% or approximately 33 additional days for client-investment properties competing with listing agent-occupied properties.

Collectively these results provide evidence that clients working with a listing agent that is simultaneously marketing an agent-owned property is likely to encounter principal agent conflicts that may not exist for clients employing agents with no such conflicts.