Most people have heard of the well-publicized statistic that finds that when real estate agents sell homes, they tend to keep them on the market longer (about 10 days) and get a higher sale price (by about 3%) than when they sell homes for their clients. This statistic comes from the wildly popular 2005 book “Freakonomics” by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner. The authors assume that this is because getting a few extra dollars for a seller doesn’t have a sizable impact on the real estate agent‘s commission.

Unfortunately, this well-promoted statistic offers no details about why this may be, and the authors appear to assume the worst. However, there are some less nefarious reasons why a real estate agent might be able to get a higher price for his or her own home. Here we’ll take a look at the other side of the coin and what you can learn from it, whether you decide to hire an real estate agent or sell house yourself.

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