The relative performance of real estate marketing platforms: MLS versus

Igal Hendel*, Aviv Nevo, Fraņois Ortalo-Magné

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


We compare house sales on a For-Sale-By-Owner (FSBO) platform to Multiple Listing Service (MLS) sales and find that FSBO precommission prices are no lower, but that FSBO is less effective in terms of time to sell and probability of a sale. We do not find direct evidence of the importance of network size as a reason for the lower effectiveness of FSBO. We do find evidence of endogenous platform differentiation: patient sellers use FSBO while patient buyers transact more often on the MLS (where they avoid patient sellers). We discuss the implications for platform competition, two-sided markets, and welfare. (JEL L85, M31, R31).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1878-1898
Number of pages21
JournalAmerican Economic Review
Issue number5
StatePublished - Dec 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Economics and Econometrics


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