Date of Award




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Department of Information Science

Content Description

1 online resource (x, 164 pages) : color illustrations.

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Nicolas Bencherki

Committee Members

Raymond K Van Ness, Deborah L Andersen


Brokerage, Decision-making, Disintermediation, For sale by owner, Information, Real Estate, House selling, Real property, Decision making

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | Library and Information Science


In spite of promises that the Internet would allow people to buy and sell their homes without intermediaries, real-estate agents still control approximately 90% of the transactions made in the 2.5-trillion-dollar residential real-estate industry. Existing literature has yet to provide conclusive arguments as to why the expected disintermediation has not occurred. Tentative arguments include claims that policy is biased in favor of agents, or that agents have a broader social network than their customers which helps them sell faster and for a better price. Most studies make the assumption that agents matter. They analyze the real-estate market from the perspective of the intermediaries (formerly called “middlemen”) or agents/brokers/realtors, as opposed to the perspective of their clients. Furthermore, academic literature relies heavily on data provided by the National Association of Realtors, which fails to provide details on transactions that do not involve agents, or that involved them in limited ways.