real estate, electronic commerce, World-Wide Web, disintermediation, electronic markets
In this paper, we explore how electronic commerce, the World-Wide Web in particular, is affecting the real estate industry. Real estate is a promising setting for studying electronic commerce because it is an information-intensive and information-driven industry; transaction based, with high value and asset-specificity; with many market-intermediaries (agents and brokers who connect buyers and sellers rather than buying or selling themselves); and experiencing on-going information technology (IT) related changes. We analyze a real estate transaction to suggest where IT might change the process of buying or selling a house and discuss several current ventures in this area. This analysis suggests that Web-based commerce is eroding the long-enjoyed information monopoly of real-estate agents and electronic commerce applications have the potential to drastically change current practices in the real-estate industry, including the disintermediation of agents.
Crowston, K. & Wigand, R. Real estate war in cyberspace: An emerging electronic market? International Journal of Electronic Markets, 9(1–2), 1–8. Available from http://surface.syr.edu/istpub/79/
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