Academic Research on Realtors Confirmed by 1983 Novel

A reader named Gerard Mulligan was good enough to let us know that a 1983 novel he was reading, Scenes From Later Life by William Cooper, contains a passage that, if the section from Freakonomics about real-estate agents were ever made into a film, could practically serve as the script. (If the film were British, that is.) Check out the passage on the upper left-hand page:

In his note, Mr. Mulligan added this: “What did Shelley say about poets being the unacknowledged economists of the world? Or something like that.” According to my copy of the wonderful new Yale Book of Quotations, Shelley actually said that poets were the unacknowledged legislators of the world.

But I quite prefer Mr. Mulligan’s version.


shapiro

The Yale Book of Quotations includes another "unacknowledged legislators" quote besides the Shelley one. W. H. Auden wrote: "'The unacknowledged legislators of the world' describes the secret police, not the poets." (Auden also wrote, in his great poem "In Memory of W. B. Yeats," "poetry makes nothing happen.") -- Fred R. Shapiro, Editor, Yale Book of Quotations

Peter D

I wonder if a scaled pricing structure would be more successful.

For example.. If a home is estimated to go for 250,000, the seller's broker could be paid 2.5% for the first 250k of the sale price, and 10% for the next 25k, and 20% for anything above 275k.

Sure there'd be some debate with the estimated price and the scale, but if an agreement were to be found, it could provide the necessary incentive for the seller's broker.

GamblingEconomist

Well, as they say, Economics is the painful elaboration of the obvious.

shapiro

The Yale Book of Quotations includes another "unacknowledged legislators" quote besides the Shelley one. W. H. Auden wrote: "'The unacknowledged legislators of the world' describes the secret police, not the poets." (Auden also wrote, in his great poem "In Memory of W. B. Yeats," "poetry makes nothing happen.") -- Fred R. Shapiro, Editor, Yale Book of Quotations

Peter D

I wonder if a scaled pricing structure would be more successful.

For example.. If a home is estimated to go for 250,000, the seller's broker could be paid 2.5% for the first 250k of the sale price, and 10% for the next 25k, and 20% for anything above 275k.

Sure there'd be some debate with the estimated price and the scale, but if an agreement were to be found, it could provide the necessary incentive for the seller's broker.

GamblingEconomist

Well, as they say, Economics is the painful elaboration of the obvious.