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Optimal Price and Selling Effort from the Perspectives of the Broker and Seller


  • David Geltner
  • Brian D. Kluger
  • Norman G. Miller


This paper uses numerical solutions of a dynamic optimization model to examine the principal-agent relationship between the seller and broker in residential real estate markets. Potential conflict of interest is quantified in two dimensions, the level of selling effort the broker puts forth, and the reservation price for the property. The dynamic optimization model reveals that the use of a finite duration listing contract will induce the broker to increase his or her effort level compared to an unlimited duration contract, and that the broker's optimal effort will increase over time, becoming greater as the listing contract expiration time draws nearer ("rational procrastination"). The numerical analysis indicates that with plausible parameter values, conflict of interest problems regarding broker effort level are minor or nonexistent near the end of the listing contract, but potentially important near the beginning of the contract. In contrast, the conflict of interest regarding reservation price is more severe near the end of the listing contract and is exacerbated by the use of finite duration contracts, the more so the shorter the contract. Copyright American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association.

Suggested Citation

  • David Geltner & Brian D. Kluger & Norman G. Miller, 1991. "Optimal Price and Selling Effort from the Perspectives of the Broker and Seller," Real Estate Economics, American Real Estate and Urban Economics Association, vol. 19(1), pages 1-24.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:reesec:v:19:y:1991:i:1:p:1-24

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Sally M. Davies & Douglas A. McManus, 1991. "The effects of closure policies on bank risk-taking," Finance and Economics Discussion Series 158, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    2. Flannery, Mark J., 1989. "Capital regulation and insured banks choice of individual loan default risks," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 235-258, September.
    3. Frederick T. Furlong & Michael C. Keeley, 1987. "Bank capital regulation and asset risk," Economic Review, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, issue Spr, pages 20-40.
    4. Furlong, Frederick T. & Keeley, Michael C., 1989. "Capital regulation and bank risk-taking: A note," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 13(6), pages 883-891, December.
    5. Davies, Sally M. & McManus, Douglas A., 1991. "The effects of closure policies on bank risk-taking," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 15(4-5), pages 917-938, September.
    6. Chan, Yuk-Shee & Kanatas, George, 1985. "Asymmetric Valuations and the Role of Collateral in Loan Agreements," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 17(1), pages 84-95, February.
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