There can be few fields of human endeavor in which history counts for so little as in the world of finance.
-- J.K. Galbraith

I've been sick for the past two days. The only good thing is that occasionally, ideas will pop out of nowhere. Today I was thinking about pricing for an anti-spam product of ours, and suddenly I thought how it was really dumb that we paid real estate brokers a percentage of the sale. This, as Steven Levitt has shown, biases the realtor towards just completing the deal. Rather, we should structure the contract so that broker compensation floors at some amount (say $1500) just below the mean expected sale value (MESV) of the house, and for any amount higher than the MESV, the broker gets 10%. This will provide a greater incentive to the broker to get more money from your sale, rather than just turning over the house as quickly as possible.

I think a floor is necessary, otherwise, if the broker feels the house won't sell, they'll let it sit until the market gets better. The seller may not be willing to wait that long. ;)