Good news agents, the number of prospective buyers signing contracts to buy previously owned homes increased last month to the highest level in three years, which is just one more sign that the housing market’s rebound is well under way. The National Association of Realtors said on Thursday that its seasonally adjusted index for pending…

Economists have long been perplexed by the resilience of the real estate agent. Since the agent bears much of the costs of selling a house, in the time they spend hosting open houses and touring with clients and the money they spend advertising property, they’re rewarded for pressuring clients into selling quickly and accepting suboptimal offers, or in the case of a buyer’s agent, for allowing the client to pay too much.