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If News Corp helps to clear out all the buyer-agents, and the listing agents end up being paid less, to do less – how will that affect the market?  It will probably burn a little hotter in the good times, and colder in the slow times.

The people who have the most to lose are the big-corporate real estate franchisors who count on their share of commission splits. Expect a long battle!

Buyers – at least the ones making the market – haven’t cared too much about getting good help, they just want to buy a house.  The internet tools have given them enough information that they feel empowered, and heck, it’s just money. Who writes the deal, and the commission amount doesn’t concern them much.

Real estate will keep selling at some price!

The low-inventory environment should continue.  Home auctions will be the next gimmick to tempt people to sell their house, but unless you need to sell, who cares?  Without easy financing, the demand side should stay tempered too, so expect low sales counts from now on.

It’s amazing we’ve done as well as we have – here’s the comparison:

NSDCC Summer Sales (June-August)

Year
# of Sales
2002
988
2003
1,226
2004
1,020
2005
866
Total
4,100
Year
# of Sales
2011
722
2012
895
2013
954
2014
835
Total
3,406

With mortgage qualifying at the polar opposites, it is remarkable that sales are only 17% fewer than the last peak. Did better agent-advice contribute to the strength of sales? Maybe, but not as much as other contributors, like big-cash, internet tools, newcomers, and Qualcomm/bio-tech. Agents aren’t known for being strong advisors that might sway a market; instead, most are order-takers.

Commissions might get softer as (more) desperation overcomes the realtors who are on their way out, but we should lock into a mid-range of sales and pricing that will be fairly steady – at least until rates rise, or the next crisis!

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