Real estate agencies could face declining revenues as the housing market makes a poor start to summer

Low sales volumes are likely to be the biggest problem facing the real estate industry this year, and a possible easing in prices that could put agency revenues under further pressure.

The country’s two largest housing markets have had a disastrous start to the important summer selling season with sales numbers well down in Auckland and the Waikato/Bay of Plenty.

Real Estate Institute of NZ figures show that in Auckland the number of homes sold in the fourth quarter of last year was down 12% compared to the same period of 2015 and down 21.3% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014

It shows that there were only 6408 homes sold in Auckland in the last three months of last year, compared with 7285 in the same period of 2015 and 8138 in the same period of 2014.

There was also a substantial decline in the number of homes sold in the Waikato/Bay of Plenty, where 3589 homes were sold in the fourth quarter of last year, down a whopping 20.3% compared to the same quarter of 2015, although sales were still up 11.6% compared to the fourth quarter of 2014.

Sales in the fourth quarter of last year were also down compared to the same period of 2015 in Wellington (-11.4%), Nelson/Marlborough  (-14.3%), Central Otago/Lakes (-12.2%)  and Canterbury   (-6.1%), with falls also recorded in Northland, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Otago and Southland.

Manawatu/Whanganui was the only part of the country that went against the trend, with 1136 sales in the fourth quarter of last year, which was up 20.9% compared to a year earlier.

The downturn in sales is significant because a decline in prices is usually preceded by a decline in sales volumes, and the REINZ’s sales figures for December showed a fall in median prices compared to November in Auckland, Waikato/Bay of Plenty, Taranaki, Manawatu/Whanganui, Nelson/Marlborough and Canterbury/Westland.

In Auckland it was the second month in a row that the median price had fallen.

The combination of falling sales volumes and easing prices is particularly significant in Auckland because it is occurring against a background of a rise in the number of homes being listed for sale.

According to Realestate.co.nz the number of Auckland homes that were newly listed for sale on the website in December was up 12.9% compared to year earlier, while the total number of Auckland homes available for sale on the website was up 18.4% compared to a year earlier.

That combination of falling sales volumes, easing prices and rising listing numbers does not augur well for Auckland’s residential property market as it heads into 2017.

While investors and home buyers will be watching developments closely, real estate agencies are likely to be already feeling the effects.

That’s because sales volumes usually have a bigger impact on the industry’s commission revenue than property prices.

And interest.co.nz’s estimate of the real estate industry’s residential commission revenue suggests it may already be feeling the pinch, particularly in Auckland.

The chart below shows how many homes were sold in each region of the country in the fourth quarters of 2014, 2015 and 2016, and matches those figures with interest.co.nz’s estimates of how much commission revenue those sales would have generated for the industry.

It shows that in Auckland, the number of homes sold declined by 21.3% between the fourth quarters of 2014 and 2016 but estimated commission revenue only declined by 5.7% over the same period, from $180.4m in 2014 to $170.1m in 2016.

That’s because the drop in the total number of commissions that would have been received from sales was largely offset by the rise in prices over that two year period, pushing up commissions per sale.

Even so, the fact that sales were down would mean there were fewer commissions to go around, and total commission revenue from the Auckland market is likely to be down slightly or be at best, flat.

So although rising prices have given the appearance of a buoyant residential property market in Auckland over the last couple of years, the financial reality for the real estate industry in the region has probably been more difficult.

And if present trends continue and sales and property prices both continue to ease, then some players could start feeling more serious pain.

Residential Housing Market Sales & Estimated Industry Commissions
Q4 2014 -2016
  Number of Sales Estimated Commission 
  Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016 Q4 2014 Q4 2015 Q4 2016
Northland 514 780 725 $7.2m $11.7m $11.7m
Auckland 8138 7285 6408 $180.4m $177.7m $170.1m
Waikato/BoP 3217 4505 3589 $48.3m $71.4m $63.1m
Hawkes Bay 595 817 785 $7.8m $11.4m $11.5m
Manawatu/Whanganui 790 940 1136 $8.6m $10.4m $13.8m
Taranaki 448 528 524 $6.1m $7.4m $7.7m
Wellington 2244 2634 2334 $37.0m $44.4m $43.1m
Nelson/Marlborough 747 821 704 $11.3m $12.9m $12.2m
Canterbury/Westland 2780 2953 2773 $45.4m $49.0m $46.9m
Central Otago/Lakes 347 477 419 $6.4m $8.7m $9.1m
Otago 836 932 903 $9.6m $11.9m $12.4m
Southland 434 527 497 $3.8m $4.9m $5.2m

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96 Comments

Good! Real Estate Agencies make enough money for the work they do. Anyone with half a brain and some confidence can list and sell their own home (especially if it's in a town / city with over 40,000 people). I've sold many.. it's not hard. #BooAgents

The real challenge is yet to come for a lot of them if the situation develops - I know quite some that made eye watering amounts over the last few years (high6 - 7 figure), and used all that cash flow to invest in properties. Despite the massive income, a lot are leveraged to the eye balls, and see what happens when house PRICEs start to move.

A mate in the biz was advised end of last year to hold on to any cash reserves as 2017 will be turbulent. More agents fighting over less listings taking longer to sell. Lean times ahead for some.

These things go in cycles. It has been a boom for a long time, so it should be expected that it wasn't going to continue forever.

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Might have to hand back that Mercedes 2016 ML350 to the leasing company

...with a fat settlement to make on the early lease termination.

I'm reminded of the iconic photograph of the fella trying to divest of a very nice motor following the '29 crash.
"$100 will buy this car. Must have cash. Lost all on the stockmarket."

If they sell an Audi or two that should provide enough cash to get by for a while.

Except the Audi is either a lease or is in hock for more than its worth .........and the monthly installments are eye-watering

Is this just a bait article to get everyone commenting on how terrible RE agents are? Cos it will work very well. Boo frickin hoo.

Sorry but I can't feel any sympathy for Estate Agents. If there's any sector of society that needed be replaced by technology that Real Estate Agents are top of the list to help prevent corruption.

So RE Agents it's about time that you dropped your rates or face being replaced by a smart phone app, it is possible VERY possible!

Do you know that London Estate Agents on average charge 1% sales commission rates that includes marketing and open homes/ driving customers to the site.

I sold our house in London April 2016 and paid 0.5% sales commission (all services included)

Did the London agent show the buyers your house or did you have to do that yourself? Did they charge you much for advertising it?

@ bigblue: Sorry to jump in but it's an important question to answer; and Yes London (And UK in general) Real Estate Agents not only show a client around a house on an individual basis but will also be willing to drive you to the properties if you just meet them at their office first.

And all costs including the marketing/Advertising generally is included in the agreed sales commission rate (Usually at 1% to 1.5%) of the house sale especially if the have sole selling rights to the property.

Here's a link to the UK Home Owners Alliance website that can give you more info:-
http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/how-much-sho...

Thanks CJ099 - things must have changed over there - I recall that 20 years ago the agents sent the buyers around and the agents didn't do much - solicitors did the sale contract

You're welcome bigblue. By the way, they did try to introduce "Open Homes" as part of the sales process in to the UK (Mostly in the South of England) but most of the public objected on the basis of that it would drive up house prices even further.

Just to confirm, yes the agents did show buyers around. We also got publicity paid for online and they ended up spending a lot of time conveyancing the sale. So we got a very good service!

Foxtons appear to be dominant in the UK and from this it appears they charge 3%
https://www.foxtons.co.uk/sell/fees_and_terms/

A self reinforcing cycle develops:
- Owners see prices 'easing' so hold onto their stock, waiting for the upturn they are sure is just around the corner.
- Less stock for those that do want to move to choose from, so they too 'stay put'
- Mortgage rates rise as banks need to maintain their margins into a downturn in new lending.
- Prices ease further as those that have to sell, do, setting a new benchmark for the street/suburb/town that bank withdraw from lending to as equity shrinks
- Sales volumes fall and prices keep easing.
-and so on it goes until those that 'want to sell, but daren't' turn into those that 'have to sell'

What ? No Zachary Smith ? HA!

@ NortharnLights: Zachary is an Real Estate Agent, I managed to flush him out a few weeks ago. So is his buddy Blue Meanie.

I'm sure they're all hiding under their desks, clutching their knees and cursing Trump by now. ;)

Happens every cycle. Lots of part time agents will exit the game. The real pros will let a few assistants go, trim a few other costs here and there and just wait it out. Also the real pros will have been creaming it for the last few years so should have cash or asset reserves to fall back on.

Agree it would be a great time to launch a disruptive app into the mix.

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Where's Ted to spout that all will be well, once Chinese New Year is all over and the Yaun will flow freely back again into the Auckland property market !

I have every faith in the Auckland property market ......so much so, that I sold out March 2016.

My theory was that if the market was to keep going up, I no longer wanted any part of it, as no "value" for the amount spent to purchase a property, with minimal or negative rental returns, while the only way was to rely on capital gains.....basically the Bank 1 Purchaser 0

So now, cashed up, watching and in no hurry.

TEDs busy. Either reading the tea leaves or smoking them..

or updating the CV for his next step in life
used car anyone

Im just waiting for Feb so I can say I told you so. Sydney and Melbourne keep rocketing upwards and so will Auckland.
I cant wait to "Wang Chung tonight" whilst you negative lot sulk because you missed the boat.

So what you are saying is the one thing propping the ridiculous situation of NZs housing market is foreign buyers. Thanks for that bit of extra evidence for those of us who want to see the back of them, especially as the popular view is that you are a Real Estate Agent.

Lets call the boat Titanic, and listen to that old classic, Everybody was kung fu fighting.

Well better late than never. Did it go to a nice foreigner ?

Lots will be schtupped if it all crumbles. Real estate agents are like drug dealers - get hooked on the product themselves.

I dearly hope that REAs have heavily invested and leveraged up their commissions into NZ real estate.
It will make the comeuppance more keenly - and permanently - felt.

Auckland will rocket up in February just like last year in fact the Auctions have sprung back in January and already there are plenty of buyers and sold signs.

Where Ted ? ...... I don't even see any auction results on this website.

The new stats will be out in February and the Auckland market is hot again!
Dont look at the old December Barfoot funeral room results from Christmas last year and think the sky is falling.
Wake up and invest in your future instead of complaining.

Oh it'll rocket up alright and then fall apart

haha

Where is your evidence Ted?? Last year was different, that was to do with the IRD requirements for Foreign Buyers that temporarily locked them out for a few months from Oct 2015 to Jan 2016, as I've told many times before.

Now Foreign Buyers (Mainly from China) are experiencing the Donald Trump effect, which has caused China to drastically enforce their Capital Flight restrictions. Hence why Oz and NZ banks are currently scurrying around putting up their mortgage rates since both (Particularly NZ), are considered extremely high risk for a property crash.

And guess which banks haven't moved on their mortgage rates much? Yes that's right the Chinese banks, currently HSBC has the lowest rate mortgage rates in NZ, since they need foreign capital.

the link is on the property tab, and the first page is full of not sold red stickers
are they not reporting auction results now due to poor results

Yep spot on Sharetrade; I see Barfoot's auction results are very low but yet they still keep pushing people to go to auction: http://www.interest.co.nz/property/auction-results?region=Auckland&distr...

@ sharetrader .... exactly, the link is on this page but where are the auction results for January 2017 that our RE agent buddy Ted was talking up ?

There are very few auctions in the first three or four weeks of the year for reasons that are obvious.

its Chinese new year soon, I will be interested to see if B & T schedule any during that week. if not that will tell a story in itself as to who they target as buyers.
if they do it will also be interesting to see results

15th February should see the bigger events. Four weeks after mid January would make sense.

@Zachary Smith ...took just 9 minutes for a RE agent with a comeback, refuting my claim that this January (2017) is quieter than usual.

You agents are deluded ....was talking to one last night and he was still "convinced" there would be a 10% price increase this year for the Auckland market.

Interest.co is designed I thought to " help you make financial decisions"

Why is it that most on here are just negative jealous people who just want to knock everything to do with housing?

If it is not us "greedy selfish landlords" it is Real Estate Agents and neither should be allowed to make a living because the moaners on here don't own property and so it is everybody else's fault!!!!

If you don't like property that is fine, invest in The sharemarket or anything else you want but stop belittling people that are interested in property and investing in such and work in the industry as well,

I'd have thought being a property investor would make you more critical of REAs - they're taking a cut of any capital gains you want to cash in. I was certainly surprised at the fees over here - if I were to sell my house in the UK I'd be able to sell it for 1% all in without having to haggle.

Don't worry.
As The Man has already explained it; the more your costs, the less tax you pay at the end of the year...

Who ever said that property investment was the 'simple mans' investing..?

"make a living " ? Do me a favour , there is a vast difference between "making a living ' and earning $500k a year .

Everyone should be able to make a living , and businesses should be profitable , but the RE agency sector has seen excess beyond their wildest dreams .

Agree with you Boatman - I have no problem with someone earning a (very) good living but the commissions are mind-boggling.

The process and time involved in each sale has remained the same for 20 years despite the values rocketing and agents have creamed it with the commission rates being applying to higher and higher values...I have been amazed commission rates haven't been clipped to allow for this.

A family friend will make close to $400k this year selling residential RE on the North Shore of Auckland in the last year..

Does she work hard - YES, no doubt about that - BUT $400k for selling houses?

That sort of money is just insane for someone who was a housewife 3 years ago with zero qualifications.

And one of my oldest friends left 20 years of the Corporate World 2 years ago for RE - in his words over a beer "it's a p!ss take the money I make for the work I do" ...he really cannot believe it - an absolute rort.

It must be just a matter of time before an industry disruptor comes along to really hammer these RE cartels...ala UBER or Expedia to bring the prices to where they belong.

Misconstrue whatever you want Nymad.
Less profit due to interest charges being higher means less tax to the country, if you are positively geared then it is not a major.

mfd,

I have made the same point several times. I sold property in Scotland in 2003 and 2010,both at a 1% fee to the agent. Competition had brought the fee down from 2% when I had previously sold in 2001-the market working as it should.
I have long thought that the main agents here have been in effect operating a cartel and I just don't understand why most Kiwis put up with it. They just don't seem to mind getting ripped-off.

Firstly, a good agent will net you more than what they will charge you.
Secondly, buyers prefer to buy when there is an agent involved as they are protected under the REAA2008, which is beneficial in Chch due to earthquake issues.
Finally, commission is only paid once and if you sell privately normally a purchaser thinks that the owner wants more for their property than an agent says it is worth they try to sell themselves without paying commissions.
An astute purchaser will say that the private seller is saving fees and will offer far less than asking anyway, and finally a good agent has access to a wider range of buyers as there is more to selling than internet ads.

Always difficult to measure the impact an REA has as every house is different and you can't run the same sale in the same market twice. Pretty sure I've seen some attempts though suggesting they have little impact. Of course people always overestimate their own importance.

Not convinced that there is much more to selling than internet ads these days, I'd be amazed if significant numbers of people were looking for a house without browsing online - why would you limit yourself to a single agent's inventory? Certainly when I've looked for places to rent the agent is essentially irrelevant.

Mfd, fair enough you are entitled to your opinion.
If you aren't happy with the price the agent brings you, then make him work to get what you are happy with.
Of course you can sell yourself but do you ever know you have got the best price possible!

The Boy has to be an agent as he or she depends them so strongly.

The Boy is not a Real Estate Agent at all Gordon.
The Boy just knows real estate Gordon and have experienced many sides of property and have many contacts in the business.
Have seen many property owners sell their own houses privately and always say it was quite easy and saved all these big commissions.
The reality is though that on many occasions the seller did not get as much as think they have as they generally undersold it.
Many nowadays use 1 per cent real estate companies thinking they are saving a bundle on other real estate companies fees.
Reality is that the low fee companies are turnover companies and it is not in their best interests to have a property on their books that is going to take a long time to sell.
They will sell it but is it at the highest price possible?
Gordon you know shares, I know real estate and that is the way it is likely to remain.

Not if the Auckland housing market takes a big hit. If what is going on that I think is doing on, with the current market down turn then you could be very well looking at a prolonged drop and bumpy drop.

And in order to complete and to get people sell rather than hunker down, RE's will need to be more competitive.
I suggest you get as competitive as the RE Brits did after the GFC.

Article from UK Home Owners Alliance: How much should I pay the estate agent?
http://hoa.org.uk/advice/guides-for-homeowners/i-am-selling/how-much-sho...

Here some advice from the article:-

* You should aim to get a fee that is 1% + VAT for a sole agency contract (on the agreed sale price)

* For higher value properties – such as over £500,000 – agents are often prepared to accept even lower fees, and perhaps go below 1% + VAT.

* Do not be shy about negotiating fees, most agents are prepared to be flexible.

How do you know they generally undersold it? Are you a valuer?

I suspect by the time I want to sell a house here fees will be rather lower one way or another. Otherwise, I'll sell it myself. I wouldn't know if I got the best possible price, but that's the case whether you use an agent or not.

The impact is measurable - see the Freakonomics research that shows that when agents sell your house, they sell for a lower price than when selling their own house. In other words, they are not maximising the price for you and their incentives are not geared to do this. The extra $10k that makes a difference to you only means an extra $300 on their already large commission.

That's the one, knew I'd read something about it. Cheers

Nonsense. Agents will always say that they are there to get the best possible price,as that will increase their commission. Sounds reasonable,but that's not how it works in the real world. What agents actually want is a quick sale,so that they can move on to the next property. If I was an agent,I would do the same myself.

Very true. Agents always work for the buyer. They work for whoever has the money.

If they want a quick sale why do they insist on 4 week auction programs when they could just sell it straight away using a database of buyers who looked at their other homes?

I had a multi million club agent who had been around for decades.
I fired him and later was called by my tenant that the agent I had fired was on Fair Go !
So much for this TOP SELLING agent

People in glass houses continually talking up a ponzi market should get their glass changed to polycarbonate
Get a back bone

I agree. The housing signal is: don't buy at the top of the market. The exception being is if someone negotiates a good price, has 20% deposit and the payments fit within 25-30% of net monthly income.

Even better if you cut $200k off as an offer. If the agent whinges tell them to f--- off. [Expletive edited. Ed]

Several years ago this same advice was given about not buying at the top of the market and the market has more than doubled since then hasn't it!
.

So we should all buy because the market is about to double again?

If you pay less than the market rate then the capital gain would have been more than double.

I bought my house with the prices being too high, in my opinion. However I based the purchase on what I could afford and the benefits of having a house. The decision to buy can be based on a sound decision making process rather than speculation and being blinded by greed.

All forms of unearned income are equal.

Cry me a river if they have declining income . The Real Estate sector in Auckland has had it so good for so long , they don't know how to actually do a days work any longer .

They just sign sellers up for an auction , make them pay for the advertising ( called marketing ) , force their hand at the auction , and then shake you down for tens of thousands in commission.

All those ostentatious recent model top of the line Porsche Panamera's and gas guzzling Porsche Cayenne's parked outside their Auckland offices are testimony to the excesses they have become accustomed.

Their parking lots rival those of the wealthy in Dubai and Abu Dhabi

It will not last forever.

It is truly bizarre to see the common taters who, in other fora, are redistributionista, yet on this thread, heap vitriol on a large-scale and time-proven redistribution scheme.

4.95% of the sale price (YMMV) is redistributed to all manner of worthy commercial causes: printers, web designers, garages, finance companies, commercial property landlords, lawyers and accountants.

Shurely, hoping for this money-go-round to wobble or even disappear, is to argue for the impoverishment of lotsa ordinary businesses, with domino effects all the way down the line.

Logs out, stretches back in chair, awaits the reasoned responses from common taters......

Not holding breath, but...

Waymad what is this 4.95 per cent of sale price you are talking about?

Its only a matter of time before RE Agents commissions come under pressure to be more in line with other OECD countries .

2% on a $1,0 million auction sale every 3 weeks is more than enough money .

Yes the lawyers would miss out significantly on lower volume of property transactions and they only charge about $2,000 when you sell your house. Mortgage Brokers, Building Inspectors, Valuers, Interior Designers, Building supply companies all suffer when the sale of new and existing homes drops.

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Does this mean they'll stop putting up those ridiculous photoshopped billboards as if they're celebrities? Because that would be nice.

I read during the last year that Auckland estate agents only sell 6 properties a year as it is a crowded market. I know from having sold a property recently you can easily negotiate a significant discount.

Is there some sort of monopoly in the Real Estate industry? You would think that if the rates are outrageously high, which at first glance they appear to be, it would be an easy thing for a company to come in and offer much more competitive pricing. A company did try this a few years back but folded quite quickly.
I wonder also about the rise in listings claimed as when I do a search on realestate.co.nz for all Auckland houses that total remains practically unchanged, possibly a little lower, than it was a month ago. TradeMe also is almost 1500 below what it was a few weeks ago.

That's our point Zachary the rates here ARE outrageously high!! And I don't believe you for one second about a new RE company folding due to low rates. The Brits have been selling property for years on 1% to 1.5% and that includes all the marketing costs, and still remain profitable.

And if there is a drop in listings it due to properties NOT selling well. Here take a look at the recent results:-
http://www.interest.co.nz/property/auction-results?region=Auckland&distr...

Someone here must remember the company. It had a red logo.

I see some homes did sell. I looked at one there that had a CV of 690K, a high listing on Homes.co.nz of 1.055M and sold for 1.275M.
A few days before Christmas is a pretty bad time to be buying/selling.

I'm still very busy, worked till 12:30am last night and got woken up with a call from a customer at 2:30am.

I think you're grasping at straws Zachary, the poor auction results, you know the ones with the big red 'Not Sold' stickers speak for themselves.
http://www.interest.co.nz/property/auction-results?region=Auckland&distr...

Just think if you drop your sales commission rate to 1% you would clean up!!

Zachary,

Are you thinking of Go Gecko? I think it was an Australian outfit that came here in 2005/6,expanded quickly and disappeared just as quickly when the GFC hit.
It puzzles me that competition is not driving prices down(yet),but I am confident that technology will in time,see off most agents.

In Chch there are 2 companies that sell at 1 % plus gst plus advertising as I previously mentioned and Pero is 2.95 % plus gst ect.

Mike Pero will certainly be feeling some pain - refund of $1.5m ordered http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=1178...

$200,000 per year to run Mike Pero - probably has a few salespeople earning more than that!

If I am reading the article right Pero claims that over half his agents earn more than that.

That was his justification for giving himself a pay rise, not hold on maybe we can look after our customers and lower our prices.
The whole industry is run on greed dog eat dog.
Act are fighting for tax creep with the government i.e. They are collecting more tax by not moving the rates with inflation RE should be doing the same in reverse they should be lowering the commission percentage as house prices rise

Barfoots have about 1,400 salespeople but they sell less than 1,000 houses per month so on average less than one sale for each agent each month so don't think it is that lucrative.
On the other hand commissions are now based on an average price of about $900k versus $500k 3 or 4 years ago so the real estate companies can handle a volume hit no problem as the commissions are far higher than they ever were.
I recently sold a property through an agent and paid just over $40,000 and was happy to do so as I do not have the time to meet buyers, builders, etc at all hours of the day and weekend. Don't think technology will ever replace them.

Besides we really need a housing market correction at the moment, otherwise our vital industries would be squeezed out and that would lead to a shattered economy when a major crash happens as we wouldn't have anything else to fall back on economically.

Plus it would also lead to all kind of craziness including what Vancouver is currently going through;
recent CBC News article:-

Vancouver homeowners owe $36.8 million in property taxes
Spike in homeowners across Metro Vancouver delaying payment of property taxes
http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/vancouver-homeowners-owe-...

I guess now you can see why they had to reduce their property prices by introducing the Foreign Buyers and Empty Homes Taxes.

Its not that hard to sell your own house. Take pics or pay someone with a drone and photoshop to do it. Access property sale records and make assessment of recent sales for similar sales in the last 3 months, view longer for basic trends on sqm basis, or pay for a valuation and negotiate the full print out of database relevant to your house. Ring agents in recent sales that have not reached the databases yet and sweetly ask what they went for. Go to lawyer and aquire a generic sale and purchase agreement. List on TM. Use the internet to access council zoning and see what rezoning effect if any applies. All this can be done in 3-4 hours if you do it yourself. Probably 1 hour if your pay for the camera and valuation work.

Run a few open homes. Smile and ask wether people would like to make an offer.

Would I pay someone 40k plus to sell my house... no, but I also dont value my time at $7000 per hour to justify paying an agent to do it. End of the day if you cant commit 4 hours of your life, then simply get an agent to do it and pay them...a bucket load. It is your choice.

Final thought, if your work is heavily exposed to realestate firms turnover, your 2017 resolution should be to diversify your client base pronto before said RE firms squeeze you dry or cut you altogether to look after themselves.

And yes I have a valuation ticket in my back pocket.

If there were no sales people involved, houses would be worth nothing. .maybe thats the answer?

Wow, for someone who specialises in pretty dumb comments, that takes the cake. Sure, no one would ever buy anything without a middleman. Ted, do you have the internet?

dumb and dumber 3 are casting, use that line for your audition, your shoo in for a part

Sold a rental property privately in April/May last year. One agent told me he could get more money when he found out about the offer.. another (perhaps more honest) could not believe the price I got.. (having walked thru the property himself)

Had had 1 tenant for 8 years solid and it did need work.. anyhow saved a huge amount of commission (over 40k based on the price I got) and I don't lose sleep wondering if I could have got more..

I am happy and I think the buyers were/are happy albeit with allot of work in front of them. I now have cash in the bank (and minimal debt.. just enough to retain a credit history) waiting for opportunities that will come in the next months/year.

Seriously, my very real concern now is, is my cash safe in the bank!!!?

My heart bleeds for real estate agents... yeah right! They have to be admired though; they never significantly cut commissions in my experience over 45 years. Their selling courses must have a module on how to hold firm...