Wikipedia says that the real estate industry is "Still in progress (due to legal or structural obstacles)" of being disintermediated. Is it right? What would happen if 90% of the real estate agents retired in the next six months?
Would housing prices go down?
Would the 'time on market' go up?
Would transaction costs (commissions) go down?
My first reaction is that housing prices would not decrease. Time on market may actually decrease because with the lowering on transaction costs people would be less concerned about losing money if they needed to sell sooner than anticipated. Real estate investments will be considered more liquid.
So that leaves me wondering, would service levels experienced by consumers go down?
The average 'top agent' handles at least 10x as much business as the average mediocre agents do. Does the service levels provided by the industries top agents meet or exceed the service levels provided by our mediocre agents?