When do you need an agent? Good time or bad time?
Some people say estate agents make lots of money during the good time, so the answer is good time. This is a misconception. Generally, during good time, everybody makes easy money. When easy money is flowing, it is easy to buy/sell. You do NOT need to be a good agent or developer to make the sale.
At bad time – like now when property market is in a glut (excess supply), developers have problem selling their surplus. Sub-sale market is even worse, near a total halt! When over-supply is the issue, the selling process requires creativity. That is the reason why you need good marketing people, sales agents, advertisers and estate agents.
During high demand, when money is easy – people can just buy directly from listings without much obstacle. You can also go through an intermediary – to facilitate the sale. People with easy money do NOT really worry who they spend their money with. So, Just because they (agents) are there at that time, they take the easy money. BUT about value and creativity, nothing much is added.