I just went through the home buying process recently. About the ONLY value my agent provided me was helping me through the paperwork and process. But I could pay a real estate lawyer a flat per hour rate to do the paperwork for me. Rather than paying 3% of the sale price (I know, I know buyers don't technically pay commission; but you kinda do: it's just wrapped into the listing price).
She didn't help me find properties nor would I need her help to do so. I know how to search a website and I can visit them. About all she did when I was looking was arrive and happen to know the code in the lockbox. That's not something worth $15,000+ of commissions.
On the flip side, if I were to sell I could just as easily do FSBO and hire a real estate lawyer for the paperwork. But even then most real estate buyers agents will require a 3% commission just to "bring" their client to you even if they practically do almost no work.
Real estate agent percentage based commission is predatory for what they do. Charge a flat per-service fee, I have no problem. But why am I paying you $15,000 to open a lockbox?
Forgot to add: they contribute to the housing crisis by making it more expensive to buy and sell houses. If it was relatively inexpensive to sell your house or to buy a house, then we would see a lot more velocity in the real estate economy and a lot more availability. More availability == more stable appreciation.