I spoke to a former Help-U-Sell franchisee yesterday who said there were 32 franchises in the metro Phoenix area at the peak. Now, there are only three and one works out of his home.

This is second-hand information, of course, and may not be completely accurate.

There are those who have been predicting forever that traditional brokerages would soon be displaced by companies like Help-U-Sell.

Right now, many homeowners are being forced to sell with little or no equity, a time when you would think discount brokerages would thrive.

Just the opposite has happened.

The reality is that selling homes is very expensive for agents and real estate brokerages, and Help-U-Sell apparently couldn’t make enough money once homes stopped flying off the shelf.