Most people answered most of your questions, but regarding the 90%. Yes, 90% are represented by an agent. 1) In Manhattan, there is a gentleman's agreement that a seller's agent will not steal a buyers with out his agent with him at an open house. So, all those people that you saw, majority are being sent to the open house by their buyer and either indicate that at the open house, or they are registered by their agent's prior to the open house. 2) As a previous commentor indicated, "most are lookers." Those folks unrepresented are lookers, haven't chosen an agent yet, but do. Once they get their grasp around pricing, the complexities (particularly co-op purchasing which is definitely NOT a fill in the blank when it comes to the package). Of my past 30 deals, every single one had a buyer's agent except 1. I keep track, and I can tell you it is 90-95%. Even during the depths of the recession when every buyer thought they could get a deal, it was ultimately the same. And the "looker's" we are pretty good at no having our time wasted with lookers, are you?
The difficulty that you will face is that you will have to deal with every buyer's agent that comes through the door. Assuming each buyers agent has 1-5 active buyers, it doesn't pale compared to being on the Manhattan version of the MLS. Bond allows us to advertise for FSBO's periodically, most agencies don't, but you can never get word out to the 90% of the buying public easily and with out paying commission. Well before I became an agent I was purchasing, fixing up and selling my property. I always did it with an agent to make sure the process was smooth on the buying side, and then on the selling side I hit 90% of the buying public in one fell swoop. I didn't have the time to waste as the market was changing to get my money out.
It seems to me that the issue is you getting your money out of the property, not the cost of the commission. If you don't have to sell, don't. Rent the condo. If you do have to sell, you might want to think of it this way. If the company that you are employed by (not your own company) had a bad year, would you assume that they would drop your salary and bonus by 16% or more when in fact you would have to work a lot harder for them because their pricing may not be just right? Harder to when folks like BOND do way more for their clients than the rest (video, media optimisation, professional photography, best marketing materials on the market, time spent etc).
In the end of the day, you will always get what you pay for.