It depends on the seller and becomes a point of negotiation. There are a number of ways to handle this situation and should be discussed with your agent prior to falling in love with a home :)
Windermere Real Estate Co
Often on my Buyer Agency agreement, I indicate that the commission will be 4% if "Unrepresented Seller" commonly known as a FSBO. I will negotiate with the Seller FSBO to have them pay the commission. The value of having an agent on one side should be evident to the Seller FSBO too.
Good luck. Hope your agent negotiates strongly on your behalf. Have your agent call me if they don't understand how this is done, I walk them through the process.
The details will be within your contract either between the buyer and the Real Estate Agent OR within the actual contract with the SELLER. On the contracts that I have written up for a buyer who buys a for sale by owner I will place verbiage on the Form 41C which states how that commissioned will be paid by the SELLER. If however you signed a Buyers Rep agreement then you will be responsible to pay whatever commission the seller does not agree to pay.
You will need to talk with your agent before signing any contracts on exactly how the commission will be handled.
Hope this helps,
Bryan R. Lovell
You have it correct. Typically the seller will pay a buyer's agent commission. But on the chance that the seller is not on board, then the commission can become the responsibility of the buyer. It all depends on whether you have an Exclusive Buyer's Agreement in place. If there is no such agreement between you and your agent and the seller refuses to pay a commission, you can negotiate a sales price that addresses the commission payment. Even if you need to cover the commission at least you'll have an agent looking out for your best interest. Can't say as much for the seller.
Typically, as an agent working with a buyer, there should be a buyer's agency agreement with the client which spells out the details of how the commission will be paid in the event of working with a FSBO or other non-MLS listed property.
I hope this helps. Please feel free to e-mail or call should you need anything else. I have a copy of a typical buyer's agency agreement I can send you if this is something you would like to see.