I've got to tell you that by selling it on your own as a For Sale by Owner you are putting yourself at a real disadvantage. You are not able to give yourself the kind of exposure a full-service brokerage can. The two things that sell an apt. is correct pricing and great exposure. By limiting your exposure you are limiting the pool of buyers and in all likelihood you will end up with a much lower sale price. According to the National Association of Realtors, 86% of for Sale by Owners do not succeed in selling on their own, and those that do generally get 25% less for their property. Add to that that we are trending down 1.5% each month in Manhattan right now. Time IS money.
That said, most properties in Manhattan are listed for a 6% commission which covers listing side and buyer side. A buyer side agent would expect 3% on a sale where they represent a buyer. Many, however, prefer to deal with other agents and will search our agent database for properties rather than deal with a For Sale by Owner.
If you'd like more information on how to market it for the most exposure - locally, nationally and internationally, click on my contact info.
A couple of the agents here have it right. Here's the bottom line. We are in a buyers' market and although the burden is on the agent to find out (during his/her first communication with you) if you are offering a commission to a buyer's agent, and no you do not need to pay it, but it makes common sense to supply the *typical* 3% that the buyer side usually gets in Manhattan. (In Brooklyn we've seen as low as 2.5% and 2%.) This is also commensurate with what your property is being sold - i.e. 3MM+ you can sometimes expect to pay less than the 3% standard in Manhattan.
I am saying all this assuming several things - the offer came to you through the agent, and the buyer is not making multiple offers with other sellers (you can ask the buyer's agent.) Basically, are you competing with another unit in the same building, perhaps even on the same line? If so, you want to make certain that you are paying the commission and, if advertised, probably something higher.
Call me directly if you have further questions or need a seller's agent - 646.442.7407
Wading River, NY 11792
Do you have lots of potential offers?
Yes? Ask the buyer to pay his/her own broker fees.
No? Kick in anywhere from 1-3% depending on how motivated you are to close this sale.
Remember: the buyer's broker will mostly likely feel s/he is entitled to a full 3% as you are not professionally represented. In order to ensure the transaction goes correctly, they'll be doing a lot of the work that YOUR agent would be doing, if you had one. So don't be shocked if they ask for more than 3% because the buyer's agent will be doing more than their fair share of the work (if they are good!).
Best of luck.