for the run of the mill realtor who simply hammers a sign in your front lawn should only receive 4% total to split 1% for her - and 3% to the agent who actually works to find the buyer!
Probably the best way to answer your question is to use the old terminology you get what you pay for. But, in some cases you don't. This is why it is important to interview several agents or firms to determine what the marketing stratagy is, if you do not already have a trusted advisor. If the agent does not offer a viable marketing plan their overhead per property is very low and charging less than their competetor in financially feesable. Unfortunately, in this economy, the slower absorption rate demands an agent to increase the venues the properties are marketed.
For example, marketing a property with a sign in the yard, classified ads in the local paper, and making the property available on the local MLS and broker websites are usually but not always a given. But what else is being done once the first week of tasks are complete? This is where costs come into play. Other marketing options include local real estate magazine ads, social media presence (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and blogs) and fliers. Some companies do agent tours and then there's always the not so successful Open House, but sometimes effetive.
Keep in mind that the experience, knowledge, and the ability of your representative will come into play and usually the agent in demand is the one that can get the job done for you. these REALTORS are usually not in the position to discount their services.
Most importantly, know that their fee is not earned till you have an accepted offer and you actually close.