When agents from different brokerages discuss specific commissions they are at risk of violating antitrust laws. It may be considered price fixing or collusion. Agents are at risk when they discuss specific commissions online since the DOJ and the FTC are most certainly monitoring the discussions on this site.
Commissions are always negotiable BETWEEN THE BROKER/AGENT AND THE CONSUMER. They are NOT negotiable broker to broker as topics for discussion.
What is fair is what you and the broker agree upon. Mitchell and Anna are absolutely correct we cannot quote and there are no set commission fees except was has been agreed to by the seller and listing broker/agent. The buyer's broker can also (and is encouraged to by the US DOJ) give a buyer a percentage of their side of the commission as a rebate after closing if that is agreed upon at the beginning. Here the links to some interesting postings by the DOJ on Real Estate ,Anti-trust & Rebates http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/
Please be sure to use a licensed agent/broker! Good Luck
relax.........Janet, Joseph and Mitchel you are totally right, but I believe no one is trying to break the law, the answers in the blog are for help purpose only and not meant to mislead anyone. Most of the agents just gave an average % of commission - the word negotiable was missing, but I am sure not intentionally.
I am mortified at some of the answers below. There are laws about price-fixing which means no agent EVER could, should say "this is the going rate on commission." There is not allowed to be a "going rate." That is highly illegal and a serious breach of federal law. The correct answer to your question is interview 2-3 qualified agents in your area, discuss their ideas on sale price, marketing and commission, and then make your decision.
Some of us need to go back and study that book you studied to get you license.
I work in both Manhattan and Queens and they are very different animals. If you have a true exclusive arrangement where they advertise on the MLS (where 95% of the buyers are with their agents) and all other avenues then that arrangement in Queens is 4-5%. If you have a buyer that you met prior to signing the contract then the contract should have that buyer as an exclusion. If that is not the case, then you will owe the broker the fees. If the broker that you mention has brought you the client, and you have no exclusive arrangement with any agent, then around 2.5-3% the normal commission to manage both sides of the deal.
One of the issues in Queens is that some times agents utilize properties as pocket listings, not listing them on the MLS and charging 2%. Sometimes they even charge the full amount and do the same even if you believe that they are listing on the MLS. Most important is having an honest broker who follows the rules. I would be happy to discuss those rules and what you should be getting from an exclusive agent, or happy to send by email as I have had this discussion with other sellers in Queens, and continue to be amazed at those who do not follow the rules as they should to represent their clients.
Bond New York
If you are still interviewing potential listing brokers I'd be happy to meet with you if your property is located in Astoria or LIC. I can provide closed sales data, current market data to better assist in determining a fair market value. Good luck