Here is advice to agents on the subject from our local board's website regarding anti-trust guidelines:
At any time, in any place, or under any circumstances, do not have any personal, telephone or e-mail conversations with competitors concerning commissions, fees, charges or any other business practices of your real estate business or those of the firm with which you are associated. This applies at social gatherings, on the golf course, while hunting, in the bar, cocktail parties, board functions and at all times and in all places. At association or board meetings, confine discussions to topics of association or board business directly involved in the purpose of the organization and the meeting.
I have news for you: homeowners are looking to SELL not LIST also. Or they should be. Listing too high is a waste of time for both.
Because we all know it's the realtor, not the market, if the house doesn't sell immedidately. Seriously, what makes you think an antagonistic attitude such as that will encourage someone to do their best? Or even WORK for you?
Commissions are just like most things in life, they're negotiable .. very negotiable.
Most agents start out with the old: .."we usually charge 7 or 8%, but because I really like you, and, we're running a special spring sale, we can accommodate you with 6%, please sign here.." ..... which I did in fact, hear today - amazing, it never ends.
Take your time and interview 3 or 4 agents in your immediate area ... most agents (and their brokers) haven't really seen a stellar market in the last 4 or 5 months, so most full service realtors are doing 3 and 4% .. if they say no, move on to the next one - just like car dealers.
.... you don't ask, you don't get ...
Good luck and happy hunting.!
Sorry that you have to watch the online bantering about commission discussion. Some of the answers are partially correct. The amount charged is negotiable. Since it is negotiable, you will determine what is acceptable. Regarding agents discussing commissions in public, there is nothing wrong with that at all. Agents can not get together and set a commission rate that they all will charge. As a matter of fact, agents don't determine anything. Your agreement will be between you and the broker. The agent just represents the broker.
The best advice is to sit and interview a few agents. Ask friends for referrals of agents that they have had a good experience with in the past. There are no secrets and if you don't get answers, why they can leave through the same door they came in.