Is this home currently listed in the MLS? If so, find a Realtor to work with you as a Buyer's Agent and he/she can help you with the transaction. If it's not listed, it's not as simple as just calling up the bank and making an offer.... more
Commissions are totally negotiable and is actually part of the marketing. If you allow for a higher commission, agents will work harder to get the place sold, whether they are the listing agent or the buyer agent. That being said, commissions can range anywhere from 4 to 8 percent or more. It all depends on the owner and agent. The usual commission is about 6%. But like I said, the higher the percentage, the bigger the carrot is.
Contact a local agency and chat with them, there's no obligation to talk. Interview several agents/agencies.