What a great question!!! I think the public in general is unclear about who represents whom in a real estate transaction. Texas law requires that INFORMATION ABOUT BROKERAGE SERVICES ("IABS") be given to all persons asking about a property. This form can be googled and found on the Texas Real Estate Commission website and is correctly dated at its last iteration on October 10, 2011 and you can find it here - https://www.trec.state.tx.us/pdf/contracts/op-k.pdf
Here's the backstory:
When a prospective buyer calls the number on the sign in the yard, he or she is calling the listing agent who represents the seller. Should that prospective buyer want the listing agent to write an offer (without benefit of another Realtor or agent), then in actuality, the listing agent becomes a neutral party and cannot represent either the buyer OR the seller any longer when only one agent is involved. The agent cannot give advice or counsel to either side, including his or her former client, the seller. There is no "representing both sides", it's neither. It is in a buyer's best interest to choose a Realtor to represent him or her as an agent who will have the buyer's best interests at heart.
The "charge" of a listing agent is diametrically opposed to that of a buyer's agent.
Here's the answer to your question:
The seller pays the commission as agreed upon with his listing agent and that agent shares the commission with the other agent (if there is one) and both brokers involved also.
I hope that wasn't too much information! : )... more