Real Estate Agents are paid at closing. The commission is determined by the agreement signed between the Seller and the Listing Agent. Some agents have additional charges for sellers & buyers, but most will work for the commission specified in the Exclusive Right To Sell Agreement.
The Listing Agent represents the Seller. The Buyer's Agent represents the Buyer.
In the 1990's consumer advocacy groups demanded that the buyer be given the same right of representation as the seller of real estate. That resulted in the creation of Exclusive Buyer's Agency Agreement.
This is a right all buyers now have. The advantage is that you have professional representation to promote and protect your interests, just like the sellers. This service includes helping you find the best financing, the best house for your money, the best terms, assuring that all contracts are filled out correctly conforming to all local, state and federal laws, all documents are delivered to the appropriate place/person in a timely fashion, all offers and counter offers are presented in a timely fashion, all deadlines are met, inspections are done within the time limit, repairs made as agreed in the Resolution of Unacceptable Conditions, all receipts are sent to title company well before closing, mortgage lender appraisal and final approval done on time, HUD-1 Final Settlement Statement correct and on time, and various and assundry other services provided that save you time and money and assure a legally binding contract and recorded deed.