First. let me start by saying there is no set or "normal" commission in real estate. The commission is negotiated between the listing agent/brokerage at the time the listing agreement is signed. The listing agreement specifies the seller is aware the listing brokerage will compensate a selling brokerage for bringing a qualified buyer and closing the transactions. We have become used to the title company making commission splits transparent. In reality, the listing brokerage pays the selling brokerage, not the seller. I disagree that the buyer pays the commission and that commissions are built into the selling price. If that were the case, FSBO's would always sell for less. If a buyer hires a Realtor/real estate agent to assist them in finding a home the buyer brokerage agreement may specify a fee paid by the buyer if the buyer does not ultimately buy a home from the agent. There are many examples of buyers using a real estate agent to look at several homes and then buying directly from a builder or FSBO. The buyer brokerage agreement specifies the conditions in which a buyer may be responsible to pay a real estate agent. I make it very clear that a fee will be paid if I show homes and the buyer ends up closing on a transaction that does not offer a commission or uses another real estate company.