This is a good question because many clients don't understand how little of the 5% or 6% we actually take home. If the seller is giving a total of 6% commission to both sides, then my side gets 3%, however of this 3% we give our office a large cut. Many commissions are now at the 5% level, so our cut would be 2.5%, of which we share with the brokerage we hang our licence in.
On an average, I calculate that I net anywhere from 1/2% to 1% of the sale price. Of this figure, I pay for all of my overhead, time, expense related to real estate including charges for my desk, tech support, E&O insurance,etc. This does not include taxes due at the end of the quarter.
In reality, we have to sell many homes to make a good income. That is why you find that many of the excellent realtors are extremely busy.
Hope this helps to clarify our commission structure.