Hi again Judy,
Let me see if I can cover all the contingencies in one place...
If you're working with a Buyer Agent, they should have had a conversation with you at the start regarding their Commission and how it will be paid. These agreed to terms should be writing, preferably via a Buyer Agency Contract.
With that said, you can either be purchasing a property that is listed in MLS or is for sale without representation (aka for sale by owner).
1) MLS Listed Property - the Listing side is offering a percentage to the Buyer Agent via the MLS Listing.
A) If there is a Buyer Agency Contract, and the amount the Listing side is offering is less that your Buyer Agency Contract indicates, then the Buyer would pay the difference.
B) If there is a Buyer Agency Contract and the amount the Listing side is offering is more than your Buyer Agency Contract indicates, then your Buyer Agent must disclose that to you.
2) Property For Sale Without Representation aka For Sale by Owner:
A) If you have a Buyer Agency Contract and are purchasing a home that is NOT in MLS, you would be responsible for the amount agreed to in the Buyer Agency Contract. UNLESS the Seller is willing to pay all or a portion of that amount.
B) If there is NO Buyer Agency Contract, then it would appear the Buyer Agent would be working for gratis.
All REALTORSÂ® are held to the standards in the REALTORÂ® Code of Ethics.
With regard to compensation, the Code of Ethics states:
In a transaction, REALTORSÂ® shall not accept compensation from more than one party, even if permitted by law, without disclosure to all parties and the informed consent of the REALTORÂ®â€™s client or clients.
I hope this helps!