Quick excerpt from an article on anti trust laws.........and real estate:
"Each and every salesperson, real estate broker and broker associate should be forewarned that there can be no innocent conversation with persons in other business offices, regarding commissions or the business practices of any other enterprise. Telephone calls, conversations in person, letters or e-mail communications, online forums, all represent an invitation to extreme liability............etc"
here's another excerpt from another article.:
Agents and brokers in any setting, business or social, should take great care to never even discuss commission rates in any context. It's much better to be safe than sorry in this case.
Sorry, there is no standard, normal, usual or regular commission. An acceptable commission is, by definition, one that is proferred by the agent, and "accepted" by you. Agents and agencies charge what the feel their local market will bear, and what they believe their services are worth.
Here is advice to agents on the subject from a local board's website regarding anti-trust guidelines:
At any time, in any place, or under any circumstances, do not have any personal, telephone or e-mail conversations with competitors concerning commissions, fees, charges or any other business practices of your real estate business or those of the firm with which you are associated. This applies at social gatherings, on the golf course, while hunting, in the bar, cocktail parties, board functions and at all times and in all places. At association or board meetings, confine discussions to topics of association or board business directly involved in the purpose of the organization and the meeting.
Anti trust laws prohibit agents from discussing commissions percentages in public. Commissions are negotiable. Agents even within a brokerage firm are allowed to set their own commissions based upon their business models and market value of services. When an agent discusses your home sale with you he/she will let you know what his/her charges (commissions and any other fees they may have) are and how they are to be split between seller broker and buyer broker