And now to finish up from below:
So your buyer agent insists on telling you that you aren't paying the buyer agent/broker commission. Run away. Find a buyer agent willing to work on a sale commission basis. How does this affect you?
Say you negotiate to buy a house for $300,000. 3% of that is.... NINE THOUSAND DOLLARS. How much time do you think is involved in actual work on the part of your buyer agent? A few hours, maybe even a day or so of total accumulated time. Pretty good money isn't it?
So you have this $9000 of CASH to deal with. As I've said before, you with new found information have successfully negotiated this down to $4500. Still not shabby money for maybe two days of total accumulated work time. Remember, the time you spend looking at houses is time YOU"VE spent. Your agent is just showing the house but guess what? Anyone can do that and in fact, the listing agent will show you the house, just ask. On that note, if any listing agent refuses to show you the house, find out who the seller is (recorders office) and complain directly. There is no valid reason why a listing agent won't show you a house and the seller deserves to know.
back to the $4500 of new found CASH you get to keep. What can you do with that? Put it towards the sale of the house. How does that work? Simple.
The negotiated price assumes (assuming will always bite you) that that default commission rates apply. The seller won't know that you negotiated a lower buyer agent commission unless someone tells them. YOU are going to tell them. You will either tell them in the offer itself and when the offer is presented (here we go). At the offer presentation, the buyer agent is supposed to present your case, why you should be the buyer above all others. Guess what one of the reasons is? You got it, their commission is 1.5% instead of 3% so that 4500 dollars is retained by the seller.
Remember how all the agents tell you the listing agent pays the buyer agent? The listing agent gets the money from YOU if you follow the money chain. Well now, suddenly there is 4500 that would usually go to the buyer agent that now goes into the seller's pocket.
What does all this mean? Simple, your offer now results in the seller getting $4500 more than an equally priced offer from someone else who pays the default rate commissions.
How else could you work this? Ok, reduce your offer price by the $4500 but make sure that when the offer is presented that seller knows the amount they get is the same had your offer been $4500 more because you negotiated down the commission.
The whole thing now comes down the the offer presentation. How do you make sure what you are doing is actually getting to the seller? An offer letter. Not the offer contract but a letter from you to the seller, sealed in an envelope with a signature return indicating they got it. In that letter you clearly introduce yourself and identify the points you want to make about the commission. Spell it out very clearly, 1,2,3... Make sure that what you explain can be verified by the amounts in the offer contract.
If your buyer agent hesitates, find another buyer agent. Remember, I said not to enter into a written exclusive representation agreement with any buyer agent. Any such contract is for the agent's benefit, not yours. There are too many buyer agents out there to use one that isn't flexible and willing to work according to your style and requirements. Remember, IT IS YOUR MONEY!
Typically, you are buying one house and then not again for quite a while. Why would you need to sign a long term contract with a buyer agent for something you are going to do once? Hmm?
You can also negotiate a fixed price commission with the buyer agent. Offer an amount to work one sale transaction. You look around to your heart's content and when you find the house, you engage that buyer agent for a fixed sum if the sale goes through (after all, you pay for performance not effort). You can always offer a modest sum for actual expenses should the sale fall through to cover things like fuel, phone charges and any reports they might have paid to get but not for effort (time).
So there you go, a new perspective on the buyer agent commission. Now mind you, agents will chime in and try the double talk to confuse things and might even come up with regional or state differences. Unless it is law, none of that matters. Broker or agent policies don't matter either because guess who wrote those policies? THEY DID.
The only policies that matter are yours, YOU THE BUYER. Remember this: everyone wants YOUR money. Make them earn it and spend it wisely. There is always another house and always a better one you have yet to see. Remove the pressure from your house buying because if it isn't this one, it will be another. They didn't build just one house.