First..Commissions are negotiable and 6% is not a % written in stone.
Commission is an illusion it seems to me.
.You tell the Buyer don't worry about the Commission the Seller pays it and you tell the Seller to just include the commission in the Price and the Buyer pays it.
Everybody thinks the Agent is paid for by the other party to the deal.....The illusion works great until the type of Market we have now comes along and people are selling at a loss and the buyer pool has a large group who is questioning each expense/cost in pursuit of the Deal!.
The simplistic view.....
They buy and pay, then the money is put on the table (Price paid) the Commission is paid and split however between the Agents/Brokers, costs ect and the seller gets what's left..( 0 seems to be the case often enough to be taken into consideration ;)
So who's money is on the table? Yours or the Buyers?...Whatever answer you arrive at for that question will determine your view of who pays the Agents IMHO.
A seller in ideal conditions wants X amount from the sale for them personally.
That seller does not then list and sell at X amount, they add expected expenses (like commission), then they'll mark it up 10-15% so they can negotiate or maybe get lucky & eventually they arrive at Y amount for a sales price...
Yes the Seller pays the Commission but where does the Seller get the money to pay the Agents Commission? .....From the sale.
So which one is it... the chicken or the egg?
Be aware of your rights and options
Dept of Justice on Commissions......http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/index.htm