You can list for 5% with some Brokers, I even know of some who will list at 4% and Promise you the world. That being said, someone here hit it right on the nail. If there are ten $1 Million dollar apartments on sale right now and 9 are listed at 6% when you are listed at 5%. It's a good bet that your apartment will be one of the last ones to be shown to a buyer and if you are below 5%, keep your fingers crossed. If you were a broker, would you want to sell a 6% listing or a 4% listing? Less sales are being done right now, brokers are working twice as hard and just like anyone else, we have families to feed and business expenses to take care of.
Let me help you look at your scenario from a different angle. You have a $1M dollar apartment, you want to pay $40K commission vs the 5% $50K commission.
This is probably would would happen next. Your broker lists it at 4%. The Ten other apartments listed at 6% then 5% if sold, would be looked at and probably sold first. Then your apartment is on someones radar, since your apartment at 4% was the last to be shown, it's 3 months later, prices have fallen and now your $1M dollar apartment is no longer $1M. What would you do, you can't lower the price by $40K, because that doesn't say anything, if it says something it says that this seller may not be realistic. So you will probably have to drop it by 10% which is $100K, still listed at 4%. 5 months later it's summer, more apartments are on the market, yours looks old, it's at 4% and now you have to reduce it again, if you already haven't.
At the end of the day if you are able to sell at 4%, now your apartment is $100 to 200 thousand lower. $100 to $200K V.S. the $60,000 or $50,000 K you could have offered from Day One and increased your chances.
And Jc, Unless you purchased at the PEAK of the market, you aren't LOSING MONEY. If you purchased your apartment for example sake $700,000 and it appreciated to as far as $1,000,000 You are not losing $300,000. You are gaining anything you get above $700,000.