I think you got a lot of answers already, and let me just address your way of expressing yourself concerning the Realtor's commission % / amount! You call it almost a crime!!!
Well, not really.... remember that in this market Realtors work much longer and much harder, i.e. much more time and expenses involved and remember also that Realtors expenses all come out of their own pockets, it is a business a service business, which includes insurances, office expenses, phone, marketing and advertising costs, cameras, multiple listing services, expenses for websites and so much more! And furthermore, you look at the total amount, but realize that that amount is shared by at least 4 parties and sometimes 5 (in cases of referrals), but at least the total amount is shared with the Realtor who brings the buyer, and his / her brokerage company, the other part is shared with your listing agent and his/her brokerage company, and each one of course pays taxes on that amount, once they deduct all their individual expenses, there needs to be some money left, otherwise they would be in the business of providing free services..... They also list homes, that do not sell, or the sellers decide not to sell anymore, so all those expenses also need to be covered, it's a business after all....
Just thought I explain that a little, because it is important for you to see how that part of your closing costs, the commission gets distributed, and heavily reduced after deduction of all expenses involved in the marketing of a home, and being a Realtor and taxes paid....
Hopefully you now have a little bit better understanding for the commission, and you still have the choice not to hire an experienced Realtor and to sell your home by owner!
Good luck to you!
Edith YourRelator4Life & Chicago Connection
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients