There is no one answer to this question because agents can each negotiate their own commission. Typically though the seller enters into a listing contract with a listing agent who is part of the NWMLS, and that contract offers buyers' agents a commission. So the seller pays both the listing and buyer's commission.
The reason the system is set up that was is it benefits sellers, bringing them the most buyers--particularly in the current market where multiple offers and bidding wars are common.
The other major items a seller pays is the real estate excise tax (typically 1.78%) and the buyer's title insurance (varies depending on price, but typically between $500-1,200).... more
Yes, you all three need to sign the listing agreement, but your Realtor should be able to do that electronically for you for the out of area seller. It only takes a minute. Do they have an email address?... more