The real answer to your question is the buyer will usually always pay for the commission, no matter what the contract states. What I mean by this is, if the seller contracts to pay the commission, it will certainly be factored into the sales price, as most sellers know what the bottom line, net from sale, is that they seek. In my experience this is called the sales price, reservation line. (The lowest price a seller will accept, which is never divulged to anyone.) A reason the seller may choose not to offer a commission is that he or she hopes to use the amount that may have been offered as a discount on the price, without it costing the seller’s net from sale.
If by contract the buyer pays the commission, he or she will simply factor the cost of the commission as a part of the cost of the property. When the buyer contracts to pay, he or she at least controls how much the agent is paid that represents the buyer. The buyer will rarely pay the seller’s listing agent.
Otherwise, the agent representing the buyer receives his commission from the seller as a percentage of the overall commission offered in the listing agreement. In our profession, this is referred to a cooperative agreement between brokers.
Neither buyers nor sellers should get hung up on commission paid. They should concentrate on the professional service being provided by the commercial agents; and, the bottom line economics to the property sold and purchased. As I often like to say, the best transactions are those where the sellers, the buyers and the agents all believe they had to give to get the deal done.
Good luck Craig
Onward and Upward!
Jul 14, 2012