Depends on the market. When real estate is hot commissions tend to go down. When things slow commissions go up. Agents are attracted to property that offer a higher commission. In a time when dramatic price reductions are being made to get a property to sell does it make any sense to short the people that are going to sell them? I frequently see price reductions while leaving a low commission in place that would only cost a fraction of the price reduction to increase. Banks know this which is why they may offer out 5% to the selling agent when a few years ago 4% might be split between listing and selling agent. If an agent can't demonstrate to you they are worth what they are going to charge, then they probably aren't and you should find someone else.
May 15, 2009