Commissions are the amount of the purchase price normally multiplied by 3% or .03. It is a pretty easy thing to figure out but few do when they are buying a house. Meanwhile every dollar of commission paid to the real estate agents increases the buyers monthly mortgage payment. On an average home the commission is a total of 6% commission paid to two realtors or 3% per agent. One buyers agent and one sellers agent.
This can be negotiated and can be as low as the agent is willing to negotiate down to. However remember that there is a lot of work that goes into being a good real estate agent and the best real estate agents are not open to too much negotiation. The higher the price the lower the over all commission can be. For example if the house is listing for $2 million the seller can negotiate a sliding commission such as 2% for the first million and 1% on anything over the first million. This can reduce the commission paid by the seller on the closing but this reduction is also transferred to the buyer as the commission is paid for in the mortgage of the buyer. Always remember that the commission is paid in the monthly mortgage. It may not add a lot to the monthly cost, perhaps $8 to $15 but over the course of time this can add up. Commission should not be first and foremost in the mind of the buyer or seller as there are a lot of ways to save on the purchase that have a much larger impact.
Go low and ask for nothing
Push the transfer taxes onto the other side of the equation
Find out how much is owed on the house before making an offer
Find out what motives the seller and appeal to that motivation