A commission for real estate is typically paid by the seller at the closing of the transaction. The exact amount is stipulated in the listing agreement between the seller and the listing brokerage.
Usually, the payment of a commission to the brokerage is contingent upon finding a satisfactory buyer who is ready, willing and able to purchase the property. Typically, the commission is split evenly between the seller’s and buyer’s real estate agents at closing. The seller’s agent offers a percentage (usually half of the total commission) to cooperating brokers that they specify in the MLS. This cooperating percentage is the amount from which a buyer’s agent is paid.
There is no set commission in real estate as this could be considered price fixing among brokerages and is illegal in real estate. Commissions are negotiable but that does not mean the Realtor has to reduce his commission when asked. It’s a free market and either party can take it or leave it.
If you are unclear about real estate commissions or anything in your listing agreement, ask for clarification or consult a real estate attorney.