As a consumer, you deserve to know
how your REALTOR gets paid. For sellers, this is simple. You pay a commission to your agent at the closing table. It's great for you because you get results and then you pay for services after you and the agent have met your goals.
For buyers, it gets a little tricky. Most of the time in our area (the Fox Valley) the seller pays the buyer's REALTOR out of the commission they pay their listing agent. Basically, that commission the listing agent took in gets split.
There are other options, as a buyer you have the right to hire your agent through the use of a buyer agency contract and pay them on your own.
Also, some buyer's agents do charge a minimal fee up front as part of the signing bonus. Often they will pull from seller concessions for this.
I hope this helps.