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But...what happens to the commision? Could the 3% we're saving the buyer be applied to our closing costs? I know, I'm getting greedy :)

One example is say we are looking at a house listed by an agent. The LA asks us if we are working with an agent. We say no. He says that he can represent us.

A.) If I say OK, I know for a fact he will be getting a plump 6% on the sale. I can offer at least 3% below asking, and the agent will work his butt off to get the seller to accept, because he'll be making megabucks off the sale.

B.) If I say no, I prefer to not work with an agent, I will make an offer and use my lawyer to review doc's. There is a spot on the CA Realtor purchase agreement that states commissions. Could I put my name on the portion that says buyer's agent commissions, or does it have to be a licensed broker?
1.) If I put my name there, I could offer the asking price or a little higher (up to 3%) knowing I'll get compensated in the end.
2.) If I can't put my name there, where does the 3% go?
a.) If it goes to the owner, he should be willing to take up to 3% below asking, but the LA won't be so happy.
b.) If it goes to the LA, then the same as situation "A" is in effect.

All this being said, it seems to me the best scenario is actually A, except the seller will have to be willing to drop the price quite a bit. In this hot market, I'm not so sure that will be so easy.

Situation B1 seems desireable, except then I'll have a higher sell price, meaning a larger mortgage and a higher tax bill.

I just have no clue what is standard, and do buyers even buy w/o agents much?

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