Has the current housing market changed the going commission rate for real estate agents?
In some areas, the competition may be creating some undermarket or reduced commissions . . . but in my experience, you get what you pay for. The agents taking less commission are also DOING less of the work, and providing more a la carte type services. . . . or don't really know how to handle complex transactions, yet.
The market is now flooded with REOs ("bank owneds"), short sales (where the current lender's approval is required to sell), etc. . . . these overlays, combined with increasingly cumbersome mortgage and appraisal guidelines mean that a lot of transactions require 2-3 times as much time and effort, and a much higher percentage of deals that "fall out" or fall apart for some reason.
2-3 times as much work, lower home prices, AND reduced fees only seem to add up in high priced communities (where the commission is quite large, dollarwise, regardless), and for new, desperate, or "split the work with the homeowner to sell" type self-service real estate agencies.