Don’t negotiate listing agent’s commission up front

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

DEAR BOB: My wife and I are selling our first home. What is the average sales commission? I don't want to overpay. Can we negotiate the broker's fee? --Anthony W. DEAR ANTHONY: Great questions. Before signing a listing to sell your home, please interview at least three successful agents who sell homes in your vicinity. Purchase Bob Bruss reports online. Each agent should give you a written comparative market analysis (CMA) showing recent sales prices and photos of comparable nearby homes, current asking prices of neighborhood homes (your competition), and asking prices of recently expired similar homes (usually overpriced). Don't be fooled by each agent's estimate of your home's market value, based on his or her CMA. Some agents estimate high. That is called "buying the listing." Other agents estimate low, hoping you won't interview other agents so they can make a quick, easy sale. After interviewing three or more agents, suppose you learn 6 percent is the customary local sales commis...