Negotiating Real-Estate Agent's Commission

Q: I am about to list my house, and have interviewed three real estate agents. One agent charges 5%; the other two say 6%. I was most impressed with one of the agents who wanted 6%, but given how far home values have fallen in the neighborhood these past few years, I need every nickel. I'd like to try to negotiate a lower commission with the agent I prefer. But I don't know if she'd be offended if I asked, or how I should go about it. Thoughts? —Boston

A: Your agent is a professional haggler, so I doubt she'll be offended if you ask if she's flexible on her commission.

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