It’s All Negotiable

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It’s All Negotiable
by Michael Pollack

In many countries, bargaining in the marketplace is a way of life. It used to be that way in many sectors of the United States, too. But now, some automobile dealers and others are advertising no haggle, no hassle merchandising. In other words, the price you see is the price you get. I guess people feel that if they cut out the salesperson (or middle man), they will be saving on commission or markup. I don’t think that is always true.

A client came to me this week with a contract she wanted me to review. I asked her if she had negotiated with the other party. She said she had an offer from another party but that this one was better, but no, she did not negotiate beyond that. I did a little research and found that the price she was paying was still on the high end. I told her she should try to negotiate a better deal before signing, and we are doing that now.

Competition and shopping around are good, but when it comes down to signing on the dotted line, you still have to read the fine print and look at all the numbers. Are there any hidden fees? Are you getting what you bargained for? If you did no bargaining, you may not know that some of the transaction costs, closing fees or financing terms are not all “standard.” As I tell all my clients, it is all negotiable. If you don’t negotiate, you might be giving away the store or leaving money on the table. That is not the way the marketplace is supposed to work. If you can’t understand some of the terms of the deal, it might be worth reviewing it with your attorney. If you are having trouble communicating or negotiating with the other party — whether you are the seller or the buyer — an attorney or professional mediator can very often help you close the deal, or at least avoid getting you into a bad one. When buying or selling big ticket items, or when entering into complicated financial deals, an attorney’s or mediator’s fee (which should also be negotiated) is often well worth the price.

About the author:

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Michael Pollack is an Attorney at Law as well as an arbitrator, mediator and coach in Southeast Wisconsin. For more interest on negotiation, Michael can be found at http://mpmediation.com