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The fence is in! It turned out beautifully. We find the space feels larger now and I can relax much more knowing the kids could not just run out into the street. Currently we’re working on teaching the boy not to open the gates without permission.

IMG_6623I’m pleased with the simplicity of the design. It has visual interest, but is not ornate.

IMG_6624  IMG_6626Because of the downhill slope of our front yard, the 36 inch high fence does not block the view of the house.

The wrought iron ties in with the iron candle chandelier I wrote about before.

IMG_6425In the backyard, we’ve made the giant leap to purchasing a few furniture items.

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They were sold for, what I think is, a great price off of craigslist.  IMG_6649

IMG_6650The seller posted them for $95. I offered $80. Please, never be afraid to negotiate. I once felt uncomfortable at the idea but it is totally worth it. The likelihood of offending, which is often the concern, is little to none. The worst the person can say is “no,” in which case you pay what you may have been willing to pay anyway. At best you get your asking price which you planned on negotiating up from.

Here are some simple steps I learned for negotiating:

Based on the asking price, decide what you would like to pay. The seller will look to you to make an offer.

Once you’ve decided what you want to pay, go down twice that from the asking price. For example, seller wants $100, you want to pay $85, offer $70.

Have the phrase you’re comfortable with. “Will you take seventy for it?” “How about seventy?”

The seller will either accept or counter offer. Use halfway points to guide you. He or she says, “no, what about $90?” Halfway between his offer (90) and yours (70) is $80. That’s where you go next.

That is the longer way. Another method is using whole bills as your guide. In the case of the yard chairs, the seller was asking for an odd number, $95. I offered an even number, totally prepared with a $5 bill to go through the negotiating steps.

“Will you take eighty for them?”

Seller thinks about it, “Sure, I can do 80.”

Sold!

One other lesson to keep in mind, if the seller wants too much, there will very likely, one day, be another set of chairs, dresser, dish set. Very rarely will this be your only chance. Feeling free to walk away can make negotiating a fun game for some, or a reinforcing bonus for others. I’d love to hear your negotiating stories in the comment box.

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