One of the great challenges in negotiation is you never quite know if there's a deal that can be done or not. Let's look at a specific case. Imagine we have a buyer who's saying, I'm willing to pay 100. And we have a seller who says, well, I need $200. It looks like there's no deal that's possible. And that might actually be true. It could be the case that the buyer says 100, is willing to go up to 140. And the seller says, I need 200, and might secretly be willing to go down 160. But 140 and 160 don't cross and so, they could go back and forth for as long as they want, and in the end, they won't be able to find a deal. It's also possible the buyer, who's offering 100, is truly willing to go up to 200 and the seller, who is asking for 200, is truly willing to take as little as 100. In that case, there's a $100 pie, but the two of them may become so frustrated with each other that they just give up and say. I don't believe there's a pie even though it's truly there. Now you might say well okay why doesn't the buyer just go and say, you know I'm offering you 100, but I'm really willing to pay 200? And the reason for that is bloody obvious, which is if the buyer says I'm willing to pay 200, the buyer's gonna end up paying 200. And so that's not gonna turn out too well for him or her. The trick to all this, the wonderful solution is an idea proposed by an NYU law professor named Jeff Miller and the University of Chicago economist named Rob Gurtner. And the idea is something called settlement escrows. And the way it works is as follows. The buyer provides on a piece of paper the most the buyer's willing to pay. And the seller writes down, in a hidden piece of paper, the least the seller is willing to accept. And then those two papers are brought together either by a computer program, by a lawyer, by a trusted third party. Who looks at them and reveals whether or not the two numbers cross. Now if the two numbers cross, the person doesn't go and say here's what the numbers are. But the two parties know that a deal is to be done. So if the buyer is really willing to pay 200, and the seller is willing to sell for 100, this trusted third party would come back, and say, congratulations, there's a deal there to be found. In contrast, if the buyer puts in 140, and the seller puts in 160, and so, there's no overlap, then this third party will come back and say, I'm sorry. Even if you went to your total limit, you wouldn't be able to do a deal. There is no there there, so you might as well go and watch your kids play soccer. Now, are you really any worse off if you reveal the truth in this case? So let's say, as a buyer, you put on the piece of paper, I'm willing to pay up to $200. And it comes back that there's a deal there. What have you learned? You haven't learned what the other party is willing to sell it for. All you know is that it's something below $200. And it's still going to be a challenge for you to go and find it, but now you have the incentive to go and look, because you know that there really is a pie to be found.