When I was a kid, I watched a lot of gameshows, particularly when I was home sick from school. One of my favorites was "The Price is Right". With its over-excited audience, this program has an enthusiasm that is contagious, which is one reason why it has lasted so long (it debuted in 1972). As you are already probably aware, throughout the show audience members are selected randomly to "Come on Down!" and participate in the show firsthand, with the opportunity to compete for cars, trips and other big prizes in the final "Showcase Showdown".
I realize that Drew Carey is the current host, but I haven't ever watched an episode with him, so I can only speak to the Barker version. I sincerely hope that it hasn't been updated too much, since the fact that it always seemed a little dated and kitschy was part of its charm.
So, where am I headed with this one?
I'm so glad you asked.
If you can imagine each audience member is a home seller, it's not difficult to see that not everyone can be a big winner. In fact, on each episode, only two out of a few hundred get to the end of the show. Clearly, this is where the analogy is a bit clunky, but bear with me.
These days, buyers have plenty of homes to see in most markets around the country. When I am assisting buyers, we are usually able to narrow it down to two or three (this is the "Showdown" part). All other things being equal, buyers will inevitably choose the home with the lower price. If the prices are equal, then the condition of one home will rule the day.
Every home seller is faced with challenges and decisions. There are certain elements that a seller can control, namely condition, price, and the choice of which agent will help them market the property. Some would argue that the price is the most important element, and this is probably true. You may be thinking that condition is more important, but if a horribly junky home costs $5,000, it will sell to someone. While the choice of agent is also important, it really doesn't matter a whole lot if you mess up on the other two.
Don't get me wrong – if the condition is rough/dirty/unkempt, the price WILL suffer. If the condition is good, and the price is right, the property will likely sell very quickly, even with multiple offers. In other words, the price will almost certainly be affected by the condition.
Often sellers will pick a price out of the air seemingly at random, or choose to price it so that they will make money or break even, despite the fact that it is unreasonable. As professional agents and brokers, it is our job to help our sellers set the correct price and get the home in tip-top shape, preferably with a good stager, so that we can ALL win with a successful sale. Since we do this every day and our clients do not, it is up to us to get our clients to the "Showdown".
And, if you're especially lucky, you won't be forced to play "Cliffhangers" or the "Shell Game" in order to negotiate a good deal for your clients during the process.
P.S. As an interesting side note, "The Price is Right" was actually created by a man named Bob Stewart, although it is not the same Bob Stewart that we have come to know and love at Active Rain.
P.P.S. No, I am not making this up: http://www.tvgameshows.net/gsc6.htm