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Extreme Landscape Makeover Contest

The Value of "FREE" -vs- The Perception of "Price"

They say that there are no "Free" lunches, and that nothing in this world is FREE.  We once had a neighbor who put his couch out on the sidewalk in front of his house, then placed a sign on it that read "FREE!"  It was a really nice couch with great upholstery and no stains or damage.  The neighbor simply purchased some newer furniture and didn't have room for that particular piece.

Well that couch sat there for three days, and no one took it.   IT WAS FREE!   After 3 days, he was going to haul it off to a goodwill store and donate it when he decided to test his theory of the value of FREE vs the perception of price, so he placed a sign on the couch this time that read "For Sale" $100.00.   That night, the couch was gone.   Yep, someone stole it right out of his driveway.  Can you imagine? 

What made the difference?  Was it the perceived value of 100.00, or was it that people truly believe there is no value in things that are FREE?  Something must be wrong with it if it's FREE right?

REALTORS in CT, DC, MA, MD, NJ, NY, PA & VA - Win a free landscape makeover!

Bob Stewart sent me a link to a post last week about getting a FREE Landscape done for your clients valued at $2500.00.  Is it really free?  It's worth 2500.00 dollars so how can it be FREE?   Here's the catch.   You can steal this one by simply sending in a photo as explained in this post by Kristen.  There's been a few responses, but nothing like what we would have expected.

So we're removing the FREE sign and seeing if anyone will steal this opportunity by us placing a $2500.00 dollar price tag on it.  Snap those photos and send em in, it doesn't get much easier than that.  It's not too good to be true, maybe it's just too true to be good?!?
Deadline for submission is July 8, 2009 - The winner will be notified by July 29, 2009      



"Learn More. Get More. Do More. Be More."

Comment balloon 40 commentsBrad Andersohn • June 26 2009 03:39PM


As you probably have guessed, people don't really want "free" they want a bargain.... even if they steal it for FREE!  Go figure.

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) about 11 years ago

Joan - this is the best bargain going right now that I can find.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Brad, I'm scratching my head on that one...People won't take it if it's free, but if it has a price tag they'll steal it????  Maybe they thought there were hidden defects when it was free so people didn't want to take a couch that might really belong in the dump? 

As for the makeover, sigh...Unfortunately I don't live in any of the qualifying states.  My poor, ahem...I mean my client's poor yard definitely needs some help!  :)

Chanda panda

Posted by Chanda Barrick, in referral (Keller Williams Indy Metro Northeast) about 11 years ago


That's really strange isn't it? I placed a realtively self propelled lawn mower by the trash a few years ago... I went outside and it was gone just 3 hours later. I tried to sell it for $25! I paid almost $400.00! Who the heck knows..

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) about 11 years ago

Hi Brad, your entry cracked me up.  I don't steal, so if I saw that couch with the "free" sign on it, I would have picked it up.

Posted by Xinh Truong (Connect Realty.Com, Inc.) about 11 years ago

The Makeover Contest is FREE to enter and is worth 2500.00 to one of your clients or prospects if you win.
Just by submitting a photo and some info, you could steal this one with little or no effort.
"No Cost" to you or your client might be the better choice of words.....  lol~

Enter your photos ASAP, time is running out and we know that some of you have clients that could really benefit from this.
Think about it, this is a win-win for sure.  :-)

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Brad... your Couch story reminded me of this little story. I was driving down my street last summer and this nice older couple had put out a basket of tomatoes on a small table by the road. Evidently they just had to many to eat and wanted to share them with any passer by. The next time I passed the tomatoes were on the ground and the table and basket were gone.

Posted by Steve Loynd, 800-926-5653, White Mountains NH ( Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., ) about 11 years ago

LOL Brad...

I'm not sure why but the couch story reminded me of the Seinfeld episode where Poppy peed on the couch :)


Posted by "The Lovely Wife" (Broker Bryantnulls Wife) The One And Only TLW. (President-Tutas Towne Realty, Inc.) about 11 years ago

Real Living did a promotion like this for a few  years locally, it was not strictly landscaping it was called Real Appeal and it was a makeover of landscape, trim, door... but the same idea, increasing curb appeal and I can't remember how much it was worth. I believe we did it three times.      I really got into it, trying to get clients to enter their house.

Posted by Maureen McCabe, Columbus Ohio Real Estate (HER Realtors) about 11 years ago

@Chanda - maybe you don't live there, but I bet you know someone who does?  Another member maybe or a past client or friend?

@Greg - try the FREE sign next time and see what happens...  I'd be interested if they'd still take it.

@Steve - sorry, still laughing about the nice older couple...  that's just funny stuff right there.

@TLW - maybe that's why he replaced his couch... ya think?  lol~

@Maureen - I think I remember hearing about that, I hope we'll get the same kind of response for this one.  :-))
This is great opportunity for folks in those areas and their clients, and If I didn't believe that, this certainly wouldn't be here on my blog. 

I just sent a message to AR FaceBook Fans in those states, hopefully that will help to generate a winner for this.


Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Brad, Steve is not the only one laughing about the sweet older couple even though it is sad that this happened still funny.  Too bad AZ is too far South to participate.

Posted by Ms. Charlie Blackmore (RE Transactions, Inc) about 11 years ago

Hi Brad: I agree - a bargain beats free hand down every day.


Posted by Matt Listro, Your Credit Repair Expert (National Credit Fixers - Matt Listro) about 11 years ago

Brad - I have a friend who had a big farm, and he decided to buy a pony for his daughter. Well the pony was mean, and didn't like anyone to ride him, or the other horses on the farm. He had bitten and kicked my friend several times, so hed decided to give hime away. He ran an add in the paper, and nothing happened. A couple of weeks later he ran an add to sell the pony for $100. It was sold the next day. And the new owners drove off with their prize in the back of the truck. One day the pony came back, with the saddle still on it. My friend called the new owner, and the guy said, you keep it, and the money.

Posted by Larry Brewer - Benchmark Realty llc (Benchmark Realty LLc) about 11 years ago

If we aren't giving, we aren't living... it's the value held in the human heart that balances the scales in every transaction... I once had a garage sale, and a grumpy old man kept arguing down a couple of lamps. I thought this guy was just really needing some LIGHT, so I stepped back & extended my hands towards the lamps and told him 'they are yours today, for free!'... well, he was disgusted and rejected them, saying they weren't worth anything! Have a nice day...I don't think you can really get anything for free---unless it;s your birthday! :-)

Posted by Mara Hawks, Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL (First Realty Auburn ) about 11 years ago

I was all for entering untill I saw it wasn't for Realtors in KY. 

Posted by Lizette Fitzpatrick, Lizette Realty, Lexington KY MLS - Kentucky Homes (Lizette Realty - Richmond KY) about 11 years ago

I was getting excited until I read that West Virginia wasn't included...perhaps next time,

Posted by Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®, Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate (Vision Quest Realty) about 11 years ago

I just need the right client...  And I have posted a few free things on Craigslist... they don't last long. 

Posted by Lane Bailey, Realtor & Car Guy (Century 21 Results Realty) about 11 years ago

Brad I am glad you are posting this again, with so many Blogs here I missed the previous post about this.  This would be a great gift to someone in this present economy.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) about 11 years ago

Think Joan is on to something.. A bargain hunter wants a bargin.. not something for free :)

Posted by Roland Woodworth, eXp Realty (eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

I would have been interested in this except the contest isn't in my area.  And, I think you are right, something needs to have perceived value.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) about 11 years ago

Brad I saw it but no interest CT is not CA

Posted by Endre Barath, Jr., Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002 (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) about 11 years ago

I cold submit several if Ohio were included. But sounds like a great contest.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) about 11 years ago

We have a shore property in Ocean City,NJ. and people will place their old furniture in the back alleys.

It's always interesting to see just how long it stays there !!!

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) about 11 years ago

Very cool story !  But I tell you what.  You place that couch out in Philly and it will be gone in 60 seconds !  Or faster !

Posted by The Somers Team, Delivering Real Estate Happiness (The Somers Team at KW Philadelphia) about 11 years ago

Hi Brad!  What a story!  Hey, if it's free, it's ME--but, unfortunately the best state in the union isn't included--NC! 

Have a great weekend...


Debe in Charlotte
Posted by Debe Maxwell, CRS, The right Charlotte REALTOR! ( | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310) about 11 years ago

It is absolutely a great one. I think the price tag of $100 got their atention.

Posted by Suma Kakani (Northern IL Realtor - Keller Williams Success Realty) about 11 years ago

It's interesting how free vs a bargain is perceived.  Many times free real isn't free.  Interesting and thought provoking post.

Posted by Mark Watterson, Utah Real Estate about 11 years ago

I'm looking forward to seeing who wins this contest.  With some of the short sale and foreclosure properties being purchased out there, I can only imagine some of the photos they must be getting right now.  This will be a great gift for someones client who can really use a landscape makeover.  This is definitely a "valueable" bargain not to be passed up.

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

Same story here - my daughter was moving and had a small entertainment center - put it on the curb with a 'take me - I am free' sign - 3 days later, still there.  She set it by the next door neighbor's garage while the military did their move out home inspection - when she went out after to bring it in, it was gone.

Posted by Virginia Hepp - Mesquite NV REALTOR, Mesquite NV Homes and Neighborhoods - Search MLS (Desert Gold Realty - Mesquite NV Homes For Sale) about 11 years ago

I hate to say this, but Kristen might have to email the link to Realtors in the areas the promotion is for.  I'd jump on that opportunity if it's offered here.  Wouldn't that be a great item to promote if I can offer the first listing or buyers (after I won the contest) a $2500 landscape makeover?   

Posted by Sylvia Barry, Marin and Sonoma Real Estate Leading Expert (Coldwell Banker Previews International (#1 Marin_Sonoma_San Francisco_North_Bay)) about 11 years ago

We  will be submitting a home. I use the words at no cost when I am talking about a service I am not charging for

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros ( about 11 years ago


Interesting story, makes me think of a book I read recently about neuromarketing, called Buyology.  The book is all about doing brains scans along with marketing research, and is quite interesting.  (I got the book from my local library and there were so many requests that I had to wait several weeks before I actually got a hold of it to read.)

Posted by Joseph "Cathan" Potter (Coldwell Banker) about 11 years ago

Charlie - Good luck my friend, I'm sure you'll let me know if you and your client get selected.  Thanks for taking part in this "no cost" contest, if your photo and clients do get selected, imagine the excitement you'll both share when you let them know.  :-))

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

I guess I should get my butt out of the chair and take a picture of the backyard.  The worst that could happen is I would win.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) about 11 years ago

Your story is funny - I heard the same thing here on Maui, with a frigde for $25. 

As for the yard makeover - I will take a stab at it.  I know someone in CT that might qualify.

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 11 years ago

My hubby is a sucker for " free" things, but he is the ONLY person I know who is! He has brought home 3 free desks, free fencing, free tables, and It drives me batty. I think I will have him read this. He just took a free dog kennel...bark!

Posted by BethAnn Long, Realtor, CRS, e-PRO, Spokane Wa Real Estate (RE/MAX Inland Empire) about 11 years ago

Wow Brad, can't beleive no one took a perfectly good couch that was free.  In my neighborhood it wouldn't have lasted even half a day!  THanks for letting me know about the contest.  I know several properties that could use a landscaping overhaul.  Must it be a house actively on the market?

Posted by Lora "Leah" Stern 914-772-4528, Real Estate Salesperson (Coldwell Banker, 170 N Main Street, New City NY 10956) about 11 years ago

That couch story is funny, I going to put some junk in my basement outside with a price tag and see what happens! :)

Posted by Tatyana Sturm, Denver Realtor, GRI, Denver/ Aurora CO Relocation (Exit Realty DTC) about 11 years ago

Lora - not sure if it has to be on the market, check with Kristen and see if that's a requirement.  I don't think it is but you might want to check with her anyway.  Good luck.  :-))

Posted by Brad Andersohn, ActiveBrad - 707.646.1876 (Executive Director of Education at eXp Realty) about 11 years ago

People love free stuff here.  I'd love to enter the contest, but CO isn't on the list.

Posted by Joetta Fort, Independent Broker, Homes Denver to Boulder (The DiGiorgio Group) about 11 years ago