Here's an interesting post on Seth Godin's blog: The Joy/Cash Curve.
He basically says there is a bell curve relationship between the price of what you purchase and the amount of pleasure you get out of purchasing it.
He puts paying a toll at the left side of the curve-- low cost, and not much fun. Then you've got a dinner at a nice restaurant: medium cost, and quite pleasurable. Then buying a house: high cost, but again, not fun. Godin sees this as an opportunity:
What if a real estate broker hired a really personable ex-cheerleader/glee club member for $20 an hour to do nothing but sweat the details and be charming the entire time the closing was going on? Someone to run and get donuts and do xeroxing and get papers organized in advance... in the scheme of a million dollar purchase, not such a big deal, right?I'm not so sure about this. First of all, is what's really important the pleasure taken in the act of buying the thing? Or the thing itself? And is having a person to make your closing more pleasant really going to make anyone more likely to buy a home, or more likely to pay a higher price for the home? Maybe if the experience was more pleasant, you'd be inclined to recommend your broker to other buyers? What do you think?