Prevent Buyers Remorse

Prevent Buyer Remorse

Cancellations are an all-too-frequent occurrence in today's market. Buyers have always had a tendency to get home from a design center appointment and wonder if they've just lost their minds, but today they're also legitimately nervous about maxing out their loan amounts and overpricing their house for the market.

How do you reduce the risk that they'll cancel everything and fill the house with standard-grade, builder beige?

We talked with sales pros about how to keep buyers engaged and enthusiastic about their choices. Here are five tips:

how to keep buyers engaged and enthusiastic about their choices

Establish a relationship of trust

If buyers believe that the selections you're recommending are the best choices for their home and their lifestyle, as opposed to the ones that will earn you the biggest commission, they are much more likely to stick with the decisions they make. "Many, many times, the real and true answer to buyer's remorse is to make sure that they remain confident in you," says Jamie Gibbs, principal of New York City-based interior design firm Jamie Gibbs and Associates. "It's not the price, it's not the product; it's the relationship between you and the client. Your job is to comfort them or help them or both. It's all about value."

Establish a relationship of trust

Show them all the available options

Part of building that trust is showing the clients all the available options, not just the ones you hope they'll choose, says Joe Crisara, CEO of ContractorSelling.com, a sales training company for contractors. He says that remorse only comes into play if a buyer feels like they should have looked around more. "Show them something they never thought of -- their biggest dreams," he says. "Then show them the midrange and economy options. If you don't, they will look for those options on their own."

Show them all the available options

Don't rush them

"I find that taking enough time to allow a client to absorb the options is important," says Joan Kaufman, an interior designer from Naperville, Ill. "The cases we have encountered with buyer's remorse typically have involved a piece of missing information. When a client feels a decision has been researched carefully, they tend to be more comfortable with their choice."

Don't rush them

Follow up and reinforce their choices

Once the contract is signed, call the buyer, congratulate them and ask them what they like most about what they selected. "Get them to resell it to themselves," says Barry Maher, a California-based sales trainer. "Have them go into some detail. Was it the design, the colors, the way things go together? There's nothing like that. Then it becomes their decision."

Set the proper expectations with contract terms

Let your customers know before they sign the contract that they're allowed to cancel selections or make changes within a certain period of time, and tell them about any fees that might apply. "A person needs to realize what is realistic," Gibbs says. "It costs everybody time and money to re-do orders, design work and product specifications. Our clients know that we have a period of time in which they're allowed to change their minds. Once that period is over, forget it."