Discounts, deals, and financial incentives seem to be what homebuyers expect today. Is the prospect justified in seeking deep discounts for a brand new home, which is obviously the single largest investment of his or her life? Absolutely not!
However, since they ask for them anyhow, we’ll consider the purchase from their point of view and the best way to respond.
To begin with, you shouldn’t be surprised that they do ask for a discount. Almost daily, the media reinforces the concept that this is a buyer’s market – that inventory exceeds demand – that we’re in a housing "bubble." The not-so-subtle message from the media is: There are a bunch of homes for sale, so you can take your time shopping for one and negotiate when you find it.
As a professional salesperson, you should realize that although customers bring up the topics of discounts and reduced pricing they actually are concerned with more than that. Asking for a discount is frequently a form of entitlement, a way of saying, "Hey, I feel this is a benefit I deserve, so how about giving me a discount?" That sentiment is even more prominent today because they perceive that, since homes are not selling quickly and they are one of the few buyers out there, they should be entitled to something extra such as a discount.
Compounding the salesperson’s frustration is having the prospect say, "It costs too much;" or "Your competition is giving bigger discounts;" or the classic, "You’ll have to do better than that."
Check back, as I will discuss how to effectively respond when you are confronted with these kinds of statements.