Minimizing Complaints & Cancellations in New Home Sales

Nobody likes complaints, do they? So how can we minimize complaints and cancelations through the home-buying experience? 

Now, certainly, nobody likes it when a customer complains. We don’t like it when a customer says they’re thinking about canceling the sale. But when we see markets shift, this is what happens.

The question is, why?

Well, it helps to understand the buying formula. We know that people buy when their current dissatisfaction multiplied by their future promise is greater than their cost and fear. They will only purchase if that formula favors those left-side components. The current dissatisfaction and the future promise need to be greater than the cost and the fear.

What about after the purchase? Well, the market changes, and as the market changes, they can see that there is bad economic news, higher interest rates, or whatever happens. That fear now begins to rise. As the fear grows, it throws the formula out of balance.

Market changes tend to increase that fear component. Our formula becomes out of whack. It’s not to be unexpected. It’s a very regular occurrence whenever we see a market shift. How do we ensure that we are ready and prepared for customer complaints or even when they’re talking about canceling the sale altogether?

The best way to do that is to prevent that from happening in the first place. We do that by thinking about how we can actively increase each homebuyer’s positive experience. That is to say that once they’re in contract and going through the process, we need to constantly brainstorm. Ask yourself, how do I serve this person? How do I provide such a great experience that the emotional energy is so strong that they’d be less inclined to complain and certainly less inclined to cancel?

What are the keys to doing that? How do we make sure that the emotional energy remains strong? 

Here are two things you need to consider when it comes to serving your customer and your backlog and keeping them happy to minimize complaints and cancellations. They are speed and personalization.


When we talk about speed, we’re talking about how quickly we communicate, how quickly we resolve issues, and how frequently they hear from us in the first place. How soon can we get an answer to their questions? In the customer’s mind, speed is everything.

Speed is so important because when a customer has any type of concern, they tend to obsess over that concern. The longer it takes to address that issue, the more our customer’s fear rises. They start to catastrophize. They start thinking about what could and already has gone wrong. After a while, they start thinking that there may be better ideas than this. Speed is critical to keep the customer from going negative on us. You have to be quick. 


When we talk about personalization, it’s the opportunity to make sure that we’re thinking about how we serve each customer according to their specific needs, concerns, and futures. It’s worth it each week to sit down and go through your backlog of buyers and just ask, how can I personalize the presentation for this particular customer? How do I ensure I’m doing something unique for them that will keep their emotional energy strong to prevent complaints and cancelations? 

People are going to complain. They just are. From time to time, they’re going to want to cancel. We could talk all day about how to recover from that, but I would much rather see you in a position where we’re not getting the complaints or the threats of cancelations in the first place.

Serve first. 

Get your copy of From Contract to Close if you haven’t already. Did I mention this is an excellent book for your entire organization? You can order for your team and receive a bulk discount.

Until next time my friends, learn/serve more to earn more!

Get BRAND-NEW episodes of Jeff’s 5 Minute Sales Training sent to your inbox every Saturday!

Sign up below.


About the Author: Jeff Shore

Jeff Shore is the Founder and President of Shore Consulting, Inc. a company specializing in field-tested and proven consumer psychology-based sales training programs.

Jeff is a top-selling author, host of the popular sales podcast, The Buyer’s Mind, and an award-winning keynote speaker. He holds the prestigious Certified Speaking Professional designation from the National Speakers Association and is a member of the NSA’s exclusive Million Dollar Speaker’s Group.

With over 30 years of real-world, frontline experience, Jeff’s advanced sales strategies spring from extensive research into the psychology of buying and selling. He teaches salespeople how to climb inside the mind of their customers to sell the way their buyers want to buy. Using these modern, game-changing techniques, Jeff Shore’s clients generated over $30 billion in sales last year.