Representatives that are selling products related to home improvement can be some of the most challenging salespeople to deal with. Why? Because it's easy to convince people to spend money on their homes. You spend lots of time in and around your home and you want any upgrades you make to be done right and last for years. What's more, these sales professionals often require a visit to your house. It's much harder to get someone out of your house than it is to walk away from someone in a store. With that in mind, here are some of the high-pressure sales tactics you might face so you can prepare yourself to handle them effectively and prevent them from scamming you.
You might you be up-sold on the product you originally intended to purchase. The salesperson may say, "Builder's grade? That's primarily used for commercial applications or apartment buildings. I almost never sell those to homeowners!" Once you have a salesperson inside your house, they might feel free to point out other shortcomings or things you should consider purchasing. You might hear something like, "I noticed when we were in your basement that you recently finished it. It would be terrible if it flooded and ruined everything down there.” Or, "as long as you're waterproofing your basement, why don't we take a look at your radon levels?"
Once you've discussed your options and narrowed down what you want, the salesperson should offer you a price, in writing, for the work you want to have done. But, in order to close the deal, you might be offered a sale or a price that is only valid for a very short time - say, “today and today only”.
A deal is not a deal if you don't really want what you're being sold. Don't get pressured to buy now with what appears to be a one-time chance to save money. If there is a sale that really is ending, it will probably come around again. There's also a chance that you could take your time to decide and, if you got a new quote six months later, you'd be offered the same deal. Besides, it’s your home, you are not looking for the “cheapest deal”, you are looking for a permanent solution at a fair price.
Lifetime warranty, it sounds great, but is it realistic? How many products that you buy have lifetime warranties? If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Let's say you're considering having a window replaced, and one of the main differences between the mid-grade window and the high-grade window is the warranty. The mid-grade window comes with a lifetime warranty; the high-grade window comes with a double lifetime warranty. The lifetime warranty will only cover the window while you are the homeowner, whereas the double lifetime warranty will stay with the home no matter who owns it.
If you have no plans to sell, this extra feature isn't worth the cost. Even if you are planning to sell, could you recoup the cost in the sales price of your home? If a buyer were looking at comparable sales when deciding how much to offer on your house, would they say, "But this house comes with a double lifetime warranty on all of its windows, so it's worth the extra $3,000 the seller is asking"? The subject probably wouldn't even come up. What's more, the double lifetime warranty does not cover accidental glass breakage, which is probably the window expense that people are most concerned about.
Often high-pressure in-home salespeople will rely on flashy and scripted presentations to sell the job. They follow a step-by-step program set up by their employer that is designed to keep you saying "yes" and designed to pull as much money from your wallet a possible. This is a type of sales that has been perfected by the vacuum sweeper industry. “I would like to clean one of your rooms,” they say to get in your home, they then keep cleaning to present how their overpriced product can make your life easier. They continue to clean until you reach the breaking point when you pull out your wallet or throw them out the door.
This technique has been adopted by several home improvement service companies, but especially basement waterproofing contractors. Once they get in your home, they present then push and push until you reach your breaking point. Their scripted presentations are about them and the products they are instructed to sell, not about you and your current problem that needs to be solved.
A reputable contractor will provide you with a solution to your problem that you have both agreed upon. His solution will be comprehensive but addresses real problems not pie in the sky, what if scenarios. A reputable contractor does not pressure you to spend more and spend now, a reputable foundation repair contractor has the same goals that you have. He wants to solve your problem permanently and give you the peace of mind that your home has been improved by someone that shares your goals.