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Whose Decision Is It!!!

Mortgage and Lending with George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages NMLS #65149

One of the great faults that many people in sales have is thinking that they know better than their clients.  They feel that their knowledge of the product that they are selling somehow entitles them to the freedom of making decisions for those who are the ones who are spending the money.  Having this feeling or attitude creates many unnecessary problems.  Having this feeling or attitude leads the sales person to somehow think that they have the right to decide what their clients should purchase, and how much they should purchase.  After all they are the experts on the product and they know best.

When I first got into sales, selling Life Insurance in a small territory where you went into the houses of those who had insurance policy's with me, and collected the premium on a weekly or monthly bases.  Some of you might remember the old weekly nickel policy's, well I was one of those insurance agents.  As a result of being in these homes at least once per month, I started to form opinions of what my clients could or could not afford, based on the life style that I saw them living.  Most of them lived a very modest life style and APPEARED to have nothing.  So I would hesitate about asking them to purchase additional life insurance, knowing full well that what they had would never be sufficient to take care of the expenses that the family would incur if something should happen.

I will never forget telling my Sales Manager that my clients just could not afford any more insurance, and that I had to find others that could.  His response to me was one that has stuck with me for some 34 years now.  He looked at me and he said "you need to have enough respect for people to let them decide what they can or can not afford, and give them the opportunity to make their own decisions".  I have never forgotten that, and to this they I follow that advice.

You see as it turned out many of those that I thought could not afford to purchase any more insurance turned out to have a lot more money then I ever thought they had.  The reason why they lived so modestly was because they were saving up every penny they had to purchase that first house.  That was their dream, and they were willing to make whatever sacrifice they had to purchase it.  But just because they chose to do without did not mean that they were not willing to make sure that their families were provided for should something happen to them.

I feel that a lot of times we do the same thing in the Real Estate Business.  We look at someone and automatically decide what they can or can not afford, and what they should buy.  We judge the book by its cover.  Now don't get me wrong, as a Loan Officer I am privileged to more financial information than I was as an Insurance Salesman, but that still does not give me the right to make decisions for someone else, especially if all the date says they can.  My job as a Loan Officer is to give my Borrowers all the information that they need to then be able to make their own decision once they have qualified up to a dollar amount that falls within the qualifying Debt-To-Income Ratios for a Loan Program.

This is something that is very hard to do, and I some times have to tell myself that I might know their income, and I might know their existing debt, but I don't know what sacrifices they are willing to make or not to make. Realtors are even more guilty of this then Loan Officers, because they are in many cases making decisions for their Buyers without any of their financial data, and decide ahead of time what they should or should not buy.

Does this mean that we just let people get in over their heads and drown, while we turn our heads the other way, no not at all.  But what it does mean is that we give them all the necessary information so that they can come to their own decision on whether or not they should purchase. 

There is nothing wrong in giving our clients our opinion, but in the end we need to "respect others enough to let them make their own decision".



Info about the author:

George Souto is a Loan Officer who can assist you with all your FHA, CHFA, and Conventional mortgage needs in Connecticut. George resides in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Higganum, Haddam, East Haddam, Chester, Deep River, and Essex. George can be contacted at (860) 573-1308 or gsouto@mccuemortgage.com



Posted by

George Souto
NMLS# 65149

C (860) 573-1308
CALL 7 Days/Wk
Fax (860) 760-6891

Email Me
About Me
My Blog

I am a Mortgage Loan Officer who can assist you with all your mortgage & refinancing needs in
CT, and RI

I can assist you with your Conventional,
FHA, CHFA, VA, USDA, & 203K loan programs.

I reside in Middlesex County which includes Middletown, Middlefield, Durham, Cromwell, Portland, Haddam. E. Haddam, Higganum, Chester, Essex, Deep River.



Marchel Peterson
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring TX Real Estate E-Pro

George, I think this goes for both finances and just about everything else.  learned a long time ago to keep my mouth shut on what I like and don't like.  One of my first transactions I opened the door and said "oh pink carpet".  My client said that is mauve and they bought the house.  It was pink to me but I learned my lesson. 

Jun 22, 2009 03:22 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

MyListingfeedback Team, I think I know what you are trying to say and I would agree with it, but I would have to disagree that those who helped us get into this mess, Subprime Lenders being among them, that they gave their Borrowers the information that they needed to make an inform decision.  What they did was to give them enough information that they needed to make the decision they wanted them to make, that is much different then what I am talking about here, and that I hope you were trying to say.

Joan once you have done that you have done your job, and not much more that can be asked of you.

Jun 22, 2009 03:22 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Marchel, I love the way you presented that example.  It would have been pink to me also ........ LOL

Jun 22, 2009 03:24 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude



That is an excellent bit of advice to remember. I think there is so much that buyers need to know and it's had to take it all in, sometime even if you hear it more than once. Checking in to verify what it is that they heard and understand can go a long way toward avoiding problems and having folks make uninformed decisions. It can be pretty risky to assume that since you told someone they now know, understand, and will remember. But it's easy to make that assumption or not take time to doublecheck.


Jun 22, 2009 03:40 PM
Christine Donovan
Donovan Blatt Realty - Costa Mesa, CA
Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M

I agree; our clients need to be enabled to make their own decisions, and we need to give them the information necessary to allow them to be informed ones.

Jun 22, 2009 04:04 PM
Andrea Swiedler
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New England Properties - New Milford, CT
Realtor, Southern Litchfield County CT

George, wonderful post with very good advice. You are so right. And congrats on the little gold star! Well deserved.

Jun 22, 2009 04:22 PM
Roland Woodworth
Blue Cord Realty - Clarksville, TN
Blue Cord Realty

It is and will always be the client / customers decission.


Jun 22, 2009 04:50 PM
Neal Bloom
Brokered by eXp Realty LLC - Weston, FL
Realtor CRS-Weston FL Real Estate


I would let them see the numbers and then let them make the decision. I can only advise as to my thoughts but without being forceful.

Jun 22, 2009 11:57 PM
Dave Edwards
Dave Edwards Realty - Greenville, SC

Excellent thoughts. Present the information, give your professional opinion and let them decide.

Jun 23, 2009 12:56 AM
Steve Loynd
Alpine Lakes Real Estate Inc., - Lincoln, NH
800-926-5653, White Mountains NH

George, I am constantly surprised what people are capable of when it comes to spending. My priorities have nothing to do with my clients, and it's their money...should our mantra.

Jun 23, 2009 02:07 AM
Kerry Jenkins
Prime Properties - Crestline, CA

That's a great piece of advice...you really don't know your buyer's/seler's situation.  There's always something my clients do that may surprise me.  It's like Dr House says, everybody lies and you need to get to the bottom of it!!!! 

Jun 23, 2009 06:47 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jeff, all we can do is to do our best to give them the information in a way that can be understood.  I usually go over it more than once, but in the end there is not guarantee that they really did understand.

Jun 23, 2009 06:52 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Christine in the end that is all that we can do.

Andrea thank you and I hope that everything goes well with your friend today.

Roland I completely agree.

Neal not more than we can do than that.

Dave, yes that is it in a nut shell.

Steve good point, our values are different some times from our clients, and like you said it is their money.

Amy I don't watch House but that is a great saying :)

Jun 23, 2009 06:58 AM
Alexander Harb
Knights Investing - Mesquite, TX
Dallas, Texas Real Estate Investing

I NEVER show a home to a buyer that is substantially out of thier price range...it is an insult to thier intelligence....

MAYBE $5,000 to $7,000 one way or the other...... but NO MORE...... if a person SEES a home they have just fallen in LOVE with and it is out of thier price range, I remind them of that fact...and based on how they respond we go in whatever direction THEY want to go.....

It is THIER ballgame...NOT mine.....


Jun 23, 2009 10:52 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!

George, I agree with you that while it is our job and professional responsibility to educate and inform, the decision belongs to the client.  We can also choose not to participate if we do not feel that what we are doing serves the client's best interest, but judgments must be made carefully and be free of hidden prejudice. Certainly not easy...

Jun 23, 2009 12:32 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Alex, by out of their price range you are talking about that they do not qualify for more then I agree. But if you mean by out of their price range because you have decided that it is to expensive for them even though the qualify for it, then I would disagree.

Lola, we can choose to walk away, but we need to stop and think why are we walking away.  Taking it upon ourselves to make decisions for others is a very dangerous thing.

Jun 23, 2009 03:27 PM
Ann Hayden 636-399-7544
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Select Properties-St. Louis Missouri - Des Peres, MO


Yes, we should respect others.  Great post!

Congrats on the gold star,

Ann Hayden in HOT Wildwood, Missouri

Jun 24, 2009 02:37 PM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ann Thank You :)

Jun 24, 2009 02:59 PM
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

George - You really can't judge a book by it's cover is so true.  Most time it is that unassuming individual that has the greatest buying power.

Congrats on the star.

Jun 25, 2009 01:20 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Jennifer, you are right and I have seen that over and over :)

Jun 25, 2009 01:36 PM