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

Lenn Harley is someone who is not afraid to speak her mind, and I for one appreciate her for it.  Now that does not mean that the two of us agree all the time, and that we have not had few interesting discussions over the years that we have been on ActiveRain.  As a result of not being shy about giving her opinion, especially about other areas of our Industry, Lenn gets into heated discussions from time to time.  And at times the comments that she receives go way beyond what they need to be, and border on being plainly rude.  Lenn, is a professional and handles it well, but I have re-blogged this blog that she wrote, because I think that we should take what she states here into consideration before we get on our soap box.

Below is the comment that I left on her blog.

"Lenn, I don't think that Reators, Loan Officers, Appraisers, Home Inspectors, etc. view each other as compefitors, but we all want the information that is posted about our end of the Industry to be acurate.  So when something is posted that is not, those in that end of the Industry are going to try to correct.  The problem is the way some go about correcting it, the correcting does not have to be the "In Your Face" correcting, and unfortunately that is what is done most of the time.

Realtors find themselves in combative situations more that the other areas of the Industry that were mentioned, because they tend to some times cross the line by getting into areas that should be left up to those in that area of the Industry to address. The same thing would happen if a Loan Officer wrote a blog advising Buyers on Agency, or negotiating a Sales Contract.  That should be left up to Realtors, and even though Loan Officers are aware of what transpires, they do not have first hand knowledge of everything that goes on in making an offer, and the nuts and bolts of everything else that follows.

Things in the Lending Industry are change so fast that it is hard even for those that financing is all we do, and even more so for those who are affected by it, but not invloved with the nuts and bolts of it."

Original content by Lenn Harley 303829;0225082372


REAL ESTATE AGENTS MANAGE REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS.  Since a real estate transaction will generally include a mortgage loan, an appraisal and a home inspection, we are engaged in one of the most symbiotic relationships in the business world.  We real estate agents represent buyers or sellers in the purchase or sale of homes.  We are not the loan officers, appraisers or home inspectors.  Some agents may perform mortgage broker services but that is a statistically irrelevant percentage.  However, that doesn't mean that we are not involved in the financing, appraisal and home inspection aspect of that real estate transaction.  Buyers and sellers rely on their real estate agents for guidance and to make sure that that buyer or seller gets to the settlement table. 

APPRAISERS ARE CRITICAL TO THE HOUSING INDUSTRY.  I have a tremendous admiration for the contribution made by appraisers to the housing industry.  I am of the opinion that, considering the critical nature of their contribution, the training and experience needed to perform their job, appraisers are paid far less than their contribution warrants. 




Loan Officers

LOAN OFFICERS ARE CRITICAL TO THE HOUSING INDUSTRY.  Since most residential home buyers will need financing, a loan officer will usually be involved in the home buying process.  The interaction between the real estate agent and the loan officer is vitally important.  As agents, we appreciate the expertise and knowledge base of the complicated mortgage alternatives and details that help our home buyers succeed in achieving their goal. 



Home Inspector

HOME INSPECTORS ARE CRITICAL TO THE HOUSING INDUSTRY.  The home inspection contingency serves buyers well and we rely on the experience and expertise of home inspectors to protect our home buyers from purchasing properties that are not in good repair.  I read the ActiveRain posts of home inspectors with great admiration and appreciate the insights that we gain. 



Real Estate Agent

REAL ESTATE PRACTITIONERS ARE CRITICAL TO THE HOUSING INDUSTRY.  Fact is, real estate agents are more closely involved with every aspect of the purchase/sale transaction than either home inspectors, loan officers and appraisers.  We are the representatives of the buyers and sellers and manage the transaction from search to settlement.  There are no "off limits" areas when the involvement of other entities affect our buyers and sellers goals are involved. 




From the four year history of my ActiveRain blog, I know full well that:

  • If an agent mentions financing in a post, we'll be corrected by loan officers. 
  • If an agent mentions appraisals in a post, we'll be corrected by appraisers. 
  • If an agent mentions home inspections in a post, we'll be corrected by home inspectors. 

WE AREN'T COMPETING, WE'RE WRITING ABOUT OUR EXPERIENCE.  If a real estate agent performs their job well, we cannot avoid interaction with loan officers, appraisers an home inspectors.  So, if we are involved in every aspect of the home buying process, we may want to write about some of those experiences, ideas or situations on ActiveRain.  There is no aspect of the real estate industry that is off limits for agents. 


The symbosis is clear.  We are all interested in the success of a real estate CONTRACT OF SALE and helping the consumers of our services achieve their goals.   

                                                                   Helping Hand


Courtesy, Lenn Harley, Broker, Homefinders.com, 800-711-7988.


Want to learn more about Loudoun County, VA? Join Loudoun County, VA on Facebook!


This entry hasn't been re-blogged:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At

Spam prevention
Show All Comments
William J. Archambault, Jr.
The Real Estate Investment Institute - Houston, TX


Oh, I wish that it were so, again!

When was the last time you had an agent sit in on a loan application/financial counseling session?

How many times have you had to explain the difference between sold-closed comparables and listing pipe dreams?

How many times have you had the buyer quote the highest number they might qualify for, only to have their agent round that number up to the nearest 6 or 7 places?

How often has management fermented into nothing more than bitching and swill?

How can it be called management when an offer can't be presented because a fax machine won't work. Or because the lister won't return calls and the Buyer's Agent doesn't have the training or b... to get the job done?

Lenn and I are from a different world! We're in the error of E-pro agents that can communicate faster than ever, but unfortunately many have nothing to say.

Today more often than not the LO is the only one who listens to all the Buyers have to say, it's sad. The Lo and Escrow officer do most of the management and the Appraisers and Inspectors are seen as deal killers, not client protectors by the Agents.

Take me back, please! Clients deserve better than today's standard.


Aug 07, 2010 08:16 AM #3
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

I have never been afraid to speak my mind either but I try to be respectful about it. Sometimes it can be tough if the other party is being real difficult.

Aug 07, 2010 11:54 AM #4
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

George.. It is know what to say and when to listen (and learn) not many have mastered that technic yet.

When I do see something that is not going right, and is not in my clients best interest, I WILL SPEAK UP.

After all, I'm very quiet and shy.  LOL.

Aug 07, 2010 12:17 PM #5
Valerie Osterhoudt
Johnson Real Estate, Inc. - Cromwell, CT
ABR, Cromwell, CT Real Estate ~ 860.883.8889

George.. On a side note, I like your new banner.  Great job. 

If you ever find the blog here in AR that tells what software is need to let you *write* on the banner, please let me know.

Did you take this shot of Middletown from over in Portland?


Aug 07, 2010 12:20 PM #6
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ed I think the reason why Lenn wrote this blog was because she voice her opinion on some mortgage issues and she got not only criticized for it but some of those who commented went over board in doing so.  It is OK to disagree, we can even learn from our disagreements, but there is no reason to get nasty about it, and that happened in my opinion on that blog.

Neal I remember all to well some of those blogs, and the exchange with one of the Loan Officers down there in Florida :)

Bill A., I can honestly say "yes" to most of those questions.  You and Lenn have been doing this much longer than I have, and were around when things were a lot more black and white.  Today it is a moving target, it is not just the Loan Program guidelines, the Investors have also put on their own layer of guidelines, along with the PMI companies and everyone else.  I wish things would return to were you looked at Debt-To-Income Ratios, and Credit Scores, and from that had a good feel for what someone qualified for.  Today there seems to be an issue with every loan, whether it is with the Program Guidelines, houses not comping out, home inspections becoming a nightmare.  We need to be at the very top of our game these days, and hope that those that we partner with are also at the top of theirs, because there is no way we can be the expert on everything.

Bill G. I have found myself exchanging comments on blogs, where things ended up beyond the original intention.  Some times we just have to step back before we hit the send button and ask ourselves "how would I react if someone made this comment on my blog"?

Valerie, there is nothing wrong with speaking up, but it can be wrong in how we say it.  We need to take a breath and think, unfortunately many don't.

I will let you know if I find that original blog.

Aug 07, 2010 12:47 PM #7
Ray Saenz
Exit Realty Laredo - Laredo, TX
Homes for Sale in Laredo, TX - Texas, Realtor

MR George, you could not say better and I'm glad to see you again here, there are lot to read, take care and have a nice sunday


Aug 07, 2010 11:52 PM #8
Jenny Kotulak
RE/MAX Real Estate Centre Inc., Brokerage - Oakville, ON
Broker - Oakville Ontario Real Estate

Hi George, thanks for reblogging Lenn's post.  I will go and give it a read now.

Aug 08, 2010 09:44 AM #9
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Ray, it is always a pleasure to have you stop by my friend.

Jenny you will find that Lenn is always worth reading.

Aug 08, 2010 02:08 PM #10
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

George - I like the way Lenn goes out on a limb.  She really does believe in overseeing all aspects of the transaction and leaving nothing to chance.  This makes her a target because she is a generalist giving her opinion in a forum where specialists can shoot her down.  I think that whenever you become popular and speak with authority on a topic, the sharp shooters will be there to gun you down. 

It's not a position I'd feel comfortable taking on a blog, but she takes that position, I believe for two reasons: (1) she really does believe in overseeing the whole transaction and leaving nothing to chance, and (2) controversy attracts readers and increases your visibility.  She's a smart businesswoman who is very strategic about her blogging.  She knows exactly what she's doing and can usually handle the flamethrowers without getting down to their level.  That takes a lot of maturity and control.  (More than I have anyways.  I'd be throwing bricks back.)

Aug 09, 2010 03:17 PM #11
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 I don't have a problem speaking up,  but I know how to get my point across without offending.  I do appreciate my business partners and if something is not going well I approach the situation tactfully I find that approach works for me.

Aug 09, 2010 04:20 PM #12
Nick T Pappas
Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Hun... - Huntsville, AL
Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource

George, had Lenn's post not been featured I sure would have suggested it.  I too appreciate LO's, Appraisers, Home Inspectors and I want to know about the aspects of their respective responsibilities...but I'm a Realtor...that's my area of practice.  Great re-blog.

Aug 10, 2010 02:55 PM #13
Lenn Harley
Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate - Leesburg, VA
Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland

George.  Your comments are always welcomed on my posts.  I am more than grateful for folks who subscribe to my blog. 

What most folks don't understand about the "discussions" on my posts is how much I learn.  This is the most fun way to learn of all.  Surely more fun that reading a book.  Where else can a practicing real estate broker get current mortgage in formation?  Sure, we can read the Fannie letters and the VA web site, but, shucks, they are absolutely no fun.

Sometimes loan officers tend to "get into the weeds".  I don't know whether it's to impress readers with how much they know or if they want to make me look incompetent.  Of course, we're impressed with their knowledge base, but chuckle at how juvanile their "instructions" to me make them appar.  Or, if they're trying to make me look incompetent, they're wasting their time because, while I don't know the day to day details of the mortgage market, I'm smart enough to know where and when to ask experts, folks like you.

Aug 11, 2010 01:10 PM #14
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Gail, we agree, Lenn is a smart woman, and I too have a hard time holding back the bricks at times :)

Jennifer that is a smart way of handling things, more should follow that.

Nick I also try to stick to my area of the business, but that is me and it does not give me the right to be as critical as some were to Lenn on the blog that caused her to write this.

Aug 11, 2010 03:54 PM #15
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Lenn, I don't think they do it to make you look incompetent, but I do think that you are correct in saying that they are trying to "impress readers with how much they know".  They want everyone to know that they are the expert, and don't seem to realize how foolish they come across in the way they go about doing it.  Putting people down to make yourself look better never works.  I have said this many times before, if you are an expert you don't have to go around screaming it all the time, people will see it for themselves through what you write and behave.

I am on this site to learn and to share the little bit that I know. And I certainly get far more then I give in those two departments.

And Lenn speak you mind on my blog any time, that way we can fun with the little debates that we tend to have from time to time :)

Aug 11, 2010 04:04 PM #16
Gail Robinson
William Raveis Real Estate - Southport, CT
CRS, GRI, e-PRO Fairfield County, CT

George, I learned from this discussion that Lenn puts herself out on a limb to learn from the discussions.  I'm sure she does.  I always read the comments to her blogs, because that's where the action is, and I learn a lot, too.  She's a stong lady.  I can think of easier ways to learn (like reading her blog or yours).

Aug 11, 2010 06:01 PM #17
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

Great discussion.  I am always impressed when folks can speak their minds and treat each other with respect at the same time. 


Aug 12, 2010 03:26 PM #18
Joan Whitebook
BHG The Masiello Group - Nashua, NH
Consumer Focused Real Estate Services

I missed this post some how!  Must have been at one of those concerts  LOL!  Lenn makes a lot of good points.  I see it as a team effort .  I try to recommend folks who work like I do.  If you were in NH, you definately would be a part of that team!

Aug 16, 2010 05:05 PM #19
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

I like Bill Gassett's comment.  I don't always agree with the views of others, but I try to be respectful about it.  I have found the best dialogue and communication comes when it is open, there is respect, and folks learn from the dialogue.  Sometimes opinions are altered, modified, and sometimes even come together as shared opinion. . .I like that best of all!  Ignorance is our biggest foe.

Aug 19, 2010 06:17 AM #20
Chris Olsen
Olsen Ziegler Realty - Cleveland, OH
Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate

Hi George -- I found that honey will take one much further than vinegar.  But, at times, sometimes vinegar can be a useful instrument in the hands of a skilled communicator and negotiator but it shouldn't be used as a first line of offense/defense.  One can always focus on the process, not the people, on the content, not the person writing it. Debate the issues, not the person.

Aug 24, 2010 11:03 AM #21
William James Walton Sr.
WEICHERT, REALTORS® - Briotti Group - Waterbury, CT
Greater Waterbury Real Estate

George, I'm glad that you reblogged this for several reasons, not the least of which is that it continues a discussion that you started on Lenn's blog...and I like the fact that you elaborated on why she comes across the way that she does so often.

Seriously? I've never gotten the impression from reading Lenn, her comments or her posts, that she is open to different points of view, or that she learns from dissenting opinions...She has been in the industry longer than I've been alive, and knows so much already...

But maybe I need to reassess that...hmmm....

Aug 28, 2010 04:53 PM #22
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


George Souto

Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert
Call Me With All Mortgage Questions
Spam prevention