Mortgage Myth Busters: I want the same deal my friend got!!

I want the same deal my friend got!!


comparing apples to apples



In many cases, don't we want the best deals?  I think when most people begin to shop for a home or shop for a mortgage, wanting a good deal or the best deal is on many buyer's or seller's minds. And when getting a great rate, some people like to brag about it. But are the details distorted? Not known?

One key point to remember through this whole post, Not one borrower is the same. One needs to compare apples to apples. Just a lower credit score could change the whole scope of someones interest rate. And just because two apples may look the same, doesn't mean they taste the same or feel the same.





How many times did someone say these key phrases when it came to mortgages and or real estate……….


“Well, my neighbor sold their house for $325,000 and I should be able to get the same since we have a similar house.”

Okay, so let’s look at the differences.

  • Does your house have upgrades?
  • Is one lot larger than the other?
  • Is one house in average condition and the other in excellent condition?
  • Does one have a superior view than the other?
  • How long ago was that sale? 3 months ago? Values can change…


“My co-worker just got a 4.50% interest rate with no points and I know it’s still out there, so I want that.”

How could this be so different for so many?  I’ll name just a few reasons why.

  • Did you see the good faith estimate?  It could have many fees on it. You need to compare apples to apples.
  • What was your co-worker’s credit scores? Right now, the biggest reason why your interest rate would be different from someone else.
  • How much money are they putting down?
  • What kind of mortgage are they getting? FHA loan, conventional loan, VA loan, or a USDA loan?
  • What was their debt-to-income ratios for qualifying with income?



Another key point?  "interest rates change daily" and "home values can change".


not one fingerprint is the same - from istockphoto



Summary :  There is not one person who has the same fingerprint. This can be the same for those selling homes or trying to buy one or refinance one. Not one home is exactly the same. Not one borrower is exactly the same. What you need to do is be able to pick a real professional and not a wanna be. Please read :  Are you begging me to lie to you?

Overall, there are too many variables when selling homes, buying homes, or trying to obtain financing for these homes. This is more true in today’s market, considering the major changes that have taken place. You have a friend or family member in the business?  This doesn’t even mean that you will get the best deal. Besides, define best, it might not be the same with your friends or family member. And what about this part…  did your friend or neighbor leave something out?  How do you know. Did they pay extra somewhere else?  Keep in mind, not everyone is upfront and or ethical.


Key Result :  "There are people that tell the consumer what they want to hear and not what they need to hear".





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Copyright © 2011 by Jeff Belonger of Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc

Comment balloon 75 commentsJeff Belonger • March 03 2011 09:41AM


Thanks for sharing great info

Posted by Steve Vennemann-Hennepin-Dakota-Anoka contract for deed property-Ramsey-MN (BoardWalk Premier Realty INC) almost 10 years ago


  Your right. Everyone is different. As agents we use comps to compare home prices, but it is always important to compare apples to apples and oranges to oranges. Buyers and seller need to do the same.

Posted by Jason E. King (J. King Real Estate, Inc.) almost 10 years ago

I like the fingerprint analogy. A mortgage is a reflection of each buyer's unique situation. I almost wish the lenders wouldn't publsih the "low, low rates" because it can lead to frustration for those of us (most!) who will never qualify for the ultimate perfect loan.

Thanks for the post Jeff. Is it published on your site? If so, can I repost on my site?

Posted by Leslie Ebersole, I help brokers build businesses they love. (Swanepoel T3 Group) almost 10 years ago


It's an old theme well said.

This can't be repeated often enough!

Consumers would do better sechering for a better deal than their friend got.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) almost 10 years ago

Jeff, you are right, everyone's situation is unique and every home is different... Both buyers and sellers need to understand this.

Posted by Chris Smith, South Simcoe, Caledon, King, Orangeville Real Esta (Re/Max Chay Realty Inc., Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

Comparing "apples to apples" and "oranges to oranges" is key when truly using comparisons as any sort of method.

I cringe when I hear sellers say "the guy on the corner sold for xyz, and his house isn't better than mine so I want to sell for abc". 

People lose track and forget to factor in key elements to why a house may have sold for "xyz". It's so important to educate both buyers and sellers. 

Once they understand the real elements it should give them a better perspective as to why their neighbors house sold for a certain amount and why it shouldn't be the deciding factor to what price they are going to list their home for.

Posted by Adell Forbes (REALTOR®), "Knowledge & Experience Working for You" (PalmerHouse Properties ) almost 10 years ago

No 2 snowflakes are the same!  Everything is relative!  Great post

Posted by Laura Sargent (Carolina One Real Estate) almost 10 years ago


STEVE... . my pleasure and thanks for stopping by.

JASON.. . and when buyers and sellers don't do the same, it's up to us to educate them on the facts rather than bait them with the same. thanks

LESLIE.... . if you would follow The FHA Expert of Facebook or my RSS feed for The FHA Expert blog.. ;o)  I always post these posts on my outside blog first. Seriously though, you make an excellent point about those that publish rates. All they have to do by law is show the rate, apr, and the loan amount. But if you think about it, they know what they are doing and know that they don't need to write some long explanation to why one would see the best of the best rates. It always cracks me up with those realtors on Trulia that tell clients to go to such sites as AmeriSave or something like that.. saying that they have the best rates.  arrrggghhh

WILLIAM.... . exactly, that this needs to be repeated often and I try to write about this exact topic every 6 months now. thanks

CHRIS... .the problem is, that many consumers don't think about this and it doesn't help when many loan officers and or realtors don't point this out to the consumer, explaining it in more detail. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago


Your post makes great sense. Buyers need ALL the facts.  This can help buyers take a open minded approach to the process of obtaining their next mortgage.



Posted by Steve, Joel & Steve A. Chain (Chain Real Estate Investments & Mortgage, Steve & Joel Chain) almost 10 years ago

Just like there's a multitude of apple types at the store, buyers are different.  Sellers are different.  They all get customized service, and sometimes markedly different deals.

Posted by Liz and Bill Spear, RE/MAX Elite Warren County OH (Cincinnati/Dayton) (RE/MAX Elite 513.520.5305 almost 10 years ago


ADELL.. . I think we all cringe when we here people say anything that you and I mentioned... and that we should go into more detailed to the reasons why. Yet so many will tell the consumer what they want to hear and what they need to hear.

LAURA... .  ah, the snow flakes.. so very true. And thanks for the compliment.

STEVE... . not only need all the facts, but someone that will take the time. So many just want to sell.. kind of sad... and forgetting the basics.  thanks and thanks for the kind words.

BILL... .what?  your store has different apples?  lol  Seriously... it all makes sense and is actually simple... but as I mentioned to so many, it takes time to make people to understand.. and some sales people would rather just tell people what they want to hear.. so not only do they get a beter chance in getting the deal, but that it's easier.. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jeff, So true. There are so many factors but the credit scores will make the difference.

Posted by Jackie Connelly-Fornuff, "Moving at The Speed of YOU!" (Douglas Elliman Real Estate in Babylon NY) almost 10 years ago

You address an age-old problem, one we deal with almost every day in this market. Thanks for the reminder!

Posted by Chris and Berna Sloan, Tooele UT (Group 1 Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

I've heard both of those lines...and it is an education to the client to explain why things are different.   It's especially difficult on a new construction where the houses are close in proximity...why one price is different than another.  This recently happened and I loved how the New Home rep pulled out the upgrade sheet and did it down to almost the penny.


Posted by Cindy Marchant, "Cindy in Indy" , Realtor, Fishers Real Estate (Keller Williams Indy NE 317-290-7775 almost 10 years ago

Jeff, Amen to this frustrating when a buyer actually thinks you're misleading them because 'their friend told them...' or 'they saw online....'

And I HATE those teaser rates, but so long as one company advertises them, everyone needs to in order to get the phones to ring

Posted by John Meussner, #MortgageMadeEasy Walnut Creek, CA 484-680-4852 (Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA,) almost 10 years ago

Great info that's always good to hear over again!

Posted by Colleen Crowley (Keller Williams Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jeff, thanks for sharing this excellent peice of information

Posted by David Akram (Century 21- All Moves) almost 10 years ago

A great feature, saw this in the Cave!

Posted by Greg Nino, Houston, Texas (RE/MAX Compass, formerly RE/MAX WHP) almost 10 years ago

Great job Jeff as usual. I really love when I hear "My neighbor just got __ rate why can't I get that?" Then when you ask well how much were his closing costs, what was his score etc, you "Why does that matter?" Right about then I begin my breathing exercises.

Posted by Roy Paeth, Just a regular guy helping real people! (Keller Williams Inspire) almost 10 years ago


I don't think the internet has helped. A lot of the information out there is just plain wrong, or misinterpreted. 


Posted by Richard Iarossi, Crofton MD Real Estate, Annapolis MD Real Estate (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

Surely a great post!

Posted by David Zeff (RE/MAX Realty Group) almost 10 years ago

Grabbing at straws.  That is what it is.  It just amazes me that the house next door is a two story home and they are a WWII pre-fab frame home.  Even when I am selling a home, I don't care about the interest rates I want the buyer's to know what programs that particular home qualifies for ... nothing else, well, except that the buyer qualifies to buy the home. : )

Posted by Barb Van Stensel almost 10 years ago

Great post.

When I hear someone talking about the rate or deal a friend got, sometimes it leaves me wondering if it is the whole truth or more of a fishing story.

I find when folks are looking for cheap, they find out the hard way that it was not the low cost solution. With housing, they end up in the wrong area or with a home that does not work for them. On the loan side, maybe they get a great rate but the loan product does not work well for their needs.

My $0.02.

Posted by Michael Simcock, Elk Grove, CA Realtor 916 425-1084 (Coldwell Banker (Elk Grove, CA)) almost 10 years ago


I just wanted to thank everyone for their comments and for the kind words. I'll try to get to each one of you later.  thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago

I love the comparison to a fingerprint. Every deal is different, not one is the same. Great info!

Posted by Tricia DeSouza, Selling Scottsdale Luxury (HomeSmart) almost 10 years ago

Jeff I would venture to say that we ALWAYS want the best deal.  Aside from that I totally agree.  We see the same thing on this side of the equation when it comes to sellers comparing their homes to the house down the street that sold for $xx.00 and they have never set foot in the house to see why or even know the terms of the sale.

Posted by Charita Cadenhead, Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama) (eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago


TRICIA... thanks for the polite compliment.

CHARITA... . wait, you mean if the house is the same size, but one is completed and the other is just a shell, that they want be of the same price? ;o)  Trust me, I hear it on all sides... hence why I liked to write about this stuff, both from the rate side of things and sellers thinking that their homes are all the same, that deserve the same price.  thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago

Jeff, great post as usual.  I get a lot of referrals from a local tech company and I explain to them that they all get the same deal: the best rate and fee combination based on their individual qualifications.  Solves the problem every time.

Can't wait to use the fingerprint anology!

Posted by Kevin Kueneke, San Diego Mortgage Banker (Caliber Home Loans) almost 10 years ago

My goodness, Jeff - I've heard this phrase too often. I guess the answer is, until you make exactly the same as your friend, have debt exactly like him and be exact him before we can be certain you can get a deal like that. But then again, it still may not happen!!!

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) almost 10 years ago

The average person doesn't know how many factors go into these type of calculations. This is where Realtors also have to be educators with their clients!

Posted by Torgie Madison, Websites and Contact Management (Quicksilver Real Estate Solutions, LLC) almost 10 years ago

Jeff: Thanks. I'm curious. Did you not blog about this a few months ago? I could have sworn I read something very similar. You information and advice is always appreciated. Thanks.

Posted by Paul McFadden, Pest Control, Seattle, WA. (Responsive Pest Control) almost 10 years ago

Great post Jeff. We agree with those who sighted the advertising of teaser rates as a large cause of this problem.  Of course everyone wants to get the rates shown in the ads.

 In regard to home values "relative to the neighbors value" we sometimes have to just share a little common sense with our sellers.

Posted by Howard and Susan Meyers (The Hudson Company Winnetka and North Shore) almost 10 years ago

Jeff -- Great post, as usual. The fingerprint analogy is spot on.  No two houses, loans, lenders, agents, attorneys, etc etc etc are the same. Even comparing apples to apples, there are so many different varieties. (variables)

Posted by Barbara Altieri, REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale (Kinard Realty Group Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

I missed getting to suggset I am late to the party but this is a very good post Jeff

Posted by Marilyn Boudreaux, Lake Charles LA Century 21 Realtor (Marilyn Boudreaux, Century 21 Bono Realty) almost 10 years ago

Jeff - There are so many variables in obtaining a mortgage loan that you just can't have the deal your friend got.

Posted by Christine Donovan, Broker/Attorney 714-319-9751 DRE01267479 - Costa M (Donovan Blatt Realty) almost 10 years ago

It is easy to forget this when shopping, but so true.  We all have very unique financial situations so to expect similar outcomes is ignoring the obvious. 

Posted by Charles Perkins (Charles G. Perkins, CPA) almost 10 years ago


It is unfortunate that people do not understand that each situation is unique.  Essentially, each person want the best possible deal  Our job is to counsel them about the realities of each person's situation.  A patient and thorough discussion with the person should allay theirs fears about being taken advantage of.

Posted by Evelyn Kennedy, Alameda, Real Estate, Alameda, CA (Alain Pinel Realtors) almost 10 years ago

Jeff - A person who demands the same deal that the friend got may not get a great deal.  The person might qualify for a better deal themselves.

Posted by FN LN almost 10 years ago


This is such a common statement that I really appreciate a great post to share with those folks!  Thanks a million.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) almost 10 years ago



Very often, people use the recent sale as the bottom end for their house. Rarely, do they take into account why that house was superior.



Posted by Brian Madigan, LL.B., Broker (RE/MAX West Realty Inc., Brokerage (Toronto)) almost 10 years ago


KEVIN... . yea, but using the word best rate in that whole thing just seems odd. .. but then again, if you step back and say it again, best rate per their qualification, it does make sense. But then again, define best rate.  ;o)  Meaning... could they go some where else and even get a better rate... and or because someone would cut their profit margin. I understand what you are saying, but what i am trying to add is that best rate is an over used sales term to make people feel good.. yet in reality, is it the best rate possible?.. even when someone's qualfications aren't tops of the tops, for what they can get, is it the best. Just food for thought. And thanks for the polite compliment.. and yes, you can use the fingerprint analogy. I have been writing about this same topic with that analogy for 3 years now and I think I need to get that coined per se...

LOREENA... . I am sure many of us have heard this often or a lot. And there just can never be the exact same. ;o)  Even identical twins are different.  ;o)

TORGIE.. . bingo.. and not only the average person, but the average loan officer and or realtor, because they just try to get these people through the door.

PAUL... . I first wrote about this topic about 2 1/2 years ago? And try to write about it every 6 months now... as a reminder to so many out there, especially the consumer that might stumble upon this.

HOWARD & SUSAN.... . the teaser rates just kill me.. gee, wonder why Bank Rate. com has so many law suites.. yes, for various reasons.. but teaser rates also. And thanks for the compliment.

BARBARA... . kind of funny, after I first wrote this the first time, on the fly, I loved how I came up with the fingerprint analogy and found an awesome picture on  And thanks for the compliments...

MARILYN... . I am shocked that you would be late to one of my parties. AH, you must be mardi gra'd out.. lol

CHRISTINE... . no you can't.... both regarding mortgages and in real estate, and I just feel that we need to talk to our clients or possible clients about this..

CHARLES... . exactly, because I am human to.. and it can be easy to forget. thanks

EVELYN... . well, one could say unfortunate, but again, should we expect so much from the average consumer, unless they stand in our shoes? I always try to think like a consumer, what they must think about.. which is how I come up with some of these posts. thanks

MARC... . very true... they could even get a better deal.  Good point.. but as I mentioned to someone above.. what is a great deal?  ;o)  That definition can be evil in a way..

IRENE... .  my pleasure and share away... ;o)  if you could actually share this post from this link, which goes to my main outside site.. I would appreciate it. I want the same deal my friend got - FHA Expert

BRIAN... . exactly... and even if a realtor tries to explain this to a seller, I am sure it has happened to where that seller might be stubborn and seek someone that will tell them what price they want to hear. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago

Jeff--This is excellent information, and I have questions like the ones you suggest as a Massachusetts real estate lawyer. Keep up the great work, and let me know if there is anything I can do for you with a Massachusetts loan.

Posted by Elliott S. Topkins, Massachusetts Real Estate and Title Atty (Topkins & almost 10 years ago

I love this post. Nothing to add really. LOL..

Posted by Elchin Kaleli (Champions Real Estate Group) almost 10 years ago

I have found that for some reason people lie about car and housing transactions.

Are they lieing or are the confused and think that they are telling the truth?  Probably some of both.

For example, I have been told that someone bought a $30,000 new car for $20,000.  There is not that much markup in a new car.

I hve been told that people paid less or sold their homes for more than the tax records say.  Tax records aren't perfect, but come on!

How can you get the same deal as someone who is not even telling you the deal that they really got???

Posted by Roger Newton (Roger Newton Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Jeff ... I like your article theme that not everyone is the same when it comes to choosing a lender, mortgage broker, Realtor agent, or loan program. 

I am concerned right now about one of our buyer clients talking to a particular lender who might "tell the consumer what they want to hear and not what they need to hear".

Posted by Harrison K. Long, REALTOR , GRI, Broker associate, Attorney (HomeSmart, Evergreen Realty) almost 10 years ago

This is so true!  People need to realize this!  Great post.

Posted by Brenda, Ron, Lee Cunningham & Tara Keator, Realtors, Homes for Sale - Phoenix Metro (West USA Realty) almost 10 years ago

Great info. I have a question. I pulled my credit this week just to see where I stand because I'm applying for an LOC with a lender to purchase, rehab and resell or lease/rent distressed properties and noticed that Experian and I believe Equafax have changed their rating protocol. They're now going up to 950 and 990 I believe while transunion is staying with the traditional model of 220 to 850. All my scores were excellant fortunately but do you know why this is happening?

Posted by John DL Arendsen, Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor (CREST BACKYARD HOMES, ON THE LEVEL GENERAL & FACTORY BUILT HOME CONTRACTOR, TAG REAL ESTATE SALES & INVESTMENTS) almost 10 years ago

Yeah well, I want the same paycheck the Goldman Sachs guy gets!

Posted by Tim Bradley, Commercial Real Estate Expert in Jackson Hole, WY (Contour Investment Properties) almost 10 years ago


ELLIOT.... just a fyi... not licensed in MA... but thank you for the polite compliment.

ELCHIN... . hey, no worries... at least you were genuine and upfront about it.. instead of just saying, "great post"... you added something to it. And thanks for that compliment.

ROGER... . point well taken and I was going to go into detail with that in my post, but didn't want to add to it. I did make a small reference to where you get your info from, that people may be lying about it or just have no clue, get the facts screwed up. thanks

HARRISON... . thanks for teh compliment... what is it that you think the lender is telling them, that might not be true or correct.. or misleading them. If you want, send me an e-mail or call me.. thanks

JAYSON... . home insurance is another great example.. and people probably have a lesser clue on why there could be a huge difference. And thanks for the compliment.

BRENDA & RON... . yes they do and it's up to us to educate them all on this topic.  And thanks for the polite compliment.

JOHN & JANIS... first off, I wrote about pulling credit scores on line.  Your credit score is more than just a number - You have what's called the Fair Isaac credit system and the Advantage score system. When you pull your credit online, the companies can use either system. The Advantage system has scores of about 100 pts higher, which is what you are seeing. The problem with either model is that it's a genaric pull. First off, the Advantage scoring model has not been approved by Fannie, Freddit, or FHA...  Secondly, it wouldn't matter, because the scoring model for a mortgage company, a credit card company, or a car company, .. is going to be much different than if you just went online. The online line companies use a genaric model and not one that is of what I mentioned.;. .. and even those scores could be a difference of 40 to 100 points from what I might pull on you. Just be very careful of this. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago

Great stuff and it can't never be heard or said enough, thanks for posting!

Posted by Steve Barker, Steve Barker (Movement Mortgage) almost 10 years ago

Terrific post Jeff, I appreciate the fingerprint / snowflake analogy. We really do help to educate our clients and the goal is to always to maximize their unique set of circumstances. Wishing you continued success!

Posted by Gregory Manns, Palm Springs Area Realtor HomeSmart Professionals (HomeSmart Professionals Elite Group - Palm Springs / La Quinta, CA) almost 10 years ago

So true, creidt scores, loan types, and so on.  Thanks for the great post!

Posted by Diana Mehnert (Coldwell Banker Harris McHaney & Faucette) almost 10 years ago

Such a great point.  We deal with this on a daily basis.  Some clients seem to be certain that the deal their cousin's friend's co-worker got last year is destined to be theirs too if we just look hard enough!

Posted by Kate Akerly, Manhattan Beach Residential Sales (Kaminsky Group) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jeffo

I think you hit the nail on the head some people like to brag about it. Even if a person is not a bragger no one wants to go out with friends or to work ane hear oh you paid 5% ha ha ha don't you know Joe and Mary only paid 4.5%. I think the kind of comunication & education you have provided in this post goes along way to smoothing these bumps out..........Brad

Posted by Brad Hornshaw, Realtor, Listing Agent, Buyers Agent, Investments (Brad Hornshaw Realtor Lynnwood, Bothell, Everett) almost 10 years ago


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Posted by Mott Marvin Kornicki, Broker • Waterway Realty, Realtors® almost 10 years ago

Good Stuff!

Everyone is the expert, for some reason in Real Estate.

First time Buyers are that think they know everything are the best!

Posted by Ben Yost - 303-587-4297, FHA, VA, Conventional - Mortgage Loans in De (First Time Home Buyer, Mortgage Rates, Pre-Approval) almost 10 years ago

I've heard this one recently and clients need to understand what you said, there are so many variables involved!  It makes our job harder when everyone claims to be the expert (as Ben stated above) and they are not willing to listen to their agent.

Posted by Patricia Beck, Colorado Springs Realty (RE/MAX Properties, Inc., ABR, GRI, SRES) almost 10 years ago

We have all had a car or appliance salesman size us up as he calculates how much we are willing to pay. There is no quicker way to get me to walk out and go to the dealer down the street. Although I know loan officers who work this way, I don't think it is the norm. There is nothing wrong with passing on the cost of higher risk, but that added cost to the consumer should be in relation to our added cost. We will all soon be operating under the Fed's New Loan Officer Compensation Legislation. As I understand the legislation, there will be audits to insure we are treating everyone equally.

Posted by Doug Kaller (Academy Mortgage, Reno, NV) almost 10 years ago

Oh so very true?

Posted by Steven Pahl, Real Estate Consultant Tampa, FL 813-319-6423 (Keller Williams Tampa Properties) almost 10 years ago

A local lender I know remarked that there are 20 questions she needs to ask a borrower before quoting a rate.  It would seem unusual have the exact same responses as your buddy with the low rate.  And then there is the other factor?  Did you call on the same day and time to make your inquiry?  That matters too.

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) almost 10 years ago

Every client is different - different fingerprints abound.

Posted by Joyce Herr, Lancaster County & Beyond (Prudential Lancaster Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

In real estate I hear this all the time.  Someone will hear about a great deal someone else got.  What I have found is rarely do people talk about the downside on a deal.  They may have got a huge house for the money, did they mention it still has formica and shag carpets?  What about the sewer plant up the street?  The wood paneling?  Those might not matter to that buyer, but they might matter to you.

Posted by Gene Riemenschneider, Turning Houses into Homes (Home Point Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

Great info! A lot of times people hear what they want to hear and don't think about other conditions that they may not have considered

Posted by Sylvie Stuart, Home Buying, Home Selling and Investment - Flagsta (Realty One Group Mountain Desert 928-600-2765) almost 10 years ago

Every buyer is not the same - every house is not the same. When you mix a buyer with a house, you could come up with a multitude of different combinations, all qualifying for something slightly different.

Posted by Marte Cliff, Your real estate writer (Marte Cliff Copywriting) almost 10 years ago

Too many variables to throw into the pot.  No two people are the same and that is what makes the world go round.  Great post for these times.

Posted by Ric Mills, Integrity, Honesty, and Vast Real Estate Knowledge (Keller Williams Southern Az) almost 10 years ago

You make all good points here, it has to be an apple to an apple to get the same deal, and your friend may not always tell you everything

Posted by Jeanne Kozak, REALTOR and Broker/Owner in WV and VA (RE/MAX In Action) almost 10 years ago

I think now that all the qualifying factors have changed so much getting a duplicate anything would be pretty impossible. Different #'s for a 650 vs. a 750.  People never think they are on the low end of anything when it comes to their credit.  Have you ever seen the look on 2 buyers faces when one finds out they have a 720 and the other an 800?  The 800 is proud & the other guy is wide eyed and saying no 'bleepin' way.

Posted by Lyn Sims, Schaumburg Real Estate (RE/MAX Suburban) almost 10 years ago

I get this all the time, Jeff.  Great analogy with the fingerprints!  Thanks!

Posted by Thomas Evers (Command Capital Mortgage Services) almost 10 years ago

Great post Jeff. Thank you.

Posted by Chris Lefebvre, Methuen MA Real Estate Pro (eXp Realty) almost 10 years ago

Over the years, on many occassions, I have been told by prospective buyers that so-in-so down the street sold their home for $XXX only to look at the record and see that their neighbor did indeed sell their home for $XXXX but paid a bundle for Seller Paid Closing for the buyer. 

Folks like to brag about the "great deals" that they got in real estate like the real estate commission, etc.  Most things that folks brag about are not verifiable. 

Best to simply let the consumer know that you know your business and will do the best for them, while maintaining your independence when it comes to your fees.


Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) almost 10 years ago

This is such a well written post and you highlight a lot of important points. A true professional:)

Posted by Elisa Uribe Realtor #01427070, Opening the Doors to California Homes -East Bay (Golden Gate Sotheby's International) almost 10 years ago

This is so funny.  I hear this all the time!  Also, their friend, relative, co-worker, may not even be telling them the whole truth!  Great simple post!

Posted by Kelly Dix, Real Estate One (Real Estate One) almost 10 years ago

I haven't heard the request in a while, but you are right, EVERYONE wants the best deal and at least as good as their friend got.

The last time I remember hearing this and it was daily it seemed, was when the market was sliding
D O W N from its High.  My response was, I am sorry - that train left the station and you were not on it.  We have to catch the next one.  Joy

Posted by Joy Carter & Jeff Booker Brother and Sister Team, Trust Your Family's Move To Our Expertise! (Keller Williams Parkland/Coral Springs Realty-GreatFloridaHomes Team) almost 10 years ago

Hi Jeff,

This is SO true & great information for consumers! I've been in the business for about 15 years, and I've heard similar comments many times. I think it's incredible and a blessing that we can now educate the public via the internet, so they can better understand the loan process and guidelines.

Great post! Have a wonderful week!!

Gina Lemos

Posted by Momentum Realty, Orange County CA Real Estate Agent (North Orange County CA Real Estate Specialists) almost 10 years ago


Just wanted to stop back and thank everyone else in the last few days for their comments and for the polite compliments... just not enough time to go back and reply to each person at the end... so thanks, it's much appreciative. thanks


Posted by Jeff Belonger, The FHA Expert - FHA Loans - FHA mortgages - USDA loans - VA Loans ( Social Media - Infinity Home Mortgage Company, Inc) almost 10 years ago