Even with our limited experience, we still knew more about the situation that night than they did. Our opinion had value. But our opinion could sink the deal. We could lose one or both clients. There were so many other options. We could just let them go along without our input. What did it matter if their decisions were made emotionally, without a full understanding of the facts? We could try to anticipate which way they were leaning and tell them what they wanted to hear. There were a dozen options.
Until that night, these options seemed reasonable, if not prudent. All our lives we’d had options. We always considered ourselves forthright. But there seemed to be a hundred ways to be truthful. Prior to our decision to take care of the client, it had always been possible to rationalize any option we chose.
Now we suddenly had only one option, only one way to reconcile the facts. As much as the Browns loved the Smiths’ home, the unemotional truth was that it was more than they could afford. Yes, the loan officer could stretch their qualifications, but how truthful was that? They could have made the purchase, but the house would have owned them. They would have had to make unpleasant cuts in their lifestyle to make the monthly payments.
There was only one option for us when we took that counteroffer to the Smiths. As much as they wanted that next home, which Mrs. Smith had fallen in love with, they were blinded with the fear of losing that next home if ...