Since news of the National Association of Realtor® (NAR) settlement broke, one question that has been popping up in chats, social media feeds and interviews is: 

What about veterans? 

To address this concern, NAR submitted a letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) on Wednesday, urging revisions to current policies.

Current VA Home Loan Policies and Their Implications

Under the existing policies, veterans using the VA home loan benefit are barred from directly compensating their professional agent representative.

The letter, signed by NAR President Kevin Sears, states:

“The VA home loan guaranty program is a vital homeownership tool that provides veterans with a centralized, affordable, and accessible method of purchasing homes as a benefit they earned for their service to our nation. NAR wants to ensure that VA buyers remain active participants in the real estate market to achieve the American Dream of Homeownership.”

NAR recognizes the benefits of the VA home loan program, and it argues that if buyers are not able to pay for agent representation poses significant challenges for VA buyers. This is especially the case where sellers do not offer compensation to buyer agents: 

“VA buyers are immediately at a disadvantage, potentially forcing them to forego professional representation, lose a property in an already limited inventory, choose a different loan product, or exit the market entirely.”

While the letter does not offer any suggestions for exact policy changes, it notes a desire to work together to create effective solutions for veterans.

What Agents Can Do to Support Veterans Now

In a recent interview with Jared James, Sears briefly spoke on the issue of VA loans, noting that it took “years and years” for VA rules to be implemented. So, it’s unlikely that any changes to those rules will be made anytime soon. 

In the meantime, however, Sears noted that there are still ways to help veterans secure housing: 

“…But what I will tell you is that where buyer rep agreements are mandated, and I think there’s 18 states across the country, VA buyers are still buying properties. 

“…If you have a VA buyer, what I’m being told (by) consultant attorney…is that then any offer that is made, the VA buyer is asking in the offer—we’re allowed by law—for their broker to be compensated. Write it in the offer.”

Kevin Sears

President, National Association of Realtors

In short, real estate agents will need to continue to do what they’ve always done for clients—find solutions that work for them.

Click here to read NAR’s letter to the Department of Veterans Affairs.