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5 Reasons You Will Want A Veteran Friendly Real Estate Agent
The home-buying journey can be uncertain, full of twists and turns you don't see coming. Even if you're using a Veterans Affairs loan—and taking advantage of the unique benefits that come along with it—you could still run into some big roadblocks along the way.
That's why you need a savvy real estate agent to guide you. And while any agent technically can help with a VA purchase, an agent who’s particularly experienced with military buyers can help you better navigate the process. From pre-approval to closing, a military-friendly real estate agent will know what's on the path ahead, and remove any obstacles in your way so you can get the house of your dreams.
Read on for five good reasons to consider a real estate agent who specializes in working with VA buyers—and how to find an expert in your area.
1. The agent understands the unique needs of veterans and service members
During the home-buying process, an agent should help you nail down criteria such as square footage, number of bedrooms, price range, and school district. But for many veterans, housing needs go far beyond that, says Randall Smith, a Realtor® with Clayton Nash Relate State in Houston area who has specialized in helping buyers use VA loans since 2008.
An agent who has experience working with military clients can help find the right home, with a special eye toward a veteran's specific situation. For instance, a VA-savvy agent can help disabled veterans find housing grants or a home with adaptive renovations so that they can live independently in a barrier-free environment.
An agent who’s not attuned to these seemingly random requests might not be as careful and devoted to understanding how important these requirements are when selecting homes to show a veteran. Sometimes just assuring the buyer that we will be successful and work through any hurdles together is one of the most important contributions I can give.
2. The agent's prepared for an accelerated buying or selling timeline
Active-duty service members may have to relocate often and quickly, and that sometimes means buying and selling on tight timelines. We used to streamlining the process for our military clients who are moving to the area, frequently performing a walk-through of homes via Skype and video for clients who may end up purchasing a home sight unseen.
The majority of my active-duty buyers do not have the option to make a trip in person to view the home, which puts a lot of additional stress on them. We literally are their eyes and ears with the purchase of their new home.
And it's not just about buying—if you have to sell your home quickly, a military-friendly agent can help get it done while not sacrificing on a profit.
3. The agent can steer you toward a knowledgeable lender
Most lenders will say they do VA loans, but those who lack experience often don’t understand the special circumstances or documentation required, says Randall Smith, broker at Clayton Nash Real Estate Sugar Land, TX.
My team consist of lenders with extensive VA Loan experience to make the transition to civilian life as easy as possible.
4. The agent understand the VA appraisal process
In most purchase situations, buyers understand that they may need to make some repairs to the home after purchase to get it move-in ready—from replacing electrical systems to repairing or replacing a worn roof. But to qualify for a VA loan, the house must meet a set of VA-designated Minimum Property Requirements.
While most buyers—and sometimes even agents—are focused on a home’s bells and whistles, a VA specialist has an eye for spotting the red flags that might need to be addressed before a VA loan can close, from broken window panes and rotten exterior wood, to torn flooring or missing light fixtures.
Property condition problems aren't automatic deal breakers, but repairs will often need to be made to keep the deal moving forward.
5. The agent will ensure a condo or townhome is approved
Agents who are unfamiliar with VA procedures may be unaware that a condo community has to be "approved" by the VA, which means the organization has vetted the community for the following, among other elements:
Homeowner association bylaws
Any pending litigation
While you can find the list of approved properties on the Department of Veterans Affairs website, a real estate agent who doesn’t regularly deal with veterans may not know to look.
The good news is lenders may be able to help buyers get an unapproved condo development on the approved list. Talk with your lender for more details.
Lenore Smith Realty Group...We're military-friendly agents!
As a veteran I remember the difficulty buying a house when i left the military. I have a team that is committed to our veterans with Loan Officer who have family serving in the military.
We can help with special circumstances that apply to VA loans, nothing substitutes for lots of experience.
It is essential to find a home that suits your personal tastes and accentuates a style you identify with. As your Realtor, I focus on the little things as well as the entire picture to ensure that the....