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NAR Applauds VA Announcement of Home Loan Benefit Changes

The National Association of Realtors® (NAR) has expressed strong support for the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) recent announcement of a “Buyer-Broker Agent Temporary Local Variance Circular.” This significant change addresses a longstanding policy that barred VA home loan beneficiaries from directly compensating their buyer brokers, thus placing them at a disadvantage in the competitive real estate market.

A Positive Step for Veterans and Service Members

NAR President Kevin Sears highlighted the importance of this policy revision, stating, “The VA’s home loan guaranty is the only program that explicitly bans buyers from directly paying for professional real estate representation. We applaud the VA for revising this policy and allowing veterans and active-duty service members the same advantages as other buyers in a competitive real estate market.”

This change means that veterans and active-duty service members using the VA home loan benefit can now enjoy equal opportunities in securing professional real estate representation. This is especially crucial in a competitive housing market where professional guidance can make a significant difference.

NAR’s Advocacy Efforts

NAR has been actively advocating for this change, engaging in a comprehensive advocacy effort. This included collaborating with Congress and relevant VA committees, meeting with the VA, and holding numerous meetings on Capitol Hill during the Realtors® Legislative Meetings in May. These efforts were aimed at ensuring that veterans and service members receive the support they need to achieve homeownership.

Sears emphasized NAR’s commitment to this cause, stating, “We look forward to continuing this conversation, and our 1.5 million members stand ready to support the VA in whatever way possible to protect the brave men and women who serve this country and ensure they are given the equal opportunity to achieve the American Dream of homeownership.”

Background on the Policy Change

The VA’s announcement introduces a temporary policy that allows VA buyers to directly compensate their buyer brokers while the VA determines the necessity of a formal rulemaking process. This move is seen as a critical step in leveling the playing field for VA buyers.

Previously, veterans using the VA home loan benefit were prohibited from compensating their professional representatives directly. This policy often forced VA buyers to either forego professional representation, select different loan products, or exit the market entirely when seller compensation was not offered.

NAR will continue to monitor the situation and provide updates as they occur. The VA home loan guaranty program remains a vital tool for veterans, offering a centralized, affordable, and accessible method of purchasing homes as a benefit earned through their service.

Conclusion

The revision of the VA’s policy is a significant victory for veterans and active-duty service members, ensuring they have access to professional real estate representation and equal opportunities in the housing market. NAR’s dedicated advocacy efforts have been instrumental in achieving this positive change, and the organization remains committed to supporting the VA and the homeownership dreams of America’s veterans. For more details on NAR’s advocacy efforts, please refer to the letter sent to the Department of Veterans Affairs on March 27, 2024.

NAR Applauds VA Announcement of Home Loan Benefit Changes

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