How REALTORS® Can Help Former and Current Members of the Military
Buying and selling a home can be a stressful process at the best of times – and can be made even worse if your clients are moving from the other side of the world or just received last minute change of duty station orders. As the real estate market has continued to improve, VA loans are at an all-time high as more and more military members choose to buy their own homes at their current duty stations.
“Homeownership is an important part of the fabric of America, and having a stable home environment is vital when men and women of the military are called away to serve their country,” said National Association of REALTORS® former president Gary Thomas. “Working with a Realtor® who understands specific needs and timetables related to military service will help make their transfers easier, faster and less stressful.” Luckily, there are a number of ways that REALTORS® can help former and current members of the military.
Get your Military Relocation Professional certification
REALTORS® can enhance their ability to serve military families by earning their Military Relocation Professional certification. “Service members may have only a few days to see properties, make an offer, and get a home under contract. Others might be deployed during the transaction and need representation,” said Thomas. “Service members can count on Realtors® with MRP certification to understand their housing needs; Realtors® can also help leverage the financing benefits available to military personnel through the Department of Veterans Affairs, such as zero-down payment loans, which help make homeownership more affordable.”
To earn their MRP certification, REALTORS® must meet the following criteria:
- Be a member in good standing of the NAR
- Complete the MRP certification course
- Complete pre-class readings to better understand military culture and background information
- Complete two one-hour webinars
Take the “Did You Serve?” pledge
Each year more than 200,000 service members transition from active duty to civilian life. For many, the first step to putting down roots is buying a home. However, fewer than 10% of veterans will ever use their VA home loan benefits. The “Did You Serve?” pledge is a promise to ask every client if they were in the military. Doing this allows real estate agents to better help all veterans access the special benefits that are afforded to them.
Join Heroes Home Advantage
Heroes Home Advantage or similar programs like Homes For Heroes are networks of real estate agents, lenders, title companies, home inspectors, and more who are committed to giving back to those who protect and serve our country. This rebate program asks professionals to discount services or give back a portion of their commission in order to make the home buying process more affordable. Using these services can help service members save on average between $2000 and $5000.