How to find a military-friendly real estate agent

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Buying a home is the biggest purchase that families have ever made. For veterans and military personnel, finding a real estate agent familiar with factors such as housing benefits, Permanent Station Change (PCS), and the process for applying for a secured mortgage Department of Veterans Affairs can simplify the process.

1st Marine Sergeant, retired. Duan Rockett knows firsthand what the right real estate agent can do. After a rough home buying experience during his own PCS from Okinawa back to the United States, Rockett took up real estate when he retired.

“I wanted to do what I love to do, which is working with people and helping people,” said Rockett, who retired from the military in 2007 after serving more than 21 years.

Rockett is currently the managing broker for NP Dodge Real Estate in Omaha, Nebraska. He and more than 200 real estate agents who report to him often help military families and veterans find homes nearby. Offatt Air Force Base, south of Omaha and other parts of the country.

“I just want the military to know that there are people who value their service and want to help them, and will do their best to represent them in the best possible way,” Rockett said.

Here are some of Rockett’s tips for finding a military-friendly real estate professional:

Work with your lender

If you are planning to use a VA secured loan, VA recommends what you are looking for a lender before looking for a real estate agent.

Rockett said it’s also convenient because the right lender can often put you in touch with the right real estate agent for your situation.

He recommends checking out military-oriented lenders such as Veterans United Home Loans, USAA, and the Navy Federal Credit Union and asking about their networks of military-friendly real estate professionals.

Ask around

If you buy while moving PCS, remember that someone from your unit or another military family has probably already been at the station you are moving to. Rockett said that these neighbors, friends, or colleagues should point you in the right direction.

“When someone has a good experience with an agent who provides exceptional service and shows that they really care about them, they will talk about it – just as they would if they had a bad experience.” , – he said.

Use social media

Your future duty station military spouse and social media support groups can be a good place to look for recommendations.

Army Captain Joel Fulsang visited social media during his last PCS from Alaska to Georgia. “I looked at one of Fort Gordon spouse groups on Facebook and real estate agents posted their information, ”he said.

According to Rockett, agents working with military personnel and veterans can advertise in baseline publications or leave information at base resource offices, such as naval and family support centers.

Some real estate agents are veterans themselves, so consider asking local chapters of a veteran organization such as the Foreign War Veterans or the American Legion. Rockett said he found clients through veteran groups of which he was a member, including VFW and Marine Corps League.

“If your local organization doesn’t have a real estate agent, ask other members who they recommend,” he said.

Rockett advised to always exercise due diligence in any direction.

“It’s a combination of what you hear and what you explore,” he said. “Pull out your tentacles. Check the agents online and don’t be afraid to ask questions. “

Look for organizations serving veterans and military personnel

In addition to the official networks of lenders, there are several networks of real estate professionals who specifically assist the military and veteran communities. Most are centered around large military installations and are associated with larger real estate firms. So even if you are not near the base, they will still be able to help you.

Rockett recommended checking Homes for heroes, a large network of real estate, mortgage and local business professionals who serve veterans, first responders, healthcare professionals and teachers.

Another organization, MilHousing Network, is dedicated to active service personnel and has over 3,000 pre-vetted agents with proven track record of working with military buyers and sellers.

“On average, a civilian moves once every 12 years, and the average military family moves three times in those 12 years,” said co-founder Lindsay Lytton, a military wife who saw the need for “military assistance to the military” in the real estate market.

Military Movers Real Estate is also committed to helping military personnel in the home buying and selling process to “make their PCS as smooth as possible.” The group’s website lists its properties, many of which are located around military installations in Alaska, Colorado and Florida.

Identify professionals certified to work with military personnel and veterans

Finally, Rockett said, keep an eye out for certifications that prove the real estate professional is trained to understand unique military situations.

Rockett said he has been certified by the National Association of Realtors in the past. Military redeployment specialist certification.

This certification means that the agent has completed a specialized course in military housing and veteran benefits… Some real estate agencies may also use the acronym VAMRES or VA and Military Real Estate Specialist to refer to agents who have experience with both VA-secured home loans and relocation.

– Aaron Streitenberger, reporter for Three Creeks Media Brittany Crocker is the editor-in-chief of Three Creeks Media.

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