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  • Choosing The Right Real Estate Agent for Your VA Loan

  • Minneapolis, MN: Congratulations, you’ve decided you want to buy a home and use one of your best VA benefit, the VA home Loan.

    As you begin working with the real estate agent, they shock you by talking about your chances of getting your purchase offer accepted with a VA Loan in today’s sellers market is low, and that a VA loan puts you at a competitive disadvantage. They will usually even ask “can you switch to a conventional loan instead?”

    If they say this, IMMEDIATELY FIRE THE AGENT!

    Unfortunately, few real estate agent out there understands how awesome VA loans are, resulting is a lot of ignorance and unjust fear within the real estate agent community, giving them an undue bias towards VA loans and our military personal.

    Why VA Loan Bias By Real Estate Agents?

    Most real estate agents have never had a single issue with someone using their VA loan. Most never will. Many have only heard probably extremely over exaggerated water cooler talk about some horror story some other agent had in the past.

    Many agents incorrectly assume just because you may be putting zero down, somehow the loan won’t close. Not sure why agents think this, as VA loans pre-approvals close at basically the exact same rate as any other loan.

    VA Home Loan Requirements

    Many agents also assume that VA appraisal requirements will kill the deal because the appraiser will call for a repair to the home. While it is true that any government backed loan, including FHA, USDA, and VA loans, have a little stronger threshold versus conventional loans towards the homes condition, most repair orders we see are extremely minor. A little bit of peeling paint needing to be fixed is by far the most common issue.

    I can not tell you how many times a listing agent has automatically rejected a VA Loan offer because of possible repairs. Then when I ask “what is wrong with the house?” they reply nothing!

    Minor repair items that are commonly called out for repair on government backed loans are things that any good listing agent should be advising the sellers to repair before the house goes on the market to ensure the seller is casting the widest net of potential buyers. Of course minor repair items are very different than if the house is a major fixer-upper in need of a lot of repair.

    Another agent misconception is that conventional loans allow for anything goes for the homes condition. While conventional financing may overlook minor items, conventional loans get called for repairs all the time for major items too.

    Fair Housing Complaints

    Needless to say, many of our military personal have been denied the opportunity to purchase a house simply based off real estate agent bias towards VA Loans. I am happy to report that finally we are starting to see and hear about litigation and fair housing lawsuits that have arisen from sellers and listing agents automatic bias towards our military personal. Maybe threat of lawsuits will finally scare them straight?

    The Right Agent For Your VA Loan

    Generally speaking, working with a VA loan buyer, real estate agents need to be a true advocate for VA Loans. They usually requires a little more time and patience on the buyer agent’s part as they need to educate way too many listing agents. My experience is that real estate agents who are also former US Military are the best agents to have on your side when using your VA home loan benefits, but any agent with a good understanding of VA loans is probably OK too.

    If you are a veteran buying a home in my backyard, the Minneapolis, St Paul, Minnesota area, I’ve worked with some excellent agents who get VA loan offers accepted, and would be happy to refer them to you.

    In other parts of the country, be sure to interview any agent you may think about using about their thoughts on VA loans.