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Buyer-Broker Fees Temporarily Covered Under VA Loan Benefits

VA loan

By Matt Haberlie, Regional Sales Manager

Move made to keep veterans competitive in changing market, official says

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has announced a new policy allowing certain commission fees for real estate agents to be covered under its VA loan program.

Key Changes

Veterans, active-duty service members, and eligible spouses using VA loans can now pay their real estate professional’s commission (buyer-broker fee) with their VA loan benefits. Previously, this was not allowed.

Reason for the Change

The policy change follows a settlement by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), which alters the traditional commission structure. The settlement requires buyer agents to have written contracts with buyers, specifying that the buyer pays the agent a prearranged commission if the seller does not cover it.

Ensuring Competitiveness

Joshua Jacobs, VA’s undersecretary for benefits, emphasized the importance of this change for veterans:

“We always want to put veterans and their families in the best possible position to buy the homes they want, and that’s what this update is all about. Veterans using VA home loan benefits can now pay reasonable and customary amounts for certain charges — including commissions and other broker-related fees — thus ensuring that they remain competitive in the rapidly changing housing market.”

Temporary Measure

This policy is currently temporary. The VA will monitor the settlement’s impact on the real estate market and consider permanent rule changes if necessary.

Guidance for Veterans

The VA encourages veterans to negotiate buyer-broker fees with their real estate professionals and to request sellers cover these fees at closing when possible.

NAR’s Response

NAR President Kevin Sears praised the VA’s decision:

“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.”

Robyn Graves
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