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VA announces updates to help Veterans using VA home loan benefits remain competitive in the housing market

13 June 2024 by

WASHINGTON — June 11, 2024, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) announced a significant update for eligible Veterans, active-duty Service members, and surviving spouses using the VA-guaranteed home loan benefit.

Starting August 10, 2024, these individuals can now pay for certain real estate buyer-broker fees when purchasing a home.

This change ensures that Veterans remain competitive in the homebuying market, particularly in light of a key class-action settlement involving the National Association of REALTORS® set to take effect later this summer. Previously, Veterans were unable to cover their buyer-broker fees with their home loan benefits.

Celebrating its 80th anniversary later this month, the VA home loan program has been a crucial benefit for Veterans aspiring to homeownership. Established in 1944 under the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, commonly known as the “G.I. Bill of Rights,” the program has facilitated over 28 million loans to Veterans. Last year alone, Veterans secured over 400,000 home loans through this program.

“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,” said Under Secretary for Benefits Joshua Jacobs. “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.”

These temporary measures aim to protect Veterans from potential negative impacts of the class-action settlement. The VA will continue to monitor its effects on the brokerage market and anticipates pursuing rulemaking.

VA encourages Veterans using the VA-guaranteed home loan benefit to remember that they can and should still negotiate their buyer-broker fee.

In addition, nothing in the settlement prevents Veteran home-buyers from asking sellers to pay the fees at closing, which has long been and continues to be, a viable practice under VA’s rules. In addition to other safeguards, all buyer-broker fees charged to Veterans using the home loan benefit must be reasonable and customary within local markets.

As the landscape of the real estate market evolves, VA will continue to monitor for changes, as well as new models of realtor commissions that may emerge and help lower costs, boost competition, and increase avenues to home ownership.

For more details about this update, visit the FAQ in VA News. Additional information on the VA Home Loan Program.


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