Top realtor gives tips for buying your home with a VA loan

Eye on Veterans
August 19, 2019 - 1:54 pm

Darcey Edwards is the Founder and CEO of the Oregon-based Edwards Realty Trust. She's worked with many military and veteran families in the Pacific Northwest and offers the following top 3 tips for homebuyers planning on using a VA home loan. 

1. Make sure you choose both a realtor/lender team that knows the VA loan inside and out.

Not every realtor deals with VA loans regularly. If they don't, Edwards says they probably don't know how it works, or how to get the best out of it.  

"That's your guiding force to finding the right deal. Having your realtor negotiate for you and on your behalf? That's where you get your money savings... It is a phenomenal loan and some realtors are scared of it, don't know how to navigate that system and don't partner with, or have the right mortgage brokers. To buy a house you need a team of people: You need the right lender who knows that program inside and out and is an advocate who can work it for you. And you need the realtor that has a good relationship with that mortgage broker so they can work with that veteran to get them the best deal."

Congress introduces bills to increase veteran benefits, refund home loan fees, help women veterans

2. Remember the realtor and lender work for you. If they can't answer your questions? Move on

Edwards says too many buyers give the realtor or lender the benefit of the doubt. When you're buying a house, the biggest investment most people will ever make, she says you can't afford to do that. If you don't think their answers are adding up, it might be time to start looking somewhere else.

"Interviewing these people is key. You are the client, you are the customer, you are the one that gets to choose who gets to work for you. When interviewing realtors, talk to them. Have coffee and say 'hey, how many VA loans do you do?' We are, every single day, interviewing for our job."

VA owes veterans $286M for wrongly charged home loan fees. Congress wants answers.

3. Let the realtor know what you're looking for and don't let them push you towards something else

If you tell a realtor you want to be near work, and they show you houses an hour away? That's a big red flag. Edwards says if a realtor isn't listening to you the process will take longer, and can fail miserably.

"I interview my clients and we talk about 'what are the things you like to do, what sports are your kids in to, do you have medical issues and need to be near a hospital, do you need to a gym, do you like swimming?' They should be asking you, the buyer, what you love to do and actually paying attention and listening to what you're saying."

To hear more from Darcey Edwards, including whether online reviews are the best indicator of a good realtor, you can listen to the full interview above.

Want to get more connected to the great stories and resources Connecting Vets has to offer? Click here to sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Follow Eric Dehm on Twitter @EricDehm