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Cindi Hagley, Real Estate Pro in San Ramon, CA

Anyone familiar with the USAA "Movers Advantage?"

Asked by Cindi Hagley, San Ramon, CA Sun Aug 12, 2007

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52
EEK....I recently went through the pre-approval process with USAA. I didn't think twice when they transferred me to the movers advantage department(partially because we currently live in Japan and It was already 1 in the morning my time). They contacted 2 brokerages on my behalf. I being a bit overwhelmed to begin with didn't think about the cash incentive and assumed (which I tend to do being both the altruistic and optimistic person that I am) that the incentive was like many in this thread have already mentioned paid by the bank to keep their investors out of the hands of inexperienced or shady brokers. I was floored to find that USAA takes a 40%-50% of the brokers commission. I am just utterly dissapointed with my bank. I just want to clarify I do not by any means think the affiliation with USAA is a bad Idea for some as most military members are used to being given step by step instructions and not thinking twice about them (therefore the affiliation could drum up lots of clients and sales) But I personally think I would really prefer to work with a top earning Realtor rather than a top producing Realtor. I was already worried about finding an area realtor that would take a vested interest in my family's home purchase as our purchase price is pretty low and while we have found some great homes in the area they all need work and I need someone to take the time to help me make sure I am not missing anything in terms of the homes safety all while negotiating a price that lets us comfortably afford the repairs that are going to be needed to make the home livable. Of course we eventually hope to be able to afford a bigger better home (and larger Realtor commission). But I think taking such a large chunk of money from the broker is a mistake on the banks half. I think it could lead to careless brokers or ones not as vested in the clients interests as any other Realtor making a full commission.
12 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Aug 11, 2009
Hi Shannon - I think this is a very well written entry & really appreciate your thoughtfulness & the value that you place in REALTORs. REALTORS work very hard for commissions - they research properties & offer in depth knowledge base of real estate law, contract law & policies that help the consumer, home improvement items, an extensive knowledge of homes & are very detailed when reviewing the pros/cons. For my clients, I explore Flood Certificates/Discounts, Neighborhoods w/ Polybutylene pipes or Defective Drywall & an intimate knowledge of Short Sales, Foreclosures, Comm. & Land Contracts. Knowing the right questions to ask & clauses to include in the contract can be so crucial! - I feel that Buyers & Sellers should research the REALTOR they choose, just as they would research the Lender they choose -rather than have USAA lock you into their Mortgage Svcs. by asking REALTORs to reduce their commission by hefty margins. Rebecca Keeney, REALTOR® - BHHS Towne Realty - Licensed in VA.
Flag Sat Feb 21, 2015
Great news!!!!!!! Most Realtors will match the USAA rebate and offer all of the services of USAA's Advantage Program. As a disabled Vet and Military Spouse, I am also a USAA Member. I am not affiliated with the program but my team will provide the credit and service you deserve. http://www.blackmonhomes.net
Flag Tue Oct 29, 2013
USAA's realtor program is a bit like extortion. They talk the buyer into dropping their realtor so they can sign them up with a realtor on their list. The realtor has to pay a huge chunk of their commission to USAA. USAA keeps approximately 2/3 and the buyer gets one, but the realtor pays that fee. Call it anything you want.... funny money? I don't think there's anything funny about it. The buyer is getting a 'KICK BACK' at closing which they call a rebate. If a realtor offers a 'Kick Back', they can lose their license. It's called 'being Unethical' make no mistake where the money is coming from.
Flag Thu Oct 3, 2013
TRUTH VS. FICTION .
USAA's program as well as other similar programs are NOT designed to help you, their clients. They are designed as huge profit centers and to pad USAA's pockets. The Mover's Advantage program is a prime example of this.The buyer or seller using this service might get lucky and get a good Realtor but the truth is, USAA does not care whether the Realtor is good or not. All they care about is whether the Realtor will agree to pay them their HUGE cut of the commission of which they pass on a small stipen to the buyer (YOU). AND, THEY PURPOSEFULLY WITHHOLD THIS INFO FROM THEIR CLIENTS(YOU) and go a step further in making Realtors sign an agreement that they will not tell you how much money USAA is making off of you! Dishonesty in business is a BAD THING. Real Estate firms pay to be on USAA's list of Realtors because so many Military use USAA. It is better to have something than nothing, and I can assure you all of the Realtors I talk to do not like it and just find it to be a necessary evil. Since Realtors pay to be on their list, it is not at all about qualifications of the Realtor or the Client's(YOUR) best interest, it is about which Realtor will pay USAA and keep hush hush about it.

If Military will open their eyes, quit falling into this tangled web and realize they are costing themselves quality of service and money, it will best for everyone.

Pick your own Realtor and ask them to give you the same amount being offered by USAA, they will more than likely be happy to pay you what you would have gotten and then you get to work with the Realtor you want! Not have a "here are two choices, pick one" situation. USAA is not a real estate company. Hire the Realtor you choose, not the one they force you to use so they can dishonestly make money off of you. Please tell your military friends about this huge disception that is taking pace!
LOG ON to my website http://www.NCmove.com if you are int and quit using USAA! FOR real estate in Eastern NC Cherry Point or Camp LeJeune call me toll-free 1-888-675-9595. I will match the rebate being offered by USAA and similar programs.

Web Reference: http://www.NCmove.com
Web Reference: http://www.NCmove.com
6 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Do you know a realtor that work the following locations: Fredricksburg/ Stafford/
Woodbridge VA areas? We are looking for a home and would love to work with an experienced/knowledgable person, that would make sure we get everything that is coming to us including a beautiful home and looking out for our best interest. Considering we are first time home buyers...
cass00uiu@yahoo.com
Flag Tue Jul 3, 2012
I, too, am a USAA Mover's Advantage approved realtor.

I do not have a problem with USAA (or Navy Federal, by the way, with whom I'm also approved) giving a portion of my referral fee to the client. The buyers are typically clients that are relocating, who I would not have a shot with, and the sellers are clients who I can "lock" in place, since I'm USAA approved, in order to get their Mover's Advantage benefits they have to list with an approved agent.

USAA is a great company, and is available not ONLY to current and former military, but to their families and descendants as well. They offer many benefits, and homesales benefits are merely the tip of the iceberg. They have a credit union, insurance services, mortgage services, checking accounts, gas cards, discounts with many major companies... and as membership, they're HIGHLY competitive.

a great company, I can't say enough good things about them.
6 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
Scott Watkins THAT IS SIMPLY NOT TRUE !!
Flag Wed Aug 6, 2014
So you don't mind giving USAA %35 of your commission and your clients, who you have a fiduciary responsibility to look out for and inform them of this situation, get almost none of it back?
Flag Tue Jul 29, 2014
"....current and former military..."
family members are out of luck if they want to sign up and the military mom or dad isn't living any longer....you'll be denied membership.
Flag Wed Apr 30, 2014
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in 60201
MVP'08
Contact
Very familiar. It is a shell game. They entice you to use their mortgage company by giving you a portion of your Realtor's commission (that always makes for a great Realtor-client relationship). Then, they keep a larger portion of your Realtor's commission for themselves. Then, although they are supposedly doing you a favor, they cannot normally match the rates you can get locally and, if they do, they must add handling fees which drive up your payments over time. All in all, USAA is making money hand-over-fist just by calling a Realtor who is desperate enough to work for such small fees and having you sign a contract with that Realtor. A local lender is more competitive and will actually show up at the closing in case there are problems. An experienced Realtor who insists on being paid for her/his work will give you the kind of service you deserve and help negotiate your very best deal.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Jun 21, 2013
I think there are pros and cons to this program. As a Realtor I am always willing to give a referral fee. My problem is that the entire amount is not passed on to my clients. Clients believe that this is just a rebate from USAA and not a rebate PLUS a chunk of change from the Realtor to USAA.
The issue that I take with this program is that you are basically "assigned" a Realtor because they were willing to give up the referral. It is not based on how educated or experienced a Realtor is.
I have had more than a few of the following experiences:
My clients are approved through a well known lender, I have been showing them houses and we have locked into a home. They called USAA to get homeowners insurance and instead of just giving them the insurance quote USAA pushed this program onto them convincing them of the rebate, but that I would have to sign up for them to get it.
As a Realtor I do not sign up for these programs because I believe it is perpetuating a fraud. This is not a simple rebate from USAA. If USAA were to say "use one of our Realtors and we are going to take a cut of their commission that they worked hard for, when we get that commission we are going to give you a small fraction of what we get from your realtor...does that sound good to you?" Then I would not have an issue with this program.
My issue is when I am ALREADY the Realtor and USAA knows that my clients are just looking for insurance, they throw this out to them.
By the way Navy Federal Credit Union does the same thing.
I don't agree with these two companies trying to hijack clients already in relationships with Realtors just so they can get a piece of the pie.
4 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 12, 2008
The difference between USAA and Navy Fed is, Navy Fed does not charge a fee to join their network. Between that and the referral fee, you don't make much. However, like any referral program, you acquire clients that you otherwise would not have had - bigger picture. The Navy Fed application process is also reasonable, questioning your marketing, closing numbers, etc. I certainly wouldn't lump the two together. I don't mind paying a referral fee because I work for a mom and pop independent agency with one of the best commission structures out there. All that being said, USAA clearly has not vetted their realtors. One too many horror stories floating around...
Flag Wed Feb 18, 2015
Well said. ALways have your buyers sign a Buyers Agency Agreement then USAA would be asking them to break a contract to use their program. You can always offer your clients the rebate that USAA offers. I also let people know that there are no requirements to sign up for Movers Advantage except that the agent is licensed in the state that they are doing business. My husband retired from the AF last year. We used USAA MA one time. The agent was awful. We ditched her and found our own agent who was excellent. She also had no problem with paying the rebate at closing.
Flag Thu Mar 27, 2014
I am in Shreveport, LA. How can I sign up for the program
Flag Thu Dec 13, 2012
I am Debbie Bowen, Broker in Charge of ERA Wilder Realty, Sumter, SC. Others who have answered this question are very wrong and sending out some incorrect information. We are near a VERY large Air Force Base, Shaw AFB. Army Central Command is moving here from Atlanta Ga over the next 6 to 9 months. Our agents know as the "A" team are highly qualified, experienced, productive agents. To even be CONSIDERED to join the team, they must have been in the business for 2 years and/or have handled 15 transactions. Movers Advantage Real Estate Coordinators check in regulary with the buyers/sellers to make sure the are receiving not just good but EXCELLENT service from their agent. Agents are contacted every 2 weeks to make sure the service they offer is excellent and that our buyers/sellers are very happy with the servce. Our miltiary buyers and sellers are TOP proirity. I have agents from other companies call me asking to join us and be allowed to serve on the "A" team. My agents will not give up the opportunity to work with these qualified buyers under any circumstances. I would bet that the negative comments are coming from brokerages that do not have the Mover's Advantage business, so they try to discourage people from using it.
The phrase is "sour grapes". So, all that being said, if you are looking to buy or sell and you are a member of USAA, it is in your BEST interest to sign up with Mover's Advantage and get the fantastic rebates they offer. I promise, if you are not happy with your agent, USAA will have your re-assigned in a "skinny minuter". For further discussion or advice, feel free to call me at 803-468-4291 or email me at sumterbroker@gmail.com.
Debbie Bowen, ERA Wilder Realy, Sumter SC, Proud provider of EXCELLENT service to the military community.
3 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 22, 2010
Debbie the problem is not sour grapes. The problem is that USAA requires the buyer to dump the agent who is procuring cause just to get the rebate with an agent who did not do the work. Agents who step in like this are not ethical and rebates are illegal in many states by the way.
Flag Sun Nov 23, 2014
I am a disabled veteran and afraid to use USAA movers service. I just experienced an Horrible ordeal with Broker/High Power Realty in MD. a conflict of interest. I want a realtor who represent the buyer and no unethical issues.
Flag Wed May 14, 2014
How much do you pay Cartus to be a principal broker for USAA? Silent referrals are sickening! I am a military spouse of 23 years and a real estate broker whose company unfortunately participates in this racket. Thumbs down for you and USAA for your deceptive business practice.
Flag Thu Aug 29, 2013
This is an old post, but here in 2013, I have tried several times over the years to use Movers Advantage, and they have humiliated me every time. I apparently do not fit into their rich folks brackett, though I have my savings and checking with them.....and my credit is excellent.

Their realtors humor me, waste my time, never call again.....

This morning they will get a final earful from me. Lousy program unless you have big bucks and fall into a "certain category."
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jul 15, 2013
USAA at once time had pretty good services and products. Not anymore. In the last two months, I have 5 buyers came to me because they were not happy with Realtors from USAA Movers Advantage program. The buyers' biggest complaint was the Realtors didn't give them the attention. I think USAA is dishonest by not disclosing to the buyers that the rebate actually comes from the agent's commission. USAA and the Relocation Company are making money from the 40% of the agent's commission. When these buyers came to me, I was happy to match the rebate. This way I know the buyers are getting 100% of the referral fee and they know that it comes from me. Also USAA mortgage process is very, very slow. So if buyers hope to close within 30 days, don't use USAA. USAA closing costs are more expensive. They ALWAYS try to get the buyers in paying for discount points. USAA homeowner insurance is more expensive and don't give the homeowner enough protection. I had my homeowner insurance with USAA. I didn't know how bad they were until I filled a claim. A pipe flew off our roof due to heavy wind and had some water damage from the rain. USAA won't cover it because they said the pipe was directly from our attached garage and our garage is not part of the house. When our house was rezoned to a flood zone, USAA gave us the highest flood rate. They said that although the house is on a crawl space, our attached garage is on a slab. The flood rate for a slab house is higher than a crawl space house. USAA said our crawl space house is considered a slab house because our attached garage is on a slab. We argued that the garage is not part of the house. They said that since it is attached, it is part of the house. USAA just lost another customer that day.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 28, 2012
We are using this program, and guess what? My Realtor, who I chose before ever speaking to USAA, was already one of these preferred USAA Realtor Reps. So she actually told ME about the program. She got me a $950 dollar "bonus" for doing absolutely nothing different.
Talk about a great Realtor! :)
2 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 6, 2011
I am active duty Navy. We have used USAA Movers Advantage 3 times with absolute success. We have been able to choose from two top area Realtors each time, twice going with the #1 Rainmaker in the region. All three times we were able to put our home under contract in 10 days. We are currently entering our fourth evolution with the program. Due to the slow housing market right now I am not expecting such a quick turnaround...but you never know. We have once again been given the opportunity to work with the #1 Realtor in our area and I have every confidence that she will find a buyer at the best price available. USAA promises those who participate a top Real Estate Agent and I have found that to be the case every time. Best wishes to those who are selling homes now or in the near future.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 20, 2009
I have been trained from USAA Movers Advantage as a agent. This is a great program it is available to those who have been or are currently serving in the armed forces. They offer thier clients a lot of services under the same roof. Such as lending, real estate, movers, and banking it is a "one-stop" shop if you will.
Web Reference: http://www.mtils.com
2 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
As I stated previously, I am a fan of USAA in general, but think what they do with this program stinks. That said, however, I do need to point out that they do NOT manage the program, it's a contracted service provided by another, despicable company. Where I'm disappointed is that they throw their members to the wolves for a cut of the deal. They need to take a hard look at the company that handles this for them, because their behavior and the behavior of their employees is NOT worthy of the USAA name.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
Well said.
Flag Fri Jun 21, 2013
Just for the record, is illegal for a Realtor to give a buyer or 3rd party a cut from his or her earnings . If that is your approach you are not interested in the service and quite frankly is very disrespectful . I will run form a buyer or seller that from the get go is disrespecting me and my work like that . to bring perspective, how would you like me to ask you upfront for $3000 prepaid service fee so we can just hop in my car a see some houses? It works both ways. Many agents like me have to take training test, and constant renewals of our relocation specialist status ,not to mention to be in a certain grade of success and expertise in order to be eligible to be part of the agents servicing the Movers advantage program. In my case , ranked as #7 top producer in my entire area . As all Realtors, we are 100% commission , no base salary, no benefits, no insurance yet we gladly invest upfront time , effort , know how , expertise, advice an counseling without mentioning hours and hours of driving and catering to our customers to help them in the biggest financial investment of their lives where closing time is the only time we get compensation for all our work. If we don't close, we don't get paid regardless of all the months or weeks of hard work . Plain and simple. With that said, by us choosing to take part of the movers advantage program puts us in direct contact with those buyers or sellers that are committed to work immediately and they are ready to go. As a Movers Advantage agent I can say that is a decision for us to be part of the program or not. No one forces us as agents or we are blindsided in how it works , no one is forced to use it as buyer or sellers either. The service you deserve as a customer should no be influenced by the amount of money you might receive as a movers advantage member or the amount of money I earned for the services I rendered at the end of the transaction . It is up to each individual agent to discern how their resources are used within their business strategy to generate and service leads and prospects. Many other tools like the movers advantage program are available to not only connect buyers ,sellers, bankers and Realtors but geared to expand services that aim to enhance the experience and rhythm of the housing business . I love being part of it , and I see it as a great investment for the business, the buyers , sellers and the general industry .
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
our realtor told us he likes the program. he does not care if usaa takes a part of his commission. he said it was simply the cost of doing business with USAA. He also told me that most of his referrals that have come thorugh USAA are usually pretty solid. USAA customers are typically happy with USAA and therefore if there is a realtor that is able to do part of his marketing through USAA, which there are several, chances are is that the client/buyer or seller is going to use one of USAA's prescribed realtors. I did. I'm sure if you ask a realtor if he would rather have that marketing provided to him or her through USAA for part of his or her comission or not, they will always say they are willing to put up with the cost. It is in fact a cost of doing business. If USAA taking part of their comission is such an issue, what do these realtors feel about the offices they work for who do not always provide good referrals or provide crappy marketing at best, in a lot of cases and still take comissions. I don't think USAA, should be arranging these relationships and pre-approving people for loans and then passing them off to realtors and say "by the way mr realtor, that's for free!" I'm sure the realtor wouldn't sacrifice commission to make sure someone is able to buy a house.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 3, 2012
I just love the varied responses that come in when this question comes up and the answer always seems to be determined by the side of the fence where the agents' interests lie.

My husband and partner has been a member of USAA since 1962, when he was still an ROTC Cadet. We are very familiar not only with USAA and most of its programs, but also with the military since he served a 30 year career in the army. I have almost 20 years real estate experience in San Antonio, and my retired officer husband has worked with me for the past 10, so I don't think it is "sour grapes" to say that we can represent our clients as well as any of the USAA "certified" representatives can here in San Antonio.

We just look at it as healthy competition and offer to our USAA clients the same benefits on the chart that Bruce provided plus $100.00. That way we don't have to pay the whole USAA fee, the client can still use their lender or any other if they wish. The only issue I have with the whole thing is that I am forced by law to disclose that "rebate" ( for lack of a better term) on the HUD statement and USAA simply mails the client a check - no disclosure necessary. I don't get it.

One more thing. I am sure most of the agents in the program are wonderful, hard working agents, just trying to pick up some new clients ( and of course they would never cut a commission, but that is different and that is another blog article). BUT, if you do happen to get an agent that is not a good fit, they will give him or her the boot and replace with another agent. I know because that happened to my son while he using the program in another state at my suggestion.

Does anybody know if they 1099 those payments?

Stephanie Kelley, ABR, CRS, GRI
Keller Williams, Legacy
http://SanAntonioHomeQuest.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
To correct/clarify Dianne Spivey's answer:

With USAA and Navy Federal Credit Union, both programs are available to any eligible member (not just active duty).

You can take advantage of both the USAA and NFCU programs WITHOUT using them for your mortgage (I have never used their mortgage programs during the numerous times that I have used the programs). The purchase and sale rebates are the same whether you finance with them or not.

Both with USAA and NFCU, you receive the rebate within 4-6 weeks (USAA credits it to your checking account and NFCU credits it to your tied credit union savings/share account).
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
Any program that allows a real estate agent an opportunity to be able to work with a Buyer or Seller that they would not normally have had is a good idea. Unfortunately for the Buyer or Seller, they may be getting a Real Estate Agent that is not highly qualified or educated to handle the transaction. To gamble a 100k or 999k purchase with the spin of the roulette wheel for which agent you get is not a wise choice by the consumer.
Aloha!
Web Reference: http://www.relocate808.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Mon Feb 9, 2009
It looks to me from the responses here, that Movers Advantage asks the Real Estate agent to contribute part of their commission to the client - buyer or seller - in exchange for the business. In Chicago this is called a "Kickback" and is illegal if the buyer/seller is not a licensed realtor. Can someone explain how this business practice is tolerated??
1 vote Thank Flag Link Fri Jan 9, 2009
Makes for interesting reading:

http://www.justice.gov/atr/public/real_estate/faqs.html
Flag Wed Apr 18, 2012
Typically this program will give you some kind of benefits for being a participant in the program. Typically they'll assign an agent to you that has been trained in their program. Also if allowed by law they may offer a rebate to you from your purchase or sale. They may also offer some other benefits such prefered settlement services if allowed by law in you location. A quick call to their mortgage department and they should be able to explain all the benefits to you if you are using them for your loan. This is from their website...

Buy or sell your home with USAA and earn up to $3,100 cash back.
Get up to $1,550 when you buy or sell your home through USAA MoversAdvantage® real estate services. Receive up to $3,100 when you do both. Sell or purchase a home of this value: Receive this cash bonus:
$0 — $99,999 $350.00
$100,000 — $149,999 $650.00
$150,000 — $249,999 $950.00
$250,000 — $399,999 $1,250.00
$400,000+ $1,550.00
You will also receive:
A USAA real estate coordinator to act as your advocate and oversee the entire home-buying process.
Access to a national network of local licensed real estate agents specially selected and certified to assist USAA members.
Web Reference: http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2007
Bruce Lynn, Real Estate Pro in Coppell, TX
MVP'08
Contact
I've helped people with Mover's Advantage before. I am not one of their agents that they refer to, but have given the discounts they typically would to my clients.

Typically Coldwell Banker is their agent of choice. I've had two clients establish relationships with me and ask me to give the Mover's Advantage rebate to them. For a house above 150K it is, I believe, $945. They also help them with a variety of other things such as moving companies and other services.
Web Reference: http://www.ChrisTesch.com
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 12, 2007
There is a service their web link is http://www.pcstohill.com/main/usaa_movers_advantage2.html. I am not familiar with their work but I have heard of them. Why do you ask?
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sun Aug 12, 2007
Can't get assigned an agent that cares about my needs. This has been horrible. Neither of the agents have sent me one lead from USAA or NFCU. After reading these post and looking for a house on my own with absolutely no assistance from my agent I am moving on. It's not worth the rebate. Not a good program in Memphis TN. We are military families getting no respect while spending our hard earned dollars.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Mar 16, 2015
USAA's "MoversAdvantage Program" is a referral based program that collects a hefty referral fee from REALTORS in exchange for giving them a lead. Their providing you with this rebate also ensures that you stay with their Mortgage Services - this can be interpreted as a "Kickback" to some. Many companies offer similar "Advantage" programs. REALTORs work very hard for their commissions - they research properties & offer in depth knowledge base of real estate law, contract law & policies that help the consumer, home improvement items, an extensive knowledge of homes & are very detailed when reviewing the pros/cons. For my clients, I explore Flood Certificates/Discounts, Neighborhoods w/ Polybutylene pipes or Defective Drywall & an intimate knowledge of Short Sales, Foreclosures, Commercial & Land Contracts. Knowing the right questions to ask & clauses to include in the contract can be so crucial! - I feel that Buyers & Sellers should research the REALTOR they choose, just as they would research the Lender they choose -rather than have USAA lock you into their Mortgage Services by asking REALTORs to reduce their commission by hefty margins. Rebecca Keeney, REALTOR® - BHHS Towne Realty - Licensed in VA.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Feb 21, 2015
I have been a Realtor and Broker for more than 12 years in Jacksonville, Florida where we have quite a few military families. I have read some of the reviews and obviously real estate agents can vary by city and location. I am not a member with Movers Advantage but I am a USAA member and veteran. I know in our town the agents tend to be new in the business and looking for business. They are willing to work for a small commission which they consider better than nothing. I have helped two buyers in the last year that had begun their home searches with Movers Advantage agents and then called me directly from my listing signs in various neighborhoods. One of the buyers told me their agent arrived at their house to go out looking at homes and the agents car broke down in their driveway. Not only could the agent not afford to fix the car or get it towed, when a friend came and towed the car away it left a large oil spot on their driveway. The other couple went out with an agent and they determined after looking at two homes the agent didn't really know the area or the homes. The agent suggested they all go get lunch but the buyers had to pay for lunch because the agent had no money with her..
Those are they types of things I hear about these agents in our area but I am sure it varies by community and the number of real estate agents in a particular area. I would recommend finding and agent that has been in the business for at least 2 years working full time. Would you use an attorney that works part time at Target? it's a big purchase you should get professional help.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Sep 10, 2014
I think most posters here have ignored the impact of state law on who can receive a fee arising from a real estate transaction. Some states allow only real estate license holders to receive a fee while others allow not only license holders but principals to the transaction (buyer and seller). Its in this latter group where USAA can pay this rebate. I agree that agents are getting the short end of the stick but they have agreed to do so in return for the lead. That's not all, the brokers in these situations typically take a higher percentage split from the agent than they would were it not a USAA deal. And there's more. In order to participate in their brokers program with USAA, agents usually have to place one or more of their own clients into this pool periodically and will receive the same lower commission.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 23, 2014
Next time try the Veterans First Membership Benefits Program http://(www.veterans-first.com). That program teams you with a solid agent that is certified to work with veterans and VA Loans. They also pass 96% of the agents commission rebate tot eh Veteran. Unheard of in the industry while still giving to military charities. . They are partnered with Veterans United to give great rates and low fees but the buyer can chose any lender they want!! Help us get the word out to Veterans--they will appreciate it!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jul 2, 2014
I just used USAA Mover's Advantage, and while the USAA home loan process was a pain at times (due to being national guard and income verification), the movers advantage program was nice. The guy called and had questions to ask about my realtor, viewings we looked at, and ratings on her. He said that if I ever get a bad vibe, then he'll send me to a new one ASAP.

I lucked out, my first realtor was incredible, she answered so many questions as a first time home buyer, and made me very comfortable along the entire way.

I had a great experience with them, and would recommend Mover's Advantage to anyone.

I find the only negative comments are from competing agents listed on this webpage, and individual experiences have been great.

Sincerely,
New home owner in Kansas
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 11, 2014
Also: I'm not a rich dude. I'm under 30, single, travel quite often, very middle class , 700+ credit score. Hope that helps with my profile, this isn't a "rich persons program".
Flag Wed Jun 11, 2014
I just wanted you to know if you hear of a real estate agent having a problem with a VA buyer getting there offer accepted, tell the realtor to call me. We just rolled out a program where Benchmark is paying all the non allowable fees so the seller doesn’t have to and we average a 30 day close on all VA loans. Plus we are donating $250 to operation home giveaway in the Veterans name, that is where Benchmark buys a house to a local disabled veteran and has the house retrofitted to meet their needs. Any one that is a qualified vet can get this program
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Sep 26, 2013
In my situation, the buyer was not a referral to me, the buyer did not sign any agreement to use the company as a lender, I am not a relocation realtor, because the buyer opted to use another lender I did not sign any agreement, the specialist assigned to assist me said the file was requested to be marked inactive, my commission check came $3000 less than expected, buyer declined cash back bonus.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Mar 5, 2013
IS A COMPANY THAT INTENTIONALLY ENGAGES IN DISHONESTY ONE THAT YOU WANT TO SUPPORT? We are not saying that USAA does not offer services that might be of a benefit, we are just pointing out the facts. They deceive their clients and force the Realtors that they use to continue that deception through an off-handed form of blackmail. I would have far less of a problem with USAA if they would just be honest. Tell the Mover's Advantage buyer or seller that the so-called kick-back, contribution or whatever other term they want to put on it, is really not a kick-back to the client at all. It is a HUGE PROFIT CENTER for USAA. They in fact do not contribute one dime and actually make a huge amount of money at their client's expense. And it is all HUSH HUSH and presented as a "service'.

I wonder if Deanna was pressured by her firm to write an apology. For the firms that receive the referrals, it is like fishing in a bucket. Just churn the buyers through. I happen to know an ERA agent and she only gets 30% of the USAA sales. Her company gets the 60% (USAA keeps 40%), then ERA splits it with her. I know my ERA friend is pressured to go out of her way to be nice to USAA because her firm wants to keep their contract. And, I am not picking on ERA. Different markets have different firms that represent them. I for one am glad my firm has not "sold out" to this

As an example, for a $250,000 home purchase, USAA will give the buyer $1250. Guess what? USAA gets $3000 based on a standard 3% commission to the selling agency. So, USAA does not even give the buyer half of what they get! They keep $1750 and give you $1250. Do you think they REALLY Care about the quality of your service or do you think they want $1750 X hundreds and thousands of unsuspecting clients=Millions of dollars for USAA? What do you think?

Be smart and choose your own Realtor. Do not deal with lies and deceit! Go to http://www.NCmove.com if you are buying a home in Eastern NC. The Tyson Group-Steve and Jana J. Tyson will meet the deal offered by USAA and it will all be honest and above board.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
I completely apologize if anyone felt disrespected by my "blindsided" comment. I totally appreciate what you have to go thru to earn your commission and to be a relocation specialist, and especially appreciate that there are more people like you willing to make that sacrifice to help these clients. This IS a great program for the client WHEN IT IS USED CORRECTLY. In my situation, the buyer was not a referral to me, the buyer did not sign any agreement to use the company as a lender, I am not a relocation realtor, because the buyer opted to use another lender I did not sign any agreement, the specialist assigned to assist me said the file was requested to be marked inactive, my commission check came $3000 less than expected, buyer declined cash back bonus. No signed contracts, no service provided or wanted, no money paid to buyer. I had no knowledge the file was held active until my check was received and commissions were withheld for no reason whatsoever. That was my "blindsided" moment. Again, please accept my apology if you felt offended. It was my own situation that frustrated me - not the true relocation services that they do provide.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 23, 2013
I was blind sided, by our ERA Herman Group Real Estate relocation arrangements with Movers Advantage. My buyers contacted me from my yard sign on my listing. No relocation referral was made and I am not a relocation team member. Apparently when seeking quotes the buyers contacted the movers advantage group which automatically prompted membership and initiated me being asked to sign an agreement to forfeit 40% of my commission without leaking the arrangements to the buyer. The buyer chose not to use the company so I did not sign the agreement, the buyers did not sign any agreement for the loan, and we eventually closed as a cash deal. As the deal progressed both the buyers and myself were badgered with emails for status updates. We informed them the deal was off and hope they would finally get the idea and continued to ignore their requests. Unfortunately the commission was still taken from me! Even though no loan was made, no referral was made to me, and the buyer tried to reject the kickback after closing, I still lost my 40% of the $300,000 sale! Disgusting in my opinion but ERA contracted this arrangement for all of their agents with USAA movers advantage and they would not budge nor would my admin. broker try fighting it for me!! My complaint is NO SERVICE WAS PROVIDED, NO BENEFIT WAS CLAIMED, HOW CAN THEY STILL COLLECT MY COMMISSION AND WHERE DOES THAT UNUSED MONEY GO?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 10, 2013
USAA Member since 1986. The "company" USED to be an association of officers that banded together to watch each other's backs. Now it's a BIG insurance company/bank. I've watched their philosophy morph over my 26 years of membership. It has left me sad and disheartened. Don't get me wrong, they are still the best insurance company out there and they still demand a high level of service for their customers, but it is NOT what it used to be.
I have used Mover's Advantage and thought it was great. USAA told me it was there to take care of me and look out for my best interests. I believed them. Then I retired and became a Realtor. I thought, well, USAA says that movers advantage is about putting agents who know what it's like to serve together with those who serve. I gave them a call...I have served for 26 years, I know what it's like to serve, and now I'm an agent...perfect fit! That's when I found out that Steve and Janna Tyson are correct!!! USAA told me they don't run the program, it's a contracted service. The service told me, they didn't care if I was a VET, they only used agents from a few very large real estate agencies. It's NOT about helping the members. It's about the money! I was very disappointed. I'm sure a few hours of training has taught those agents as much about what it's like to serve as my 26 years of service!! I don't care about the fact that I can't be one of their agents or reap the benefit of business from the program. What saddens me is that I thought USAA was looking out for service members, but they're really just in it for the money. Yet another sign that they are no longer an association of officers looking out for each other, but a big insurance company/bank.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2012
Utilizing USAA’s mover’s advantage, simply because it is ‘offered’ has its drawbacks. It is a referral system not based on competency, knowledge, or ability per-se… It is based on relationships of a narrow set of companies, that ‘refer’ to each other – with what in essence is your money.
The better choice may be to 1) listen to your friends and get some good referrals of Realtors that will listen and represent YOU. 2) at first, talk to a couple of realtors, it sometimes really is a ‘wavelength’ issue - then decide – your loyalty will be repaid many times over 3) ASK. Ask if they will match the rebate, in most areas where there is a heavy military influence, most brokerages will match the USAA Advantage benefit to the service member, even if they are not a USAA affiliated company.
Joe Morgan
Realtor, Florida
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 1, 2012
I used USAA's mover's advantage and after being assigned two different agents, whom I was very disappointed with, I ended up searching for my own. USAA just picks real estate companies at random who are part of their mover's advantage program. I also got financing through USAA, which was a nightmare!!!!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
In response to CSP, I just got off the phone with a representative from the MoversAdvantage program. After asking exactly how my assigned was going to be selected, the representative's response was: "We have numerous qualified agents. Each one gets a turn with a new client unless they are specifically requested. You will be getting the next one in line." Soooo pretty sure that actually IS going at random, unless those representatives are receiving appropriate training in the selection process.
Flag Sun Sep 8, 2013
Your information is incorrect on the selection process. USAA MoversAdvantage utilizes the largest national Broker Network in the country - in addition to every USAA Certified Agent meeting criteria on their years of experience, number of successful transactions, and be a full time agent, there is very extensive training required of them (twice annually), in addition to background checks performed prior to them ever being considered for the program. There are currently around 1,000 brokers in this network nationwide - with countless qualified agents who CHOOSE on their own to become affiliated with USAA (if they meet the requirements). The process of matching an Agent to the USAA Member is based upon the needs analysis information the USAA Member provides - it is NEVER a random selection. Not quite sure how you came to this conclusion, but it's far from the truth.
Flag Thu Jan 10, 2013
I have to agree. I think the referral fees that USAA changes to Realtors is reasonable but that fact they don't give you options on who to choose can be frustrating. My broker doesn't participate for that reason but we will always honor the same rebate as USAA does to our clients. I feel potential buyers should be able to choose their own REALTOR without worrying about not receiving a rebate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Sep 1, 2012
they are provide you well furnished and in reason location home and also take less commission and communicate well and also provide you trust and reliable services they also have some moving facilities that the are provide you .........
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Aug 25, 2012
Buyers or sellers beware of "movers advantage" with USAA. It seems to me that if you want a great Realtor. in any area in america, or in any one of 150 other countries. the most experienced, best client and customer service, and easy referrals would be to go to http://WWW.REMAX.COM and find any of the 100,000 agents in America, that have more experience, designations of education and can help any military person in most any country in the world. A buyer would have the best agent, save more money then they could ever receive from USAA and live happily ever after. Truth is if an agent is so "quick " to give up 35% of the gross commission, which may mean as much as 55%+ of their own commission. What are they going to to when they negotiate for you??? They will cave on your 1st negotiations on buying OR selling a home. and you will receive less or spend more for your new home.
I have 27 years of experience with relocation, owned a successful brokerage. when someone promises you a small amount of money at closing, IT ALWAYS comes at a bigger hidden price.
Any questions ask me at http://www.dd.remax.com
Dan De La Portilla
704-451-6003
Charlotte North Carolina
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 16, 2012
How can I get on the preferred list for USAA and Navy Federal ... Please advise. Much thanks!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 10, 2012
Its funny how the people approved on the list are thrilled with it. The people who aren't approved arenot so happy.

The key is that it is still a form of steering. USAA claims their people will get a better rate but their rates and fees don't make the numbers work and they are lying to the military service members. USAA Mover Advantage has also talked three of our companies Buyers under buyer agency contract into ignoring or canceling the contract. That is contract interference.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Jan 19, 2012
Yes, as a member of USAA for 20 plus years and a Florida Realtor who specializes in military relocation . USAA takes a large referral fee and splits it up where the customer only get about 900 to 1200 dollars if the use the preferred agent who has to work for a preferred broker of the USAA advantage program. I do one better for the military member, I give them 25% directly and they can still use USAA. I find this to be a better plan for the member.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Oct 26, 2010
I have used the USAA program a number of times over the last 20 years (in buying and selling) and have been very happy with the service. I have always been assigned to proactive agents that met my expectations. I also recently joined Navy Federal Credit Union and used their program to buy my last house (and I am using them again to buy my next home). Anyone that is eligible for USAA membership is also eligible for NFCU membership (and NFCU pays a greater rebate ... by more than double for homes over $250K). You can see info on both programs at:

USAA: https://www.usaa.com/inet/ent_utils/McLogon?key=bk055_landing

NFCU: https://myaffinityservices.com/Navy/Cash-Back
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Oct 20, 2010
Here is the Reality of The Situation. USAA's program as well as other similar programs are NOT designed to help their clients. They are designed to pad USAA's pockets. The Mover's Advantage program is a huge profit center for USAA! The buyer or seller using their service might get lucky and get a good Realtor but the truth is, USAA does not care whether the Realtor is good or not. All they care about is whether the Realtor will agree to pay them their HUGE cut of the commission of which they pass on a small stipen to the buyer. AND, THEY PURPOSEFULLY WITHHOLD THIS INFO FROM THEIR CLIENTS(YOU)! I for one would not trust a company that is making a HUGE profit off of me and candy-coating it as though they are "doing me a favor". Real Estate firms PAY to be on their list of Realtors, so it is not at all about qualifications of the Realtor or the Client's(YOUR) best interest. Didn't your grandmother tell you "Nothing in Life is Free"? Well, she was right.! Pick your own Realtor and ask them to give you the same amount being offered by USAA, they will more than likely be happy to pay you what you would have gotten and then you get to work with thew Realtor you want! Not have a "here are two choices, pick one" situation. LOG ON to my website http://www.NCmove.com if you are interested in real estate in Eastern NC or call me toll-free 1-888-675-9595. I will match the rebate being offered by USAA and similar programs.
Web Reference: http://www.NCmove.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 16, 2010
We're in the middle of buying... We are going to use the referred realtor, she is actually very good, but we are not using any usaa mortgage or home product... We have found another lender and are about to move foward and make an offer...Therefore we are not eligable for the typical $950 off closing costs on a 225k house? OR am I wrong? Or is being a USAA member good enough? What are the qualifications for this program?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Mar 4, 2009
Taking something off the interest rate must be done by the lender. They know their rules. The lender is not giving the USAA rebate even if it looks like they do.. the disclaimer on MoversAdvantage says that the customer must use the assigned realtor to receive the rebate. IT is coming thru the Realtor. I suppose the Realtor could buy down the buyer's loan... The lender should be familiar wtih RESPA... that is where the conflict would occur, unless your state has specific laws. Your state NAR association should have a legal hotline where you could ask the questions. HAGD...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Jan 19, 2009
USAA is not directly giving the rebates. since they are the lender, that would be a violation of RESPA. They are using Cendant, and if you are a brokerage approved for referrals thru Cendant, and you are giving them a referral fee back, then the client gets their Mover's Advantage rebate from it.

Coldwell Banker is a Cendant corporation entity, thus they use CB almost exclusively, but not when the clients are jumping ship... :-) Carolyn Spence,

Weichert Realtors - The 505 Group, Clovis NM
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Jan 18, 2009
I am a certified Movers Advantage (USAA) realtor with Coldwell Banker United in Sumter SC and Shaw AFB SC area. We do quite q bit of Movers Advantage because of the military coming to this area. I like the program because it requires the realtor to give Service Excellence and I feel that the program has made me a better realtor. although the numerous reports can keep you busy.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Dec 16, 2008
In Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads the Military and Vets can do better than USAA or Navy Federal. I guarantee it and I belong with both companies.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 9, 2008
how do you sign up to be a realtor at usaa movers advantage?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
We are clients through this program and Chris is right about Coldwell Banker because they are our current realtors. we have thought about just passing up on this program and going with someone else when our contract ends, which is today. It sounds good to get a small discount, but we are ready to move.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Mar 22, 2008
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