Thanks for Your Service. Mind if I Discriminate Against You?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Steele Group Realty BRE# 01474222

Thanks for Your Service.  Mind if I Discriminate Against You?


Veteran Day 


On this Veteran’s holiday, I think that most of us take a moment to give thanks to all the men and women who serve or have served in our nation’s armed forces.  We owe them a huge debt of gratitude and I’m happy that for at least one day a year we take the time to acknowledge their sacrifices.  Or so I thought…..


Last week I received two offers on one of my short sale listings.  Unlike my other short sales, this particular transaction has been plagued by offers that have fallen apart.  We had been ready to close on November 2nd, when the buyers supposedly decided the driveway was too steep.  Are you kidding me?  They were our 5th set of buyers so the prospect of getting a new buyer approved and foreclosure again postponed made me want to scream.


But we quickly received two solid offers that would net the bank almost exactly the same amount.  The first offer received was a VA offer from a young family.  The husband is active duty military and has been deployed five times to carry out his job of training soldiers how to detect road-side bombs.  The second offer was from another young family whose husband is a school teacher. This was a conventional loan offer that was presented by his Realtor, who happens to be his mom.  The agent on the VA offer was very professional and thorough.  She discussed all aspects of the deal with her client’s loan officer before writing the offer and made sure that all requested items were included. The second agent grilled me about my experience with short sales, and neglected to include all requested items.


I presented both offers to my sellers, and they quickly selected the VA offer, touched by his service to our country.  I was also very upfront about the fact that based on my experience thus far with the two agents, the Realtor with the VA offer seemed to be the easier to work with, and most likely to keep her clients on track through close of escrow.  I had the feeling that the other agent would keep on looking for her son and if something better came on the market, they’d be gone.


Well, mom the agent was furious when she learned her son’s offer was not accepted!  She called me on Friday accusing me of selecting the other offer because it was our buyer and we were double-ending the deal.  I patiently explained that it was not our buyer and that the sellers had selected the first offer largely because the buyer was in the military and they appreciated his service.  I thanked her for her offer and told her that we would be happy to retain it as a back-up.


Well I guess she wasn’t through.  Yesterday she called and started yelling at me, accusing me of doing a disservice to my sellers by advising them to accept the VA deal.  “I’ve been an agent for 25 years,” she ranted, “and everyone knows that a buyer with a conventional loan is always better than a VA buyer!”  I was speechless.  According to that statement, I would assume that for 25 years she has been advising her sellers to discriminate against VA buyers! There may be cases where a VA or even an FHA loan won’t work because of the property condition, but that was not the case in this situation. Couldn’t she see that her statement was blatant discrimination, and just as reprehensible as advising a homeowner against selling to someone based on their race, sex, or religion?


I somehow don’t think I’ve heard the end of this, but I couldn’t be happier that my sellers selected with their hearts.  I will do everything I can to make this a smooth transaction for this brave, young family.  Happy Veteran’s Day!

Posted by

Your Personal San Diego County Real Estate Consultant


Taking the "Stress" Out of Distressed Property Sales




Re-Blogged 5 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Randy Prothero 11/12/2012 10:14 AM
  2. Nancy Laswick 11/12/2012 11:09 AM
  3. Evelyn Kennedy 11/12/2012 07:36 PM
  4. Lenn Harley 11/13/2012 05:57 AM
  5. David Waite 10/03/2013 05:54 PM
Home Buying
Bartender, Make it a Double
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marti kilby san diego realtor
discrimination against va buyers
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Show All Comments
Rob Renk
McKinney, TX
Easy Hard Money Lender | DFW | minimum $60K+

I can't believe someone would say that about using a VA loan to finance a property.

November 13, 2012 04:09 AM #82
Sharon Parisi
Keller Williams Dallas Premier Realty - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Well, all I can say is that people are getting testy in this new real estate market where the Seller rules!

November 13, 2012 06:01 AM #83
Kathryn Maguire (757) 560-0881 - Chesapeake, VA
Serving Chesapeake, Norfolk, VA Beach

As a Navy wife of 24 years, this steams me just a bit.  As a Realtor, I am appalled by her lack of professionalism.  Sometimes VA appraisers do have more stringent requirements but you have to look at the whole picture...which you and your sellers did.  

November 13, 2012 06:25 AM #84
Nan Jester
Exit Real Estate Gallery Jacksonville Beach, FL - Jacksonville Beach, FL
Realtor, Exit Real Estate Gallery

Wow!!! I am a little stunned at the bad behavior of the other Realtor(r). It is not very good business anywhere to discriminate but here in Jacksonville we have two Navy bases here and are darn proud to have them.

November 13, 2012 06:34 AM #85
Steven Van De Beuken
Sunstreet Mortgage LLC - Tucson, AZ

I love happy endings. Honey beats vinegar.......again. I sleep well at night knowing my kids are safe thanks to that veteran and others like him. Glad your seller took your advice. 

November 13, 2012 08:09 AM #86
Mary Ann Daniell, Realtor Killeen Fort Hood Texas
Coldwell Banker United, Realtors - Killeen, TX

AHH the ignorant OLDER agent who never works with VA buyers!  I've met that person several times in my career, and have patiently set them straight.  Back in the day, VA loans WERE more difficult, but today, a VA loan VS a conventional loan?  I say I'd rather work the VA loan!   The buyer doesn't have to have a down payment.  Conventional loan buyers, well, who is to say they won't go spend their downpayment before closing, thinking they will be able to come up with the money before closing?  And then it doesn't work out?  (Yes that has happened!)     Don't be afraid of the VA loan buyer.  It's as simple as that.   

November 13, 2012 08:17 AM #87
Frank Iglesias
Working With Houses, LLC - Atlanta Real Estate Investments - Lawrenceville, GA
Atlanta, GA Real Estate Investor

Wow!  What a lovely phone call that was.  Goodness.

November 13, 2012 08:38 AM #88
Andrew Mooers
Northern Maine Real Estate-Aroostook County Broker

Veterans Day, every day is. Or should be.

November 13, 2012 08:43 AM #89
Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams Sacramento CA 916 730-4404 - Elk Grove, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

25 years of stomach hurts. VA loans have a more issues, but not more issues than laying in a sand hole in 100 degree weather missing your family.  Stand firm.


November 13, 2012 09:47 AM #90
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Thank you all.  It has been so wonderful to hear everyone's comments in support of our veterans and VA loans.

November 13, 2012 02:20 PM #91
Julie Bethel
RE/MAX First Choice - Park Rapids, MN - Park Rapids, MN
Secretary - RE/MAX First Choice 218-732-1191

You go girl, and thanks for sticking up for the VA loan, yes they are not all easy but then most conventional loans nowadays are not easy either.

Thanks from a Vet's kid!

November 13, 2012 02:49 PM #92
Brian Kuhns
Coldwell Banker Roth Wehrly Graber - Fort Wayne, IN
Fort Wayne Real Estate by Brian Kuhns

Doesn't really matter how long she's been an agent. Sounds like she's just been doing it wrong longer than some of us. Congrats to your sellers

November 14, 2012 06:07 AM #93
William Buddy Scott
Right Choice Realty - Fort Myers, FL

I think you did the right thing, you gave the sellers all the facts and let them decide.  She probably advised her son on what to offer, to make sure he got it and didn't know how to tell him he didn't.

November 14, 2012 08:12 AM #94
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Thanks Brian. And William, looking at the handwriting, I'm pretty sure she signed her son's offer!

November 14, 2012 08:28 AM #95
Gene Riemenschneider
Home Point Real Estate - Brentwood, CA
Turning Houses into Homes

My Sellers on a Short Sale picked the FHA Buyer that was a family that wanted to be in the home, rather than a cash investor.  Made my job harder, but it was a nice decision.

November 14, 2012 09:48 AM #96
Charles Stallions
Charles Stallions Real Estate Services - Pensacola, FL
800-309-3414 - Pensacola, Pace or Gulf Breeze, Fl.

Hi Marti, Just wanted to stop by and wish you a happy Thanksgiving, hope the holidays find you have a great time. May God Bless.

November 20, 2012 04:08 AM #97
Brad Baylor
ERA Coup Agency - Milton, PA

Marti - I believe the other agent was thinking more like a mom than an agent.  And to be honest, a conventional mortgage is always easier to deal with than a VA mortgage.  I really don't think her comments were indicative of how she feels about veterans in general, but rather were fueled by her love for her own son!

January 10, 2013 06:40 AM #98
Kasey & John Boles - Jon Gosche Real Estate
Jon Gosche Real Estate, Boise ID - Boise, ID
Boise, Meridian, Ada/Canyon/Gem/Boise Counties

I just do not understand agent's reactions to losing offers.  Reactions like this are never going to help the situation.  Perhaps she should have simply asked if they could be accepted as back up?  Also, agents do make a difference too - a good agent can keep the deal together and buyers on short sales informed, a bad agent can have the seller sent to foreclosure with flakey buyers. -Kasey

January 22, 2013 09:21 AM #99
David Waite
Keller Williams Sunset Corridor - Beaverton, OR
REALTOR, 503-887-5323

Thank you...thank you.  We have been calling it discrimination for years and today more true than ever. 

Realtor's are not informed and influencing their sellers to look at other offers instead.  Ignorance is rampant!!!!

My offers are all getting declined because the other buyer(s) can put more monies down than my Veteran can when we all know that money down means nothing!!!  The seller gets the same amount of money no matter what is put down.

These Veterans deserve the respect and they deserve the home MORE.....They earned this right and we should all work toward every Veteran owning a home if they want one.  

VA Specialist in OREGON for 20+ years







February 26, 2013 09:55 AM #100
Marti Steele Kilby
Steele Group Realty - La Mesa, CA
Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA

Thanks David.  i know, it really is disgraceful....there is a lot of ignorance regarding VA loans.  It seems that many sellers believe they will be stuck paying all sorts of fees. 

February 26, 2013 10:08 AM #101
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Marti Steele Kilby

Broker/Owner, San Diego, CA
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