This past Memorial Day I wrote a post entitled Memorial Day 2011: Giving Back To a Veteran in Need. In it, I announced that my company would sell a home for a US service veteran facing hardship for zero commission. My father was a veteran of World War II and Korea, and I asked for the community to let me now if anyone knew of a veteran who could benefit from this. I have not yet, so, being loud mouth I am, I have decided to raise my voice.
As I stated this past May:
There is one thing I am going to do in my little corner of the world to make a difference to a veteran in the next 12 months. I will list and sell one veteran's house in the next year pro bono. They have to have a special need of some sort (it can be financial) because it is a waste to do it for a vet who is flush with cash or in a short sale, but so long as there is a DD-214 and the possibility of an equity advantage I'll get it done for this veteran gratis as my way of giving back. I can do this for one veteran (or their survivors), and it can be in any of the following counties: Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Dutchess, Fairfield (CT), Bronx, Queens, or Orange. There is minimal small print to the offer, because I can't guarantee that a buyer brokerage will be cool with forgoing their end, but there will be no listing commission.
If you know of a veteran who needs to sell and a pro bono arrangement would make a difference between hardship or not, please let me know via phone or email.
If you are a fellow broker-owner, you feel like following suit and such an arrangement would not be an undue burden to the sustainability to your business, I encourage you to join me.
I have started a Facebook group for like-minded brokerages who feel that this would be a worthy endeavor. If you'd like to join me, please log onto Real Estate Brokers For Veterans group and add your name to the list of brokers- this way, we can have a list of colleagues in the different markets to whom we can refer veterans when the opportunity arises. The late Joe Ferrara often said that real estate licensees should have pro bono obligations just as attorneys. We don't, so this is strictly voluntary.
If you are a broker and feel this is a worthy cause, please join me. Given the opportunity cost of working a file for no fee when you could be on a paying file, please only do so if you can absorb the work- it is not a suicide pact. Only give if you can. But if you can, please do log on and join.
And if you know of a US service veteran who may benefit from this in the Metropilitan New York City area, please email me.
Update: The Fisher House is an excellent alternative for your contributions, large or small. If this works for you, join us on Facebook! http://www.facebook.com/groups/realestatebrokersforveterans/