Real Estate Broker/Owner with IXL Real Estate AL#88821 MS#B19412

USAA Movers Advantage

The USAA Movers Advantage program was created by USAA to help their military customers, or was it?

The program is geared to put money back into the buyers pocket, which is great for the home buyer, but USAA keeps the larger portion for themselves. The desiginated "preferred" REALTOR has agreed to their referral program  and must gives 30 to 35% of their commission to USAA for the referral. In return USAA MOVERS ADVANTAGE  gives a portion back to their USAA member who uses their preferred Realtor.

USAA movers advantage usually gives their clients an incentive of about $1000 to $1500 dollars back, if they use one of the USAA movers advantage" preferred" REALTORS®.  They do this because they are making money from the deal, not to help their client. The "perfered" REALTORS® must send 30-35% of their commission to USAA once the contract is closed. USAA then gives their military client a few dollars back. 

This program seems to be ok, unless you are the buyer, or the REALTOR® 

As a Realtor I strive to make the buying and selling process as stress free as possible for my clients. It cost me several thousand dollars to get a real estate licenses, continuing education expense, and costly monthly fees just to keep my licenses. Not sure about other states but in Alabama and Mississippi, Realtors®, are not allowed to give away cash, gifts or bonuses to an unlicensed person. So how can USAA movers Advantage legally accept this commission. They are not a Licensed Real Estate Company?  

 But what really upset's me is to know that USAA movers advantage is the one claiming to be putting the money back into the buyers pocket. When that's simply not the case, the tiny percentage the buyers gets back is coming from the "prefered" REALTOR®. USAA movers advantage gives only a portion to the buyer and keep the rest. This just ain't right!  

The REALTOR involved in the referral process is not allowed to disclose how the program works. Why, I can only assume its because USAA movers advantage does not won't their clients to know the facts. Most buyers dont care but the REALTORS® commission is on the HUD paperwork at closing. Therefore its easy enough to calculate the percentage that the "preferred" REALTOR® must GIVE to USAA movers advantageSo USAA members, have the ability to see how much USAA received, and how much they (buyer) received back. 

I urge USAA and all buyers to find a REALTOR® they like, one they trust and have confidence in. A good REALTOR® works for their client, and always looks out for their CLIENTS best interest. If you do not like your prefered agent, call your USAA agent and demand another "preferred" REALTOR®.

 Listening to military families that used USAA movers Advantage they were not happy with the service they received from the "preferred" REALTOR®. I have to believe its due to the commission they are giving up!

Buyer's working with USAA movers advantage, the advantage is for USAA not you the buyer. Their "preferred" REALTOR, is preferred because they Give back!  

I have helped several Military families find and sell homes in the Mississippi, Alabama Gulf Coast area. I would love to help you too. Call, text,or email me at:

 USAA movers advantage

Thank you for visiting my blog, if I can assisit you with your real estate needs please do not hesitate to call.

Contact Alice at: 228.623.5495



Posted by


Alice Broadway is a wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and sister, she is also a dedicated REALTOR based on the Mississippi and Alabama Gulf Coast. With a passion for helping people, she loves assisting her clients buy and sell real estate.

 In 2007 she received a salesperson licenses, and went on to obtain a real estate Broker's Licenses for Alabama and Mississippi. Alice enjoys  marketing, sharing information, learning something new, and her large family.

In her spare time, you will usually find her and her Husband Miles at their 102 Acres "Kamp KOMA", surrounded by nature. If she is at home she is in front of her computer, or on her ipad, either blogging, socializing on FaceBook, Twitter, and Active Rain. If you would like to keep up with her blogs subscribe at:

Counties she serves are : Jackson, George, and Harrison County in Mississippi. Mobile and Baldwin County in Alabama.  


Alice Broadway   

Office (228)623.5495  Cell (228)623-5495                        





 Mississippi Real Estate Office                          Alabama Real Estate Office 

Parker & Rankin Real Estate LLC                              Azalea Real Estate

1405 Market Street                                                12610 Old Hwy 90

Pascagoula, MS. 39567                                           Grand Bay, Al. 36541 

Comments (19)

Letitia Stevenson
BHHS Fox & Roach | - Greenville, DE
Listing Agent DE/PA/MD, Digital Marketer & Coach

Alice, Welcome to Active Rain! Active Rain is a great place to share your knowledge, expertise and thoughts, as well as network and learn so much from the vast pool of talent already onboard.

Welcome Aboard and Much Success!

Sep 02, 2009 12:31 AM
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty
Coldwell Banker Camelot Realty - Mount Dora, FL
Homes for Sale Mount Dora Realtor

Alice,  I found this on a google search.  Thanks for the information.

Last week we met with some folks to list their home here in Lake County FL.  A few days ago they said they wanted to use the USAA advantage program.

Now I have USAA between me and the customer and we are having problems getting a call back from USAA.

Anyone that truly understands the business will tell you that on a 3% fee (one side) typically 1% goes to marketing and advertising, then 1% to the broker and 1% to the agent to pay self employment taxes and so forth.

So where do you think the cuts will be made to make up the difference?

You guessed correct, it's not the broker....


Mar 22, 2010 08:48 AM
Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

USAA probably wont call you back, I'd be shocked if they do.

USAA Movers Advantage leads the home owners to believe they are helping them, when actually they are hurting the sell. But all the buyer and sellers sees is money back in their pocket and the max. that I have ever heard of was about 1600 dollars.

Mar 22, 2010 01:24 PM
Drick Ward Property Management / Broker Assoc
NEPTUNE REALTY - Virginia Beach, VA
"RealtorDrick" - Experienced Representation

Great post, I'm going to reblog it because as a USAA member myself, I think people should know this. Thanks for sharing the true facts.

Apr 02, 2010 03:48 PM
Dusty Carr

USAA only cares about lining their pockets with YOUR cash. The only way this will change is to say NO to USAA and start up your own "buyer advantage" plan. USAA is sucking Agents and Companies dry in military towns. In Warner Robins, Ga our agents pay 37.5% referral fee to USAA! Been showing a customer for weeks then they say hey we called USAA and found out that we quailfy for the mover advantage plan, we told them we were working with you but USAA says in order to get the cash back we have to work with an agent from XYZ realty...cya...

Apr 22, 2010 01:26 AM
Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Drick, If I know a potential client is military related, I simply ask them if they know about the USAA.. AND then I explain to them how I am able to save them as much if not more than they will receive  back from USAA... USAA  should be stopped from doing this....

Apr 22, 2010 02:25 PM
Caitlyn Lopez

I had a client ask me about the program - Thanks for you post - I also found it on google.  From what I read they take a 35% referral fee from the agent on both side of the transaction if you help them sell and buy and then they give the USAA client back a portion (of usually less than 1/3) of what they got back to the client and they keep the rest.  It if fine for a Realtor to join the program to genereate leads - but very misleading to a client, especially if they can hook up with a Realtor that will put them on a move up plan like many do.  I offer 1% of the lower sales price back on the second transaction - so if they sell the home at $100,000 and they buy a home at $150,000 then they get $1000 back from when they buy, if the sell at $150,000 and then buy at $100,000 (maybe a downsize in home or something) then I give them $1000 on the second transaction.  It's like taking a total of 5% in the end.  It works well and keeps everyone happy!

Feb 07, 2011 08:52 AM
Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Sounds like a great program you are offering your clients. Real Estate agents should report USAA  to their Real Estate board commission, it is illegal in MS & AL to pay a commission to an unlicensed real esate party.

Feb 07, 2011 10:18 AM
Real Estate Agent FT Knox KY

Our brokerage works with USAA. Here are a few things buyers and sellers should be aware of but USAA won't allow us to disclose to the buyers of sellers of USAA referred clients. USAA actually has us to sign a form that we will not disclose the following. I choose not to sign as for doing so does not represent the best interest of my buyers and sellers.

•1)     37.5% from our commission.

•2)     Clients will only receive a small portion of our commission and most of it will go to USAA.

•3)     USAA will force clients to use USAA financing.

•4)     USAA financing's closing cost will cost their clients $1,000 to $3,000. So actually after clients get their cash back, they will even loose more by using USAA.

•5)     USAA's Interest Rates are higher.

USAA only cares of USAA's interest, don't let them fool you.

Jun 23, 2011 04:11 PM
Ft Knox Real Estate

3) USAA financing's closing cost will cost their clients $1,000 to $3,000 more. So actually after clients get their cash back, they will even loose more by using USAA.

Jun 23, 2011 04:14 PM

thank you for the post ft knox real estate,

I try to explain this to everyone that wants to use USAA.

My husband is vet and is says USAA should be ashamed of their sellf. USAA targets the Military for business and the majority of clients think it is a military company and there to help them.

USAA stands for:

United Service Automobile Association "IMAGINE THAT"

Members money is not even FDIC secure: see link below


Jun 27, 2011 03:01 AM
Alice Broadway
IXL Real Estate - Mobile, AL
Real Estate Broker

Dear USAA supporter

I think its a shame that USAA hides behind the uniform .. The majority of  Military people who use USAA dont even know what USAA stands for. I just asked a retired veteran who was definding the USAA insurance company, and he had to give up and admit he did not know. 

I do not use USAA referal system, due to the fact that every real estate commission says: ANYONE who receives commission for the sale of a home must be a real estate agent. I wish the commission would crack down on USAA because they are not a rreal estate agent.yanb 

 I will not argue with anyone about their beliefs, but I will say being a REALTOR does not come without a big price tag attached. We have monthly dues and yearly dues we must pay, and if you are a REALTOR who stays on top of the econony, and whats going on with the housing market it cost us $$$$$ every year.

There may be are some real estate agents out there that only care about the end result (their pay check). I can say I am do not fall into that catagory, Real Estate is about the people not the property.

Thanks for your post.

hear from some pissed-off people about USAA with the link below.

Jan 31, 2012 02:07 AM

As a verteran who considered using this program I have a suggestion for you.  Do not participate in the program and instead offer a rate cut on your commission to equal what the buyer would get back from USAA.  My realtor did just that and I agreed to save her money by not using USAA.  I still get my rebate in the form of a smaller commission.  It is a win win. 

While I understand your frustration you are not going to get much sympathy in this market.  Home prices are terrible and many can barely get out of a home without losing money...especially when the realtor fees kick in.  If I have to take less on my home then why shouldnt Remax, the realtor, and everyone else take a bit less as well?  As a veteran I feel I deserve these rebates / kickbacks and that is why I support USAA (United Services Automobile Association).  After all less than 1/2 of 1% of the US population has served in the military.  Military families must move more than the average person and so they are stuck dealing with realtors more often.  You and your company should be doing it for less without complaints. 

I do not feel USAA hides behind the uniform.  They fight to get us good discounts on products, provide top rate insurance, and hands down give the best customer service on all their products.  Making bold statements that we do not know what USAA stands for is not going to win veterans to your business. 

Good Luck

Mar 26, 2012 11:36 PM
Hey Bryan, I do cut my commission to help my clients. I sell a lot of property to military families, and offer them quality service. I just think its wrong for usaa to charge the realtor , give only a percentage back to their client, and tell them what realtor to choose.... It's wrong in every way. What service are they providing to you that makes them eligible to designate a realtor and keep the person who is working for YOU income.
Mar 27, 2012 02:09 AM
D Jack

I am getting ready to close on a house in a few weeks. I didn't know USAA took the money from my realtor, who was actually very good. Even though he took a cut in his commission, the man was running around the entire city for me taking pictures and giving me very good assessments of the houses I was looking at. I was quoted by 4 banks for my home loan and USAA gave me the best rate, by far the best rate. My assigned MoversAdvantage rep was very helpful too. She kept in contact with me throughout my home searching, when I emailed her, she responded in minutes most of the time. So MoversAdvantage was very helpful but it sucks they take some of the commission from my realtor.

May 05, 2012 03:31 PM
Jesus Pazmino PA

Hello All,

There are some great points being made here from both sides. Let me start of by saying that I would be completely in agreement with a 37.5% referral fee.  I would gladly take on these clients all day every day.  I know someone from Coldwell that all they do is Relo's and even with the 37.5% referral fee, they are still in the top 25 agents and Million Dollar agent circle.  Wouldn't you like to make a cool million! They close over $6,000,000 in sales just from relocations. WOW! Think of it as a marketing cost.  I spend 1/3 of my gross profits to marketing dollars.  It's the only way to keep the business flowing.  So think of the 37.5% your 1/3 marketing cost. You are getting a client without putting much effort into marketing for that client sale or purchase. CARTUS or USAA or Any other relocation program..if you are reading this, please contact me!!! I'm a dedicated agent and provide my clients with exceptional service.

What I'm not in agreement to is the amount that goes back to the client.  USAA or Cartus should only get 1/3 of the 37.5% and the rest to the client.  I think the state boards should get involved in the regulation of referral fees and set a max and how much should go to a client in these circumstances in compliance with RESPA, which does not currently have anything on this. 

As for the commission reduction for sellers, it would all depend if they are buying and selling with me directly.  Think of it this way.  Other professionals such as accountants and lawyers charge a retainer fee for their hourly work.  When have you seen a Realtor charge you upfront for listing your property on the MLS $150, lawn sign $150, neighborhood sings $150, Lock box $50, Flyers $150, 50 direct mailers for neighbor just listed $50.00, Gas for showing the property on appointments and open houses for 2 months $100, Preferred listing on Zillow,, Trulia, $150.00 - Add this up $$$$$ Need I say more?? This does not include the time spent answering every phone call on the listing from potential buyers. Upfront cost is $1,000 and if the listing is over $500,000, then its even more expensive. 

Have I cleared up a lot of the issues with the 6% Commission??? and even then, the 6% doesn't go all to the listing agent.. on 95% of the sales, it's split between the buyer's agent and the listing agent, which at most times, are from two different brokers.  Then from the left over 3%, the broker takes about 20% - 40% depending on which company you are with.  So let's do the math

$100,000 sale at the 3% = $3,000 - broker fee(only at 20%) - (marketing $1,000) = $1,400 - (Self employment taxes and income taxes) = $980 Net profit!!!!!!  We have yet to subtract Car insurance, health insurance, cell phone, thank you cards, etc.

Now where are we making tons of money off your sale? Of course, the higher the sale, the better the Net Profit, but this goes to show that the Agent only ends up keeping about 1/3 of the commission.  Which someone has already commented on. 

So Mr. Seller, Can I walk into your business today and ask you for 1/3 of your Salary? Most Realtors are professionals and we do not charge retainer fees. Lawyers, Accountants, Consultants, all charge retainer fees to cover a lot of the overhead for the service provided in case the final outcome is not a won case, or a completed audit or tax return, etc.  Realtors do all the work, spend all the money and if the sale does not go through, loss all that money.  I'm not saying be sympathetic, but have some empathy towards the hard work and the expense most Realtors put in to service their clients the right way.  This career is a choice and most Realtors love what they do. They can easily go and get a full time job, but prefer being self employed and helping people buy and sell properties. Not only do I help my clients, but a lot of my clients become friends.  I have coffee with some of my clients on a regular basis, go fishing, attend seminars, have lunch, etc.

This is a relationship business. Sure there is money to be made if you work hard enough and increase your business, but it's mostly for the relationships being built and the positive influence most realtors have on their clients that Realtors stay in the business.

Sure I will take a reduction. But it all depends on the circumstances.  Shortsales, Client buying and selling with me, referral, Bad divorce, death in family, etc. 


I work 6 days a week out on the road and in the office and answer my phone all the time 7 days a week. My clients are only a phone call away and even if they don't buy with me, they can still call me for advice....You can call up any realtor right now and have them explain a shortsale, foreclosure, regular sale, estate sale, a purchase contract and they will love to talk to you.  FREE ADVICE!!! Try calling a lawyer or a doctor, accountant and getting free advice. At most a lawyer will tell you what you want to hear then say come in and we'll talk about it then charge you.  A doctor will charge you and your insurance an office visit, etc....


Any questions?


Jun 06, 2012 06:26 AM
Tara Nagelhout

I think they actually are licensed (USAA), as that is the only way a referral fee can be paid.  I have an odd situation right now in that one day before signing the buyer's agent sent an addendum to have the real estate commission paid to be reduced by $650 and then the buyer to receive that creidt.  I am in a state that does not allow buyer's to receive incentives (like Redfin does) I think what i have going on here is that USAA knows they can't pay the buyer so the agent is trying to do it directly.  Not going to happen on my watch!

Sep 15, 2012 01:44 AM

In response to 23 June 2011 above, USAA does NOT force Movers Advantage customers to use USAA financing.  They're independant programs with no mutual obligation.

In response to Jasus Pazmino (June 6), I would love to pay an agent a la carte for the exact services that I need instead of lumping everything into a percentage of the purchase price.  Those prefessions he lists typically charge for services rendered; very few clients actually pay to keep them on retainer.

Sep 26, 2012 09:18 PM
Laura Filip
Laura Filip Broker , Opening doors for All Seasons of Life - Whitesboro, TX
What can we do for you today?

Interesting program I was just contacted by a buyer asking about the program. I had not heard about it before We are USAA members so this seems odd that they would ask for so much from the Realtor.

Feb 16, 2013 03:00 AM