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Today's Family Magazine

Howard Hanna Realtors bring awareness of helpful programs for military veterans

Dale and Norma Starcher in the new home they purchased through Howard Hanna using the Military On The Move program.

By Deanna Adams

We all know the sacrifices our military servicemen and women, and their families, make for America.  Along with experiencing various deployments, there is the stress of having to relocate from one town to another, and finding the right place to live that suits their needs— before and after their service duties.

To help that mission along, real estate agents Traci Hissam, Wayne Gould, and Dave Fabig at Howard Hanna in Chardon are taking action by introducing all military personnel to a new benefit, designed to provide them and their family with a little extra help when it comes to those life transitions. 

The Military on the Move (MOTM) program enables active duty, retired military, and wounded veterans to earn cash rewards and rebates when they buy or sell a home. This is whether they are undertaking a military move after being relocated to another base, or when it comes time to searching for a permanent home after a military discharge or retirement.

“We are blessed to offer this program for all the vets who qualify,” says Dave Fabig.  “It’s such a great opportunity for them, and one that I feel is underpromoted.  It’s certainly something every vet should know about.” 

Hissam, Gould and Fabig recently earned the nationally recognized Military Relocation Professional Certification through the NAR (National Association of Realtors) so that they can guide, aid, and support military veterans and their families. Each of them have a personal motive to be a part of this program. Gould and Fabig are both military veterans themselves, and Hissam has worked for nonprofit organizations, such as the Lake County Council on Aging and other youth programs for the past 20 years.

“It’s important to let veterans know what’s available to them,” says Gould.  “I myself wasn’t aware of this program at first so once I learned of it, I was anxious to get the word out to all those who can take advantage of it.” 

Under the MOTM program, Howard Hanna real estate agents and its brokerage give back 20% of commission dollars to the veteran who buys a home, or sells one.  Vets receive the cash reward based on the actual sales price of the home being purchased or sold, which is paid after the settlement.  There is no dollar limit on the amount of the cash reward.  “All we ask is that they preregister with Howard Hanna,” Hissam notes.

Dale Starcher, an Army veteran, and his wife, Norma, are just one couple who were able to take advantage of this benefit.  “They came to us wanting to downsize, or ‘right size’ as we like to call it,” Hissam says.  “Wayne and I told them about the benefits they were eligible for and worked with them through the process.  We were very happy to help them out.”

There is no age limitation for this program.  Dale is 90 years old and his wife, 88.  “My husband and I met Traci at an open house,” Norma Starcher recalls.  “As we talked, she learned that Dale is a vet and told us about the program.  She and Wayne were very helpful.”  The couple, who have children and grandchildren close by, found the perfect condo, sold their home, and in a few weeks received rebate checks for both the purchase and the sale of the residences.  “That really helped with all the moving expenses,” Norma adds. “We were very happy with the whole experience.  The Howard Hanna real estate agents did everything they could to make things easier for us.”

“We take this very seriously,” Gould says.  “It’s not about selling homes and making money.  We are proud to be able to give back [those earnings].  It gives us the opportunity to pay it forward.” 

The Chardon real estate agents have also recently earned the Senior Real Estate Specialist designation specializing in helping clients, 50 and over, with their transitional needs as well, offering knowledge and guidance for those moving in midlife, and for seniors who are often ready to move to a smaller home. 

Howard Hanna is a family-owned, full-service real estate services company committed to professionalism for all colleagues, clients, and communities.  Their mission is to help navigate the complex real estate transaction, as well as introduce clients to services and opportunities some might not be aware of, such as the MOTM program.  

“We have all the tools in the tool box to help veterans and seniors use their hard-won benefits and navigate the next part of their lives,” Hissam says. “ All they have to do is give us a call with any questions, or meet with us to ensure everything is a good fit.”

For more information on all benefits, contact Hissam, Gould or Fabig, at 440-286-4111.