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Tower Program Gives $1.6M To Home Buyers, Sellers

Laurel, MD—A Tower Federal Credit Union program has given $1.6 million to its credit union members who have bought or sold a home through Tower's HomeAdvantage program. The amount is among the top three of more than 100 credit unions that participate in the nationwide program.

As a result of the accomplishment, CU Realty Services, Tower's partner in the program, is inducting Tower into its "Million Dollar Club."

Receiving the award for Tower are (l. to r.) Real Estate Lending Vice President Marsha Bradshaw, Senior Vice President of Lending Barry Stricklin and Real Estate Lending Sales Manager Lori Vranish. CU Realty Services Regional Account Manager Harrison Dorne (far r.) made the presentation.

The Tower/CU Realty HomeAdvantage program is based on attracting prospective home buyers early, helping them shop or sell through an authorized real estate agent and working closely and seamlessly with a Tower loan officer to secure a mortgage.

Members receive an average $1,700 back. The rebate is 20% of the real estate agent's commission.

Tower is "an excellent model of how a credit union can be the trusted real estate advocate for their community," said Harrison Dorne, Regional Account Manager for CU Realty Services.

Tower began offering the service 12 years ago as one of CU Realty's first customers and has seen its rebates grow just about every year. Last year, $214,548 was given to buyers and sellers. This year, Tower is on pace to top that mark.

The success of HomeAdvantage is testament to a "one stop shopping" experience that walks homebuyers completely through the home buying or selling process, with real estate agents and loan officers working in tandem.

"Simply put, our goal is to take the stress and strain out of home buying," said Barry Stricklin, Senior Vice President of Lending at Tower. "We help our members navigate the entire process with financing, finding a Real Estate Agent and searching for the right home, and settlement services. Putting one million six hundred thousand dollars in rebates in our members' pockets is a substantial benefit, but the bigger benefit is that we helped them find a home."

Here is how the free program works: Buyers and sellers are made aware of HomeAdvantage by Tower staff, at events the credit union holds, and through its website. If they are interested in the program, they are connected with a real estate agent who has been vetted by Tower and CU Realty Services. Buyers are given access to all homes listed in the marketplace that match their criteria, with updates provided as new properties become available. Comparable property data is also provided.

Sellers work with a real estate agent to price their home and get it ready to put on the market. Once a sale or purchase is made, the member receives a payment equal to 20% of the real estate agent's commission.

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