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You won't believe what Fannie, Freddie are doing to sell REO

GSEs fire up generous incentive programs

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offering limited-time incentives in a pair of programs for both real estate agents and homebuyers as the two government-sponsored enterprises are trying to sell some of their REO properties.

Freddie will offer a $1,000 bonus to selling agents and a separate $500 bonus to listing agents when they use the HomeSteps program to sell a Freddie owned property.

The HomeSteps program is being launched in 23 states for deals where the offer is made between Feb. 18 and April 15, with a closing date deadline of May 31.

Chris Boden, senior vice president of HomeSteps, said he expects the program to jumpstart a housing market slowdown being blamed on winter weather.

"HomeSteps' 2014 winter sales promotion is focused on firing up sales in 'cold weather' states and condominium deals everywhere. With mortgage rates still low and home inventories tightening, the 2014 HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion is a great opportunity for families ready to buy and real estate agents ready to sell," Boden said.

Meanwhile, homebuyers may receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance when they purchase a HomePath property in 27 states for Fannie-owned properties.

During the FirstLook period, owner-occupant or public entity buyers are able to submit offers on HomePath properties, giving them the opportunity to purchase homes without competition from investors. Fannie Mae recently announced the extension of the FirstLook period from fifteen days to twenty days. 

“This incentive will provide more opportunities for families to find a property to call home,” said Jay Ryan, Vice President of REO Sales.  “Our goal is to sell as many HomePath properties as possible to owner-occupants who will stabilize neighborhoods and help the housing recovery.” 

To be eligible for the incentive, the initial offer must be submitted between February 14, 2014, and March 31, 2014, and close on or before May 31, 2014. The incentive will offer qualified buyers up to 3.5% of the final sales price to pay closing costs. In many cases, buyers could use these savings to buy down their interest rate through upfront points, resulting in additional savings over time.

Boden said that for the first time the HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion offers homebuyers a choice of $500 incentives they can use towards condominium association dues, flood insurance premiums or the home warranty of their choice.

HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion incentives are paid only when approved offers are received between February 18 and April 15, the home is sold as a primary or secondary residence and the closing settles on or before May 30, 2014. The promotion does not apply to investor purchases, auction sales, sealed-bid sales and bulk sales.

States where the 2014 HomeSteps Winter Sales Promotion is now active include Alabama, Connecticut, Colorado, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.

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