Freddie Mac’s (FRE) offer to pay a portion of the closing costs for house buyers in the HomeSteps program is about to expire. HomeSteps is Freddie Mac’s real estate sales unit that sells real estate-owned (REO) properties the government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) owns throughout the US. Under the SmartBuy program, Freddie will pay up to 3.5% of buyers' closing costs when they purchase a single-family home through HomeSteps. But buyers must submit an initial purchase offer by October 30 and close by December 31 to take advantage of the offer, according to a statement released Monday, weeks ahead of the assistance program's expiration date. As HousingWire previously reported when the program launched in July, the SmartBuy offer includes a two-year warranty on HomeSteps purchased properties. The warranty covers electrical, plumbing, air conditioning and heating systems, as well as ductwork and many major appliances such as water heaters, stoves, washer and dryers, dishwashers and refrigerators, Freddie Mac said. The warranty offer will continue after the closing cost promotion expires. However, the warranty and closing cost offers are not available on HomeSteps houses sold as investor properties, second homes, vacation homes or in auctions and bulk sales. Write to Austin Kilgore.