Massachusetts in one of 27 states where home buyers who purchase certain properties can receive up to 3.5% of the final sales price in closing cost assistance from Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae.
The properties are foreclosures known as REOs, which is how lender-owned properties being offered for sale are known in the industry. The qualifying homes are identified by a “Firstlook” icon. While there are about 35 homes being offered for sale, there are only a few that currently qualify for this incentive program.
In Hampshire County, there are currently only 7 REO properties being offered for sale on Fannie Mae’s Homepath website―the website where Fannie Mae lists those homes for sale. Only two Hampshire County homes, in Amherst and in Ware, qualify for the incentive, but there are only 2 days and 1 day left, respectively, to take advantage of the program for those properties. None of the 5 Franklin County properties qualify for the incentive at this time. Among the approximately 25 REO properties currently being offered for sale in Hampden County, only 3 currently qualify for the program with between 9 and 18 days left to submit an offer.
While there isn’t that much of a selection of homes for which this program qualifies, home shoppers who wish to take advantage of the incentive should check the website regularly as new homes may come on the market. According to the Homepath’s website, the first look period is typically the first 15 days a Homepath REO home is listed.
In order to benefit from the program, the buyer must be an owner occupant or a public entity because the organization doesn’t want buyers competing with investors. Offers must be submitted between February 14, 2014 and March 31, 2014. The deal must close escrow by May 31, 2014.
“This incentive will provide more opportunities for families to find a property to call home,” Jay Ryan, Fannie Mae’s Vice President of REO Sales, said in a press release. “Our goal is to sell as many HomePath properties as possible to owner-occupants who will stabilize neighborhoods and help the housing recover.”
Although Fannie Mae touts the program as an opportunity for families and to stabilize neighborhoods, given the short window of opportunity to take advantage of program, it is more likely that it is just a tactic to sell their REO properties quickly like any other commercial incentive program. “Offer good for a limited time! Call now!”
If you are planning on buying or selling a home in the Pioneer Valley, make your first call to Michael Seward at 413-531-7129. Michael Seward is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Buyers Agent, a Certified Loss Mitigation Specialist, a Certified New Homes Specialist, and Green designee of the National Association of REALTORS®.