Fannie Mae will pay buyer’s agents a $1,500 bonus when they bring clients who close on the purchase one of the company’s real estate owned (also known as bank-owned or REO) properties as their primary residence by Dec. 31.

Homebuyers who will be owner-occupants of HomePath properties can also receive up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price that can be used toward closing-cost assistance.

Fannie Mae pays listing agents representing its REO properties a standard commission of 2.5 percent, with a guaranteed minimum of $1,000. Buyer’s agents are paid commissions equal to 3 percent of the sales price.

"We want real estate professionals to bring their buyers to our homes," said Jane Severn, director of new business initiatives for Fannie Mae. 

Sales to owner-occupants can have a stabilizing effect on home prices and communities, Severn said. The $1,500 bonus applies only to offers submitted on or after Sept. 23, and sales must close within 60 days of the offer being accepted.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac offer owner-occupants a 15-day "First Look" window of opportunity to bid on REO properties before they are made available to investors.

Fannie Mae also offers special financing on HomePath properties, including 3 percent downpayment options for owner-residents, 10 percent downpayments for second-home buyers, and 15 percent downpayment plans for investors.

In its last quarterly report to investors, Fannie Mae said it acquired 130,767 properties through foreclosure in the first half of the year, up from 57,469 during the first half of 2009. The company sold 87,612 REO homes in the first half of 2010, leaving it with an REO inventory of 129,310 homes valued at $13 billion.

Listing brokers who wish to represent Fannie Mae properties can contact one of 16 asset management providers that handle HomePath properties, or apply to Fannie Mae to be a direct listing broker.

Severn advised brokers to do both. Many brokers, she said, work both directly with Fannie Mae and with its asset management providers.

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