Industry NewsMortgage

FHA concessions on seller concessions?

3 percent ceiling is likely 'off the table'

There's some good news brewing at the U.S. Housing and Urban Development Department that could save thousands of home sales in the months ahead. The final details aren't fully nailed down and a formal announcement is still more than a month away, but I can tell you about a broad outline taking shape that isn't likely to change.

It's all about seller concessions.

Last year the Federal Housing Administration announced that it intends to slash maximum seller contributions from 6 percent to 3 percent for purchasers using FHA-insured mortgages. Seller concessions or contributions are essential lubricants that make large numbers of FHA-financed home sales flow smoothly to closing. They make otherwise unaffordable deals doable.

Say you're negotiating on a house and the seller absolutely insists on getting a price of $150,000. Perhaps the buyer has struggled to come up with down-payment money and won't have the additional cash resources to pay ...