Fannie Mae is extending through October an offer to provide closing-cost assistance to buyers of homes it’s repossessed, and will also match a $1,200 bonus that rival Freddie Mac is currently paying agents who bring buyers to transactions that help reduce its real estate owned (REO) inventory.

Buyers who submit an initial offer on a Fannie Mae HomePath property on or after June 14 and close by Oct. 31 can receive closing-cost assistance equal to up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price. So on the purchase of a home priced at $150,000, HomePath will pay up to $5,250 toward closing costs.

Agents representing buyers of those properties are also eligible for a $1,200 incentive payment, but only if they request the bonus when submitting their client’s initial offer.

Buyers must be purchasing a HomePath property to use as their primary residence to receive closing-cost assistance — second homes and investment properties are excluded.

Fannie Mae had previously offered closing-cost assistance to buyers who put in initial offers on or after April 11 and closed by June 30, and said offers submitted before May 15 would have the best chance of qualifying. Fannie Mae was offering a $1,000 bonus to buyers’ agents whose clients submitted offers during that time frame, but only in California and Washington.

Last month, Freddie Mac said it would offer $1,200 bonuses to buyer’s agents and up to 3.5 percent in closing-cost assistance on sales of HomeSteps REO properties where offers were received by July 31 and escrow closed on or before Sept. 30.

In its last quarterly report, Fannie Mae said it had 153,224 homes in its HomePath REO inventory at the end of March, a 39 percent increase from a year ago, despite boosting REO sales by 65 percent, to 62,814.

Freddie Mac reported 65,159 single-family homes in its HomeSteps REO inventory at the end of March, up 21 percent from the same time a year ago. REO sales during the first three months of 2011 were up 44 percent from a year ago, to 31,628.

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