google map to real pro systemsFannie Mae-owned foreclosed properties are currently available for purchase to owner-occupied buyers before investors have an opportunity to buy them.  Fannie Mae calls this program First Look and has offered this incentive for a little more than a year, and recently revamped the program to include some HUD homes. In the Greenville, NC-Pitt County area, the First Look time period is typically the first 15 days the property is initially on the market.  Fannie Mae has made it easy to see what day of First Look the listing is on by visiting www.HomePath.com.

Home owners who plan to occupy a purchased home can put a property under contract during the first 15 days of the listings life. While investors, who typically buy about 70% of all foreclosures, have to wait until the First Look period is over with; ie: day 16.  Fannie Mae says, "While investors play an important role in the REO market, home buyers who intend to occupy a home make an immediate and lasting commitment to the community and therefore merit priority consideration in the REO sales process."  This program is making some inventory sit on the market longer than you would expect; even up to 90 days before investors can make an offer.

The truth of the matter is that most foreclosure and bank owned properties are in unlivable or undesirable conditions and are generally not the type of homes owner-occupants purchase. Buyers typically do not want a lot of clean-up and projects to work on when they first buy and move into a home.  Plus, many foreclosure homes will not qualify for conventional loans because of even small defects in the properties, such as a hole in a wall.  This means foreclosure homes cater to investors because investors more often have the resources to renovate these distressed properties.

From The Pistol Tingen Team’s experience Fannie Mae's First Look program does give more opportunity for home owners to have a leg up on investors.  On the other hand, quite often the program is letting the wrong person buy the house. Which has actually made more deals fall through, foreclosures stay on the market much longer and end up selling for less!

Foreclosures typically are not in the pristine condition that owner-occupant buyers are hoping for. Or buyers can't get a loan because of a defect in the home.  So, the owner-occupant buyer may by contract legally walk away from the deal during their inspection period. Thus the home goes back on the market, still belonging to Fannie Mae and the First Look period restarts at day 0.  In this example, 30+ days of marketing time have been used up, for no deal and to start all over again.  Our Team is seeing some single family Fannie Mae homes that fit this description go under contract 2-3 times before someone actually closes on the home. A lot of times it is an investor, who had realistic expectations to start with (that the home was in poor condition) that finally purchases the house.  Ironically the investor will buy the home for less because the listing is now “old” and due for price reductions. And all the while the investor could have purchased and closed within a fraction of time and would have probably paid more for the home.

In a perfect world it is nice that Fannie Mae is giving such opportunity to these owner-occupants.  But in the real world their program is clogging the market with aging, distressed properties while we are heading into the slowest marketing season of the year.

For more information about current real estate topics including foreclosures or for assistance searching for real estate located in the Pitt County/Greenville, NC area, please contact The Pistol Tingen Team at (252) 321-6161.

Resource: FannieMae.com