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HomeSteps®

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Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is HomeSteps®?
  2. What is HomeSteps connection to Freddie Mac?
  3. What is an REO/bank-owned home?
  4. How can I find a list of HomeSteps homes?
  5. Who can I contact for more information about a HomeSteps home?
  6. How do I buy HomeSteps home?
  7. What is the advantage or benefit of buying a HomeSteps home?
  8. Can I negotiate pricing on a HomeSteps home?
  9. How long does it take for HomeSteps to respond to an offer once it has been submitted?
  10. Can I purchase a home directly from HomeSteps/Freddie Mac?
  11. Does HomeSteps offer financing?
  12. Are buyers required to use HomeSteps Financing when purchasing a HomeSteps home in one of the available states?
  13. What is the First Look® Initiative?
  14. Can investors purchase HomeSteps homes?
  15. How many HomeSteps homes are on the market?
  16. Can I rent a HomeSteps home?

  1. What is HomeSteps®?
    HomeSteps® is the Freddie Mac sales unit responsible for marketing and selling Freddie Mac real estate owned (REO) homes to homebuyers and investors. HomeSteps manages every stage of the REO process, from handling title issues after foreclosure to working with local listing agents to facilitate a sale. HomeSteps is one of the largest REO sellers in the United States.
  2. What is HomeSteps connection to Freddie Mac?
    HomeSteps is the real estate unit of Freddie Mac. HomeSteps is responsible for marketing and selling homes that Freddie Mac receives after the homes have gone through the foreclosure process or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure.
  3. What is an REO/bank-owned home?
    An REO or bank-owned home is a home that has gone through the foreclosure process or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure and is owned by a bank or other institution. Learn more.
  4. How can I find a list of HomeSteps homes?
    HomeSteps has a wide selection of single-family homes, townhomes and condominiums that are located throughout the country. Visit www.HomeSteps.com to search our listings for available HomeSteps homes in your target neighborhood.
  5. Who can I contact for more information about a HomeSteps home?
    You can either contact the listing agent identified on the property listing directly, or if you are working with a licensed real estate agent, they can help you get more information and arrange to see the home.   
  6. How do I buy HomeSteps home?
    The process for buying a HomeSteps home and submitting an offer is similar to the process for buying just about any home listed on the market. 
    • If you are working with a real estate agent, they will contact the HomeSteps listing agent to begin the purchase process. If you do not have a real estate agent, you can call the listing agent noted on the property listing directly. The listing agent will walk you through the purchase process and answer any of your questions, or will refer you to an agent that represents buyers.
    • When you submit your offer, it is important that you provide all of the required items, including:
      • Sales contract
      • Pre-approval letter from a mortgage lender
      • Proof of funds for cash transactions
      • Earnest money check (must be in certified funds at contract execution)
      • Necessary HomeSteps contract addenda (ask your agent for information about HomeSteps-specific contract addenda)
    On average, complete offers are accepted or countered within four to five days.
  7. What is the advantage or benefit of buying a HomeSteps home?
    HomeSteps Good Neighbor Practices are designed to support and protect neighborhood values by showing clean and maintained homes, and selling the homes at market prices. Once HomeSteps acquires a home, it undergoes the following: the home is secured, the trash is removed from the interior/exterior, the lawn is properly maintained and is followed up by weekly maintenance, and exterior and interior cleaning is initiated.

The following are additional benefits of buying a HomeSteps home:

  • Selection – We have a wide selection of homes in almost every style located throughout the country.
  • Condition – Many of our homes have been repaired, including new flooring, appliances or fresh paint. The listing agent will be able to tell you about any planned repairs on the property.
  • Financing – Many HomeSteps homes are eligible for HomeSteps Financing. Advantages include no mortgage insurance, no appraisal, and as little as 5 percent downpayment. The HomeSteps listing agent will be able to tell you about any special financing.
  • Homebuyer Incentives – HomeSteps offers an allowance up to $500 to homebuyers towards the purchase of a home warranty of their choice. Certain restrictions, limitations, terms and conditions apply.
  1. Can I negotiate pricing on a HomeSteps home?
    You can negotiate, however it is important to know that most of our homes sell very close to full estimated market value – an average of 95 percent last year. Offers from multiple bidders are common. Your real estate professional can work with you to determine a price that you believe is fair. Generally, the most successful offer is one that aligns with comparable values in the surrounding neighborhood.
  2. How long does it take for HomeSteps to respond to an offer once it has been submitted?
    On average, complete offers are accepted or countered within four to five days, but if your offer is complete and clean, with few contingencies, it could take less time. 
  3. Can I purchase a home directly from HomeSteps/Freddie Mac?
    HomeSteps uses the services of real estate agents to sell Freddie Mac's real-estate owned homes. If you are interested in purchasing a particular home, please contact the assigned listing agent for the home or work with your real estate agent to facilitate the transaction.
  4. Does HomeSteps offer financing?
    Yes. HomeSteps Financing is currently available in 10 states to qualified buyers, including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. We will be expanding the program throughout 2013. To stay informed of new states and participating lenders as we expand coverage, visit HomeSteps.com or follow us on Facebook .
    Some of the advantages of HomeSteps Financing include no mortgage insurance, no appraisal, and low down payment options. Like all home financing, there are many factors to consider when deciding which kind of loan may be right for you. Please speak with a qualified HomeSteps Financing participating lender or a lender or your choice when making that decision.
  5. Are buyers required to use HomeSteps Financing when purchasing a HomeSteps home in one of the available states?
    No. Buyers are not required to use HomeSteps Financing.
  6. What is the First Look® Initiative?
    The Freddie Mac First Look Initiative is an ongoing initiative which offers owner-occupant homebuyers and select nonprofits engaged in community stabilization efforts the ability to purchase HomeSteps homes during their initial 20 days of listing (30 days in Nevada) without competition from investors. All eligible First Look homes are clearly marked with the First Look icon on HomeSteps.com.
  7. Can investors purchase HomeSteps homes?
    Yes. However, investors are not able to purchase HomeSteps homes during the first 20 days (30 days in Nevada) they are listed on the market. This is to give owner-occupant homebuyers a fair opportunity to purchase our homes.
  8. How many HomeSteps homes are on the market?
    HomeSteps generally has about 12,000 homes for sale at any given time. Our inventory of homes fluctuates with the market and new homes are added every day. Make you sure you check Homesteps.com frequently to see the newest available homes.
  9. Can I rent a HomeSteps home?
    No. HomeSteps homes are not available for rent.

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