FM Commentary

FM Commentary

First Look™ Contributes to Neighborhood Stabilization by Encouraging Homeownership

P.J. McCarthy, Director, REO, Alternative Dispositions

In keeping with our mission to support homeownership, Fannie Mae is doing all we can to help people stay in their homes during this housing crisis. Yet sometimes foreclosure is unavoidable. In these cases, we work to minimize the impact on communities and help stabilize neighborhood prices.

The best solution is one that puts a homeowner in the home as soon as possible. Foreclosed homes, especially those repaired and maintained by Fannie Mae, can offer a great opportunity for those who want to take advantage of today’s attractive mortgage rates.

When buyers purchase a Fannie Mae HomePath® home to live in, they bring an empty house back to life. Fannie Mae provides detailed information about all of our properties on, a comprehensive free listing of foreclosed properties. Listings direct buyers to the real estate agent who represents the home and can provide information on buyer financing options. This helps to preserve home values in the neighborhood and stabilize the surrounding community. That’s why we created First Look™ – to give priority consideration to such buyers in our sales process. We offer them the opportunity to make an offer during the initial listing period without competition from investors.

The First Look period is typically the first 15 days a property is listed on During those first 15 days, we only accept offers from owner-occupants or community based organizations using public funds to stabilize neighborhoods.

Eligible homes are clearly identified with the First Look logo and a countdown that displays the number of days remaining for owner-occupants and public entities to submit offers. If Fannie Mae does not receive an acceptable offer during the First Look period, we consider offers from investors, who also play an important role as the housing market works through excess inventory.

First Look has proven to be such a success that it has been replicated by others in the industry. Since we launched the program in August 2009, Fannie Mae has sold an average of nearly 2,800 First Look homes per month. For tens of thousands of First Look buyers, a foreclosed property has become a family home.

P.J. McCarthy
Director, REO Alternative Dispositions

November 10, 2011

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