LAS VEGAS -- One of the biggest complaints homebuyers have had about the real estate market is they can't compete with investors who are buying up property with cash. But now, ordinary buyers have a chance to finally close the deal without the fear of investors beating them out.
It's a special program by Fannie Mae only being offered in 27 states, including Nevada. A homebuyer can get 3.5 percent off toward the closing costs and no investors are allowed to bid on the home.
Carly Smith, a first time buyer, has been house hunting.
"I had my eye on the market for the last year," she said.
"If I saw something I really liked, I was going to go for it," she said.
Homebuyers like Smith are looking at all their options for an affordable home. Now, for a limited time, they have another option. Fannie Mae is offering deals on its foreclosures.
"This is a great bonus for a buyer who's looking for a property because they're basically giving away free money," said Nick Nolf, a broker/salesman with the Nolf Group.
Interested homebuyers can go to Fannie Mae's HomePath.com and search for Las Vegas properties. If a property is in the program, it will have a yellow logo showing that up to 3.5 percent closing cost assistance is available. During a special 20-day period, people who are buying a house in can submit offers. Investors are not allowed to submit a bid until after the time period has passed.
"Because what happens a lot of times, we've seen in the past, we have investors that come in and overpay. Let's say the property is listed at $150,000. They'll pay $10,000 or $20,000 more for the property, and they'll pay cash," said Noah Herrera, president-elect of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.
The initial offer on a Fannie Mae foreclosure has to be submitted by March 31. Closing must take place on or before May 31. Fannie Mae says the incentive will offer qualified buyers up to 3.5 percent of the final sales price to pay closing costs.
"The 3.5 percent could go toward your closing costs, you can buy down your interest rate, your prepaid taxes, all sorts of things like that," Herrera said.
Smith had already found her new home before the Fannie Mae special and she was surprised the experience wasn't a headache.
"I really have ran into no difficulties. So I feel very fortunate," she said.