Fannie Mae, the largest provider of residential home funding in the United States, announced Friday that it would pay the closing costs on purchases of foreclosed homes in its inventory.

The government-controlled company said buyers of qualified properties will get up to 3.5 percent in closing costs, or an equivalent amount for the purchase of new appliances.

The goal of Fannie is to clear out the nearly 50,000 properties it has in inventory— listed on, the Web site created by Fannie Mae last year to sell the growing number of foreclosed homes.

“Attracting qualified buyers to the market and reducing inventory of vacant homes is critical to stabilizing neighborhoods and helping the market recover,” said Terry Edwards, executive vice president for credit portfolio management, in a statement.

Source: Reuters News, Al Yoon (01/28//2010