Too late to get the first time buyer credit?

This week our listings saw an average of 1.5 showings each as the race is on to get closed before the first time buyer tax credit expires.   The showing averages are somewhat skewed as the lower priced listings are getting a larger share of the showings in the past week.

First time buyers have until November 30 to close on their home in order to qualify for the $8000 tax credit.   But remember that most loans take 30 to 45 days to close.   Considering that the last week of November is a holiday (Thanksgiving), it may already be too late to take advantage.   For procrastinators, it will take a very quick lender, a cash sale, and/or a very cooperative seller to make it happen.

Apparently, Congress has been discussing the idea of extending this tax credit into 2010.   On many of the major news channels, you may have heard some debates over  a second “stimulus package”.   Those words have begun to take on a negative connotation and are controversial.   But consider that the extension of the first time buyer tax credit  is likely to  be part of such a package.

From my standpoint as a Realtor, I’m absolutely certain that the first time buyer tax credit portion of the first stimulus has made a positive  impact on the real estate recovery.   I would like to see that credit extended into 2010.   As first time buyers continue to help the lower priced real estate to sell, the sellers of those properties will eventually move up.   Therefore the first time buyer  sales will eventually help the higher priced homes to sell, which is the hardest hit sector in Charlotte right now.   If the credit expires in November and is not extended, the positive impacts we’ve seen in the past few months may begin to stall.

Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, Lawrence Yun,  provided additional thoughts on this topic earlier in the week.   If you agree that the credit should be extended, spread the word and consider sending a message to your Congressmen.

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