I was chatting with another agent last week who had an idea that is so incredibly simple and relevant that I was simultaneously impressed and felt like a complete bone head for not thinking of it as well!! The first time buyer tax credit of $8,000 expires on November 30th of this year. Yes, people are pushing to get it extended, but there are several signs that the economy is picking up so anyone who counts on that may be left out in the cold come December 1. If a Buyer qualifies for the credit and is even remotely thinking about buying a place, then they should be looking NOW!
The $250,000 challenge is about the agent making a commitment to put $250,000 back into the community by helping first time home buyers purchase their first home and there by receive the tax credit which will be spent in the local economy. What a great focus and mission statement!
A couple of things to know about the tax credit that much of the public may not realize:
~ A first time home buyer is defined as anyone that has not owned a home in the last 2 years
~ You can not use the credit as a downpayment or closing costs, but you can file an amended 2008 tax return to get the money back more quickly.
~ There are income requirements such that if you make over $95,000 you do not qualify for the credit, however, since you are able to file an amended 2008 return if your income would have qualified in 2008 then you can still take advantage of the credit. Very cool!
It’s not to late to get the word out to people that you know. Send out a postcard THIS WEEK, announcing that you are taking part in the $250,000 challenge to help first time homebuyers purchase a home and there by put money back into the local economy through the tax credit. (If $250,000 seems like too much to you, than pick a number that you are comfortable with.)
The week after that send out another postcard directed at Sellers. If they are thinking about selling in the next few months NOW is the time to be on the market. September and October into the first week of November will be very busy in the Real Estate market as buyers jump off the fence to take advantage of the $8,000 tax credit. Think that your home is too expensive to be effected? There will be trickle up effect as the Sellers who sell to the first time homebuyers move up to a more expensive home and those sellers are able to move up as well.