The government’s first-time homebuyer tax credit is set to expire on December 1, 2009. That gives buyers a little over 3 months to:
- qualify for a mortgage
- find their home
- negotiate a contract
- have inspections done
- get an appraisal
- get a financing commitment
- and close on the house by November 30.
Any one of the bullet points above can derail your closing and put you back at the starting gate. So, how do you maximize the time that is left? If you are a buyer, make sure you are qualified for a mortgage before you start looking at houses. If you are a seller, make sure you take advantage of this time by pricing your home appropriately for sale. In this market, pricing is everything. Buyers know that prices have come down significantly and aren’t going to over-pay for a house. They may be willing to pay a little more than market if your home is in superb condition compared to comparable closed sales in your neighborhood, but you will still need your home to appraise.