Category Archives: Sellers

Tax Credit Extension Signed into Law by President

Great News! It is official. The President has sign the homebuyer tax credit extension to law. Activity has already picked up in the area this week.

“Obama Signs Extended Tax Credit into Law”-Â Expected to contribute approximately $22 billion to the economy, Congress overwhelmingly passed a bipartisan measure this week extending the $8,000 home buyer tax credit to April 30, 2010″. . . . .

More people are now eligible to take advantage of the law, which includes a $6,500 tax credit for buyers who are current home owners and have lived in their home for five of the past eight years.”Â

“Which Properties Are Eligible? Â – The 2009 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit may be applied to primary residences, including: single-family homes, condos, townhomes, and co-ops.

How Much Will the Credit Be?  – The maximum allowable credit for home buyers is $8,000. Each home buyer’s tax credit is determined by two factors:

1) The price of the home—the credit is equal to 10% of the purchase price of the home, up to $8,000.

2) The buyer’s income—single buyers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000—may receive the maximum tax credit.” – Quoted from Realtor.org

Additional details on the tax credit

Here is a helpful chart on the new home buyer tax credit changes. You will be able to compare the first home buyer tax credit plan that expires November 30, 2009 and the new plan that starts December 1, 2009. Chart supplied by the NAR (National Association of Realtors)

Additional info from CNN.com

“The bill also made more homeowners eligible to claim the credit on their taxes. First-time buyers — those who have not owned a home in the past three years — still qualify for an $8,000 rebate. But now people who want to trade up can also qualify. Those who have owned and occupied a residence for at least five years out of the past eight can claim a $6,500 tax credit if they close on a purchase by the end of June.

“The new version of the tax credit has the potential to stimulate the housing market even more than the old version due to the fact that more people will qualify under the new rules,” said Gibran Nicholas, chairman of the CMPS Institute, an organization that certifies mortgage bankers and brokers.  “

Senate Democrats Agreed to Extend First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

Great News! Senate Democrats Agreed to to Extend First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit. If you have paused your home search, get ready to go back out and look. The monetary cap is not as high but still very much worth the deal. For you home buyers who are ready to upgrade to your second home, now is the time because the buyers are going to still be enticed. Make sure you have your house priced right. There are still some great buys for “step up” buyers so have fun shopping.

“Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) says Senate Democrats have agreed to extend the first-time home buyer tax credit. The latest version extends the program to home sales signed — not closed — by April 30. Purchasers would have another 60 days to close the sale. The credit will also be expanded to include so-called step-up buyers who have lived in their current home for at least five years.

“The credit would be cut nearly 10 percent to a $7,290 cap. Income eligibility for first-time home buyers would stay the same, but it would rise for step-up buyers to $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for couples.”

Source: Bloomberg News, Dawn Kopecki and Ryan Donmoyer (10/27/2009)and Realtor.org

img_6135-450lPhoto Copyright 2007-2009, Amy S. Myers

Will The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Be Extended?

Many recent transactions and potential transactions that I have dealt with have been buyers who were enticed by the first time home buyer tax credit. Since you must close by November 30, 2009, the window is no longer open.  The market has changed this month. I believe buyers are holding out to make their next move.  It appears that the tax credit has done its job by pumping up the economy and reducing inventory. The National Association of Realtors is pushing for an extension of the tax credit.

Here is some information from the National Association of Realtors:

“The data on the present home buyer tax credit show that the credit has had its intended impact—sales have jumped in recent months to a projected 5.1 million for the year and housing inventory has been trimmed, thus stabilizing home prices noticeably,” Phipps said. He also pointed out that each home sale generates approximately $63,000 in additional economic activity, providing a tremendous economic boost to the national economy.”

Read more . . . .

Quoted from Realtor.org

Additional Tax Credit Info

Will The First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Be Extended?

Times are Historic to Buy a Home

Use Tax Credit Down Payment?

Homebuyer Tax Credit Window is Ticking Away

Record Lows for Mortgage Rates Still Exist

Homes are Being Swept Up Quickly

Home Buyers Don’t Miss the Opportunity For Your $8000

First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit to Rise?

More Tax Credit Info Surfacing

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Question

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Loans

Great News! Tax Credit Can Be Used for Down Payment

First-Time Homebuyer Federal Tax Credit Info

Home Staging Makes a Difference

Staging is a very import process in selling a home. Some are more talented than others and some have larger budgets than others. Recently, I sold a home that was staged very well by an investor. We were quite surprised at the closing when my buyers and I met the home owner. This young single woman in her mid to late 20’s was quite the investor with 300 rentals and close to 10 house flips in the process. One of her special talents was staging her properties. She has the man power to do the renovations and then she runs out and picks some a few pieces of furniture, throw rugs and some accents. She does such a great job with the cosmetic items, fresh paint, flooring and decor, it makes the place hard to resist. The staging really brings out the buyers emotions and draws them in. I must say it might make some people jealous being able to go out shopping each time she flips a house – which she pretty much does. She does not always use the furnishings over because most of the time the buyers ask her to include her furniture and accents with the sale of the house. It sounds like a win win situation for the buyer and the seller.

So sellers out there, are your walls and carpets dirty? I had a seller that was not able to see this even after potential buyers made comments. If you don’t have extra funds for special accents, at minimum make your home squeaky clean and clutter free. You need to be competitive in this buyers market.

Times are Historic to Buy a Home

It is a great time for people to get into the housing market as I have mentioned over the last few months.  There is still time to take advantage of the market conditions but don’t wait too long. Things will change.

Believe it or not but I have had different buyers bidding and buying properties less than $20K and some that do not need that much work. It is an amazing deal and some did not need always need a major overhaul. As the market begins turn turn around there are going to be less opportunities like this. The deals that are there will be more competitive. Some houses such as these can have mulitiple bids on them (as many as five or ten bidders or more). If you see a deal move fast and bid competitively whether for investment property or for owner occupied.

It appears that first time home buyers have really taken advantage of the tax credit.   “”First-time homebuyers, most between the ages of 25 and 45, accounted for about 45 percent of home sales from January through July 2009, according to the National Association of REALTORS®”.


“This is a historic time,” says George Jaramillo, a 35-year-old business analyst in Atlanta, who recently bought three homes, two of them foreclosures. “It’s a great opportunity to make some great gains in the future.” – Realtor.org, Associated Press

Curb Appeal for the Fall

“There is no better time than fall to get yards looking great, according to the “Yard Doctor” Trey Rogers, a professor of turfgrass management in the crop and soil sciences department at Michigan State University.”  –Quoted From: Realtor Magazine

Trey gives some great tips for home owners on how to get your yard ready for the next season.

1)Â Fertilize early in the Fall with a good combination of nitrogen and potassium combination fertilizer.
2) Thoroughly reseed and water the yard.
3) Cut the lawn on a regular basis with a height of 2 1/2 to 3 inches.
4) Get your leaves up quickly so your lawn can breath.
5) Spray weed killer on weeds to help prevent more weeds in the spring.
6) Decorate with the season. Place potted mums and pumpkins near the entrance to your home.

img_5724-450l

Photo copyright 2006, 2009 – Amy Myers

Owners Be At the Property for the Appraisal

When selling your home, it is not required that you be at the home for your buyer’s appraisal. When I sold my last home many years ago before I was an agent, I was there. I made sure the appraiser knew how much I paid for my home, and how much I put into it. I had a large list of all the upgrades and maintenance items that I had done and how much I paid for everything. I also made sure the appraiser knew all the features of the home. I had even prepared some home comparables from the neighborhood (even though I knew the appraiser had access to the data). I even had the house immaculate as if I was showing it to the buyer. I think everything helps.

Here is some additional helpful information:

“Tips for Getting a Good Appraisal

Appraisals can be tricky these days. Here’s some advice from Maureen Sweeney, a Chicago-area owner of an appraisal firm, on getting an accurate and fair appraisal.

* Both the real estate practitioner and the owner should be present for the appraisal and follow the appraiser around. Make sure he doesn’t miss anything important.
* Ask questions to determine if the appraiser has identified the correct neighborhood boundaries and if she’s comparing the home to similar properties.
* Bring a copy of a recent tax bill and a survey of the property, and give them to the appraiser.
* Provide a list of improvements to the home.
* Offer your professional opinion about what makes this property worth more than other properties in the area.”

Quoted from Realtor.org

Things of Times Gone By

It is fun to look at older homes and see all the character. Buyers enjoy seeing the original woodwork, pocket doors, stain glass windows, and more. It is truly a step back in time.  I am not talking about when bathrooms did not have toilets because they were in the basement or strange shower set ups. LOL

In some homes, I even see these little cut outs in the walls where a phone jack sits. Many times you see this feature in the front hall or living room of the home. I am sure kids today would think that is quite strange.

This time I found an older quaint home with a refrigerator of times gone buy. I don’t really know antiques very well but this refrigerator was from maybe the thrities for forties – I am guessing. I thought it was so funny to see it on and ready for food. Strange thing too, I dont think it was in inclusion. But I started snapping some cell phone photos so I could share it here on my blog. Amazing, I never exepected to see one of these in a home up and running.

photo-frige-2-ed-450l

photo-frige-3-ed-450l

What Does Not Attract Buyers?

I have been extremely busy with buyers. Buyers are getting ready to purchase something knowing that they only have a limited time to take advantage of the tax credit opportunity. Due to this activity, I, of course, get to see a ton of homes – more than the norm. The more homes you see the more strange and interesting things you see as well as some really beautiful homes.

Well, yesterday, I showed a very nice two story colonial. An older couple owns it. Every inch of it is cared for. It is immaculate and for the most part move-in ready. My buyers loved this home looked on the outside. Then walking in we discovered (but we kind of new from the photos) . . . . there was wall paper everywhere. Eeeek . . . My buyers said “forget it”, even though it was a wonderful home. They were disappointed because they would have to tear off all the wall paper. Most of the wall paper was very nice. This kind of decor is very personal and makes it very hard to sell because there is a great cost in changing it all. So, even though it was move in condition, it really was not due to strong personal decorating. I told the listing agent about this and she said the owners would be willing to negotiate having all the wall paper removed by a contractor. My buyers were not the ones to say the wall paper was an issue.

Wow, so wall paper can kill the deal. Sellers keep in mind when investing in your home with decorating. Choose something that is appealing to the masses but tastefully done. Keep in mind neutral, neutral, neutral. This consideration will save you headaches when you go to sell. Do you really want a contractor to have to come in and strip all the walls in your home just to get it to sell or yet alone have to do it yourself? The buyers will turn away because it just looks like too much work to make it their home.

Obscure Bathroom

I must say I see some strange things when I show homes. Take a look at this shower from a Penn Hills, PA home that I showed recently.  Many times you can see where flippers just did not go the whole way to make it nice – some do and some don’t. I really laughed when I saw this bathroom shower. The owners appear to have added a tub surround but left the shower nozzle on the ceiling. Well, or maybe, they put it there on purpose.  Very unique and somewhat bizzare if you ask me – not a selling point.   Check out another interesting bathroom and the photo to go with it.

0530091536-450l