Finally, finally our voices have been heard. Thank you to each and every one of you who has supported the extension and expansion of the first time home buyer tax credit.
Our voices have been heard and today we can celebrate what will prove to be a very historic time in real estate and a very important move forward for real estate.
Yesterday afternoon Senate unanimously voted 98-0 to extend the first time home buyer tax credit. It passed overwhelmingly in the House today 403-12, and the White House reports President Obama will sign the bill on Friday. Not only was the first time home buyer tax credit extended, a NEW $6,500 tax credit for existing homeowners who have lived in their homes for at least five of the last eight years was added to the bill.
Senator Johnny Isakson (a co-sponsor of the measure) said “this bill will help us boost what is the REAL problem in the U.S housing market today and that is what is called the move-up market.” Johnny hit the nail right on the head. The move-up market has been stalled and even though the first time home buyer market was helped along with the initial tax credit it was not enough to move the “middle” market. This “middle” market desperately needed a jump start. And, we got it today.
These tax credits will be available through June 30th of 2010; however, buyers who qualify for either of these credits MUST enter a binding contract before April 30, 2010. The bill also increases the income cap to $125,000 for a single person and $250,000 for a couple. And the credit is available for all homes purchased for $800,000 or less. This is ideal, as it will break up the middle part of the market that is currently stalled.
Today is a VERY, VERY happy day for the real estate industry because this new and SUPER IMPROVED tax credit bill WILL boost the market. Get ready agents – the buyers are coming!!!!
To make things even sweeter, the bill also provides the jobless with up to 20 weeks in additional unemployment benefits. Thank goodness for the help, since the construction industry was hit very hard by this economic downturn. Thanks really need to go to people like Judy Conti of the National Employment Law Project who blasted Senate and said it was “shameful” that the Senate procrastinated on the unemployment extension issue. Conti said “this bill would provide a lifeline for those who are desperate, who are unemployed for no fault of their own”. With a current unemployment rate of 9.8% this extension comes at the perfect time.
And it gets even better!!! The 24 billion dollar bill will also provide help to struggling businesses that had losses in 2008 and 2009. They would now be able to seek refunds for taxes paid on profits over the past 5 years.
So is it official yet? Almost – we are in the home stretch. The bill is expected to be sent to President Barack Obama for his signature on Friday, November 6th.
I am excited for another reason – our 2010 EVOLVE group is almost completely sold out. I am absolutely thrilled with the agents who have made the commitment to improve their business next year. We have already started custom branding process for these agents. They are going to begin their 2010 with a whole new “brand” and set of customized tools to help them stand apart in this business. I cannot wait to sit down with this group of agents in January, give them more tools, improve their business systems, and help them develop strategies that will bring them increased business for years to come.
How about you? Are you ready to greet this reenergized real estate market with tools, energy, and enthusiasm? When the move-up buyers begin to poke their heads up next week after this bill passes, do you have the tools and research to wow them? Do you have a stack of Buyer Packages that clearly delineate what makes you a stand out agent? Do you have your Buyer Intake packages ready to go? Are you ready to wow buyers on tour? Are you ready with a pending-to-closing system and post-closing follow-up?
Are you ready to go talk to each one of your sellers (or would-be sellers) with information on how this new bill affects them and what they need to do RIGHT NOW to take advantage of it?
You need to be ready because the winter and spring of 2010 is going to be UN-BE-LIEVABLE!
NOW is the time, agents. Now is the time to get serious about your business. We need to STOP hiding out at home. We need to stop blaming the market for our woes. We need to brush off our contracts and head into the office.
If you have been thinking of joining a coaching program to get your “mojo” back, you have to call me or email me NOW. We are providing our 2010 EVOLVE agents with tools and systems to help them take advantage of this exciting time, and I don’t want you to miss out. If the financial obligation of EVOLVE is holding you back, then you have to contact me – because I have some predictions for next year that will knock your socks off.
Don’t wait! Give me a call at 360-527-8904 – or email me directly at [email protected].
By Denise Lones CSP, M.I.R.M., CDEI