In a widely circulated statement, the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) promised to push hard during the coming weeks to assure that the first-time home buyer tax credit is extended beyond its current December 1 expiration. Under current law, home buyers will be eligible for the credit only if they are able to complete their purchase (i.e., go to closing) before December 1, 2009. This requirement intensifies pressure on purchasers and on Realtors and lenders as that deadline approaches. NAR is deeply concerned that prospective purchasers, even those with binding contracts, could be denied the credit through no fault of their own. Senior members of the tax-writing committees are aware of these concerns, and have noted the dangers of delay.
Informal NAR surveys suggest that, depending on the market, transactions are taking anywhere from30 to 100 days to get to closing; short sales take even longer. Accordingly, NAR has begun an intense campaign that will have major grassroots components to secure an extension of the credit as soon as possible to avert a slowdown in the market.