Tax credit deadline keeps tri-state realtors busy - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Tax credit deadline keeps tri-state realtors busy

By Kimberly Holmes – bio | email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - The federal homebuyer tax credit expires on Friday, and Tri-State realtors say local buyers are in a mad scramble to take advantage of the credit.

Realtor Reg Goolsby said in the last month, his phone has been ringing non-stop because of it.

"The house that we're standing in front of, I've had it listed for probably eight months," Goolsby said. "And all of a sudden we get an offer."

Goolsby said this has been his best month for business in 10 years. He said this week, he's sold seven houses; he said he's sold 12 houses total this month.

"I sold a house in Blue Ash in less than a week," Goolsby said. "I sold a house yesterday in Price Hill on Clearview. A listing just this afternoon on Felicity."

Goolsby said the credit is $8,000 for first time home buyers.

"I just started working with buyers on Monday and I'm leaving here after this interview to get final signatures on another property here in Westwood," he said.

Goolsby said typically, 10 to 15 people show up to an open house, but he said on Sunday, 100 people showed up to check out one of his open houses in Westwood. And several local realtors we spoke with said they're experiencing the same spike in interest.

Gene Snavley is the Executive Vice-President of the Cincinnati Area Board of Realtors. He said many buyers are interested now because the credit will not be extended. The first homebuyer tax credit expired in November.

"According to our sources, it will not be extended again," Snavley said. "They did extend it once. This is it."

Snavley said the $8,000 credit is the maximum amount allowed for buyers.

The credit is equal to 10-percent of a home price.

The house can't cost more than $800,000.

Buyers can't make more than $125,000, if they're single. Couples' incomes must not total more than $225,000.

First-time home buyers include those who have not owned a home in the past three years.

"It's not just make the offer by tomorrow," Snavley said. "They must make the offer and the seller must accept it. In other words is must be a final binding contract by tomorrow in order for the buyer to qualify for the tax credit."

Goolsby said he believes that won't be a problem for many buyers.

"I can guarantee you that between now and tomorrow night at midnight I will sell another three homes," Goolsby said. "Seriously. It's that crazy right now."

There's also a $6,500 tax credit for people who have owned a home at least five years. That credit also expires on Friday.

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