My Rant to Congress about the Homebuyer Tax Credit

My Rant to Congress about the Homebuyer Tax Credit

Dear Congress,

I’m asking you to please consider extending the homebuyer
tax credit for pending deals through September 30, 2010.

I cannot seem to get over the tax credit not being extended on all these pending deals! Getting some of these deals done is like struggling to climb a mountain. Or swim the ocean. Or capture the moon. For my clients to get this close to the finish line and NOT qualify for their credit—makes me sick to my stomach!

I have 5 deals that will die if this is not extended—by no fault of buyers, sellers or their agents. Banks taking two weeks to underwrite deals who keep asking for more and more documentation at the last hour are to blame. I’m talking about very good, qualified buyers with jobs, putting cash down with 700 plus credit scores—won’t meet the deadline and it’s the fault of the banks. I have 2 short sales that won’t make it either. The tax credit program will hurt the very people it was designed to help unless it’s extended. If my buyers don’t get the credit, they say they’re walking. I will have a conversation with them before they do that, but it was this very credit incentive that got them off the fence and drove them to call a Realtor like me in the first place. What a waste of all that time, energy and gasoline if we can’t get them to the finish line. All the hard work negotiating, re-writing contracts, meeting inspectors, coordinating repairs, setting up appraisals, following up with lenders, ordering moving trucks…. canceling moving trucks, re-writing the contract for underwriters for second and even a third time, rescheduling moving trucks… WAITING ON UNDERWRITERS….. Boop! Time’s up. And still no clear to close.

The failure of my 5 deals would normally affect other deals as well, but they’re all foreclosures and short sales further clogging the system. Those homes are vacant. The already repair-needed foreclosed homes will further decline in value the longer they sit empty–even after sellers (often banks) have put thousands of dollars in repairs so buyer’s loan requirements can be met–thereby getting the PENDING deal to close by June 30. Well it looks like *that* may have been a big waste of time and money, too. We’re at mile 26 in the marathon, but are getting shot in the foot with .2 miles to go? Now THAT’s a BRILLIANT plan to get the economy on back on its feet.

It’s clear there was no foresight in estimating how long it would take some of these messy, complicated deals to close, not to mention a simple backlog of thousands of loans being made by a banking industry whom is a little difficult to trust right now.

My point is… Can we please just finish what we’ve started?

I‘m pleading with you and your colleagues to consider a limited extension of the homebuyer tax credit for pending transactions until September 30.

Please and thank you.

Jody Zink, CRS Realtor
RE/MAX Preferred Associates
Licensed in Ohio and Michigan