The Clock is Ticking on that Home for Sale in Santa Cruz – Again

Posted by Lauren Spencer on Monday, February 1st, 2010 at 11:21am.

Once again, the clock is ticking for first-time home buyers to get a home for sale in Santa Cruz before the tax credit runs out. Extended in November, 2009, the first-time buyers’ tax credit is set to expire in April, 2010, and there are no plans for another extension.

What does this mean for you? If you’re a home seller, it’s time to look over your home for sale in Santa Cruz, make sure all your t’s are crossed, i’s are dotted and that you’ve done everything you can to put your home at the front of the buying line. If you’re a first-time or repeat buyer hoping to take advantage of the credit, it’s time to start looking for your new home; the binding sales contract has to be signed by April 30, 2010.

Making the Buying Process Easier

Many times, the buying process can take forever.  Red tape, failing negotiations and more has caused several possible sales to fall through. So, what can you do to make the buying process easier? Here are a few tips:

1. Find out if you qualify for the first-time or repeat buyer tax credit. The home buyer requirements are many.  If you can’t afford to buy a home without the tax credit, make sure you qualify.

2. Shop for lenders beforehand. Choosing a mortgage lender can be a lengthy process, so finding one you want to use before you start looking for a home will cut down on the time it takes to buy the house.

3. Get pre-approved. Getting pre-qualified is the first step in the loan process, but it’s based on an estimate, not verified facts. By getting pre-approved for a mortgage, you know exactly how much you qualify for, and how much house you can afford. Because this is a large part of the buying process, once you’re pre-approved, the lender can expedite the rest of the deal for a quicker closing.

4. Negotiate wisely. Remember that you’re on a time-line and try not to let negotiations with the seller turn into a contest of wills. Yes, negotiate, but make sure your counter-offer on the home is realistic.

Buying a great home for sale in Santa Cruz before the tax credit expires is definitely possible, even with only four months to go.  Following the tips outlined above can make the sale go as smoothly and quickly as possible.

Have questions about the home buyer tax credit?  I can help. Call me now at 831.662.6522 or email me at



Home buyer requirements

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage

Counter-offer on the home

About Lauren Spencer

Award-Winning Santa Cruz REALTOR®

Lauren Spencer is your local real estate expert, specializing in Santa Cruz real estate and surrounding communities—this is where she lives, works, and plays too. Let her know your questions about the community and county and she'll be happy to fill you in on all you want to know! Lauren Spencer has consistently been voted best local REALTOR in Santa Cruz and is always happy to offer her advice and expertise. Call her at: 800.226.4717.

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