Expiring Home Buyer Tax Credit

I appeared on Good Day Philadelphia this morning to inform people who are considering purchasing a home to make a move in light of the pending expiration of the Home Buyer Tax Credit.   In order for qualified first time home buyers to take advantage of an $8,000 tax credit and qualified repeat home buyers to take advantage of a $6500 tax credit, an agreement to purchase a home must be reached before April 30 and the transaction must be closed by June 30.  It’s rare for the federal government to give away money to everyday people, but that is the case with this tax credit, so take advantage of it.  Learn more about the eligibility requirements for the home buyer tax credit by visiting www.realtor.org or give me, Peter Bishop, a call at...

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Increasing The Odds Of Selling Your Home Quickly

The current real estate market dictates that sellers do all they can to make their properties as attractive as possible to potential buyers.  Long gone are the days when homes’ minor imperfections were overlooked by buyers anxious to have an offer accepted before a bidding war ensued.  Today’s buyers have regained the discerning character that defined their existence prior to the housing boom.  All is not lost for sellers, however.  There are a number of minor, yet effective steps they can take to make their homes more appealing to home shopper in the current environment. 1.  Improve first impressions. Spruce up the areas that buyers see first by touching up the paint on the front door and attending to the landscaping and/or flower boxes.  Ensure that the house has a pleasant aroma by airing it out in advance of showings or, better yet, baking some cookies. 2. De-Personalize.  Put away your wedding photos, religious items, the kids’ school pictures, and your collection of refrigerator art.  Buyers have difficulty seeing past personal artifacts, and you don’t want them to be distracted. You want buyers to imagine their own personal effects decorating the house.  3. De-Clutter.  Again, you want to let buyers’ imaginations take hold. They will have difficulty doing that if there is too much clutter.  A good rule of thumb is if you haven’t used it in over a year, you probably don’t need it anyway, so donate it or throw it away. 4. Rearrange Bedroom Closets and Kitchen Cabinets.   Buyers are notorious snoopers and they enjoy opening closet and cabinet doors. They can be put off if items fall from the shelves when they open a door to peer inside.  When a buyer sees everything organized, she is more likely to believe you take good care of the rest of the house as well. 5.  Make minor repairs. Make the effort to repair small problems that may have a negative impact upon presentation such as leaking faucets and burned out light bulbs. 6. Address big...

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Independent Custom Realty Bucks Industry Standards

Independence Custom Realty LLP (ICR) has launched a new kind of real estate agency in Philadelphia with customized sales programs and incentives designed to save home buyers and sellers thousands of dollars.  Dedicated to bringing clarity and accountability to the real estate industry, ICR caps its commission at 4.25 percent and offers a minimum $2,000 incentive to buyers to defray closing costs. ICR owner Peter Bishop is enthusiastic about this new, more equitable approach to buying and selling real estate.  “We are packaging two much needed trends in real estate, accountability and incentives, and putting them into practice as the rule not the exception,” Bishop said. For today’s informed and resourceful buyers, ICR offers an unequalled incentive program that rewards them with at least $2,000 at closing, with the incentive increasing as their involvement in the search process increases. “This is the direction we see the industry moving – and we want to be at the forefront of the movement,” Bishop said.  Sellers, too, benefit from ICR’s approach by paying a customized fee reflective of the actual expense (required to sell their homes. “Sellers won’t have to pay hefty commissions for services they may not need or, in some cases, may never receive.” Throughout the U.S., real estate commissions are negotiable. In at least 40 states, Pa., included, rebates are permissible by law.  Six percent has been the prevailing commission that agents seek from clients to sell their homes, with buyers’ agents receiving 3 percent and listing agents retaining 3 percent.  As a more challenging real estate market has emerged, agents have shown a willingness to charge less than six percent. ICR’s selling clients pay a maximum fee of 4.25 percent for ICR’s full service representation, but pay less when the time and expenses necessary to sell their homes are more modest.  Bishop describes ICR customers as market-savvy, motivated consumers who understand that they can save or gain thousands of dollars by using ICR rather than a “big box” firm without...

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