The $8,000 Real Estate Home Buyer Tax Credit

A basic summary of the real estate home buyer tax credit for real estate agents and home buyers.

Are your clients first time home buyers? If so, make sure they aware of the $8,000 First Time Buyer Home Tax Credit, which was put in to effect by President Obama as part of the Economic Stimulus Package.

Key Points of the $8000 First Time Buyer Home Tax Credit:

  • - You must buy the home before Dec. 1, 2009.

  • - You have to have closed escrow sometime in 2009 (sorry 2008 buyers!).

  • - You can claim the credit on your '08 or '09 tax return.

  • - You have to keep the home as your main home for 3 years after you buy it.

  • - It's not a flat $8,000, it's actually 10% of the purchase price up to $8,000.

  • - The credit begins to phase out if your adjusted gross income is above $75,000 ($150k if you're married filing jointly)

  • - "First time homebuyers" are defined as anyone who hasn't owned a principal residence in the past three years.

  • You can learn more about it by visiting the IRS Section: $8000 First Time Buyer Tax Credit

  • As with all things tax related, its strongly advised that you steer your clients towards a qualified accountant to see how the tax credit affects their specific financial situation. Used correctly, the tax credit makes a great starting point for those buyers on the fence because of the current market. It's also a great way to differentiate yourself from other agents who may be unfamiliar with the credit.

    Why not mention it in your listing marketing material too, or even include it on your single property websites? Many buyers are still unaware of the tax credit, and it may be the push they need to call you about your listing!

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