Guess Which Day Not to Close??

How much of the strength in the lower end of the housing market is due to the $8,000 tax credit being dangled by the government? The credit, available to first-time home buyers, expires Nov. 30.

We’ll see in the next 30-60 days.

That’s because anyone who wants to close by Nov. 30 had better get going now.

Tick . . Tick . . Tick

Assuming 45-60 days to close, and another 45-60 days to identify a home and negotiate a deal — you needed to start looking . . . yesterday (actually, 3 days ago, or Aug. 15).

Given the seasonality in the Twin Cities market, you’d expect a drop-off in activity as the holidays approach.

However, my guess is there will be a spike mid-Fall, with Dec. and January even slacker than usual.

Manhattan vs. Minneapolis

You’d further guess that there are regional differences in the influence and timing of the $8,000 credit.

For example, it’s hard to believe that a measly $8,000 tax credit is going to spur much buying in Manhattan, where the average, two-bedroom apartment still fetches something like $750k.

Another difference: punctual Midwesterners don’t wait for the last minute to do things, so perhaps the spike is earlier here. In fact, judging by all the bidding wars for foreclosures, it may have already happened . . .

P.S.: And no, there are no “doctor’s notes” or other sanctioned excuses. If your Nov. 30 closing (or 27th — the 28th and 29th are weekend days) has an unexpected glitch . . . you’re out of luck.

About the author

Ross Kaplan has 19+ years experience selling real estate all over the Twin Cities. He is also a 12-time consecutive "Super Real Estate Agent," as determined by Mpls. - St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business Magazine. Prior to becoming a Realtor, Ross was an attorney (corporate law), CPA, and entrepreneur. He holds an economics degree from Stanford.

Leave a Reply