Posted on 2. September 2009 09:07 by qmiskini

A great sigh of relief could be heard rising up from all the first time home buyers and their loan officers in the Atlanta Metro area who were struggling to get loans cloased before the looming June 30th Tax Credit deadline. At the 11th hour - just hours before the deadline - the US House of Representatives and Senate passed a bill extending the deadline to close contracts that had been consummated and agreed upon prior to April 30 to September 30th.

But what does this mean to home buyers who missed the April 30th deadline to have a home under contract in order to qualify for the $8000 first time home buyer credit or the $6000 move-up buyer credit? With an overabundance of housing stock, especially foreclosures and short sales, coupled with record low interest rates, buyers are searching for ways to take advantage of the depressed pricing - in some areas of Metro Atlanta prices have dropped as much as 35% below the record highs of 2008.

A buyer that is ready, willing and able to buy now can, with the help of a savvy Realtor, ferret out some great deals. But a key ingredient in the search is a relationship with a top-flight loan officer or motgage banker who can both plug you into one of a variety of good loan programs available and lock in a great interest rate. Just as important as finding a Realtor who has a keen understanding of the market, the schools where your dream house is located, and the value of the home itself, is your lender who can work with the Realtor and you to get you pre-approved as a buyer.

Buyers who have been pre-approved by their lender essentially are like cash buyers. That pre-approval tells sellers, especially banks selling foreclosures and short sale properties that your ability to close that sale is based on the value of their home and not the steadfastness of your credit. You have more negotiating power on price as well as leverage in maximizing the benefits of such a sale. The tax credit that helped many a buyer get into their first home may be history; but the opportunities to find a once in a generation deal on your next home means that if you can buy now, now is the time. But build your team first - Realtor, lender and all the support systems they can employ on your behalf.