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April 30th Will Be Here Before You Know It


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March 2nd, 2010

The snows of the last weeks have wreaked havoc with the goals of home buyers in the areas near and around New York City. People know their home buying clock is ticking and that April 30th is now only two months away; federal tax incentive to purchase a home and get a substantial credit back for helping the economy is not likely to be renewed again. Time is of the essence and looking at homes in white-outs is not safe.

The real estate transaction process differs not only from state to state, but in New York, from county to county. In some places up the Hudson River, a buyer is not usually in a signed contract situation (required to meet the deadline of April 30, 2010) for 4-5 weeks after finding a home and negotiating a price with a seller. That means he might actually need to find the home of his choice and reach a meeting of the minds with the seller in March, so that they can be in contract by April 30. February was a bit of a weather wipe-out. Now it’s gone.

The process is totally different in for apartment seekers in Manhattan. Contracts are usually fully executed within 2 weeks of verbally reaching a deal with a seller. But what if the seller gets a better offer before they sign a contract with you? In most cases money talks, the seller sends a contract to the higher bidder, and if they sign and return promptly, the seller tells buyer number one “goodbye”. So buyer “one” may not meet the deadline through no fault of his own. The minutes are ticking away. It is going to get hotter and hotter in March and April.

In the suburbs of New Jersey, the process is different still. Most real estate purchases involve an agent writing a fill-in-the-blank standard contract in most areas. You find the house, negotiate the price and terms with a seller, and you are likely to have a fully executed contract within 24-48 hours. But don’t wait until April. Best choices are available now.

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