Thursday, May 13, 2010

NEW Federal Tax Credit for Minneapolis and St Paul Homebuyers!

First Time Home Buyer Mortgage Credit Certificate

What is the TAKE CREDIT!! Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) Program?

It is a 20% federal income tax credit that can be used toward the amount of taxes you owe at the end of each year you live in your home. Because of this credit you can increase your monthly income by amending your W-4 so there are less deductions taken out of your paycheck.

Who is eligible?

You may be eligible for an MCC through the TAKE CREDIT!! program if you meet the following requirements:

• First-time Home Buyer: (A first-time home buyer is defined as someone who has not owned, or been included on a title to a property in the last three years.)
• Income: 1-2 person taxpayers with adjusted gross income of less than $83,900 - $92,290 or 3 – more persons of less than $92,290
• Purchase Price: The purchase price of a new or existing single family house, townhome or condominium is less than $369,160 (Certain adjustments apply to owner-occupied duplexes, tri-plexes and four-plexes)
• Qualify for a mortgage: Loan must be a fixed rate conventional, FHA, VA or RHS mortgage product and not financed by a Mortgage Revenue Bond program


It’s simple. If you meet the requirements listed, you can apply for a MCC through a participating TAKE CREDIT!! lender. You will receive the MCC when you close on your home. You must file IRS Form 8396 with your federal income tax return each year.
There is a one-time program participation fee of $575.
If you close on your home before December 1, 2009, you may also be eligible for up to $8,000 First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit permitted under recent legislation passed by Congress.
For more information please contact a participating lender. For a list of participating lenders visit

Monday, May 10, 2010

Selling Non-MLS

A lot of agents feel the key to getting a property sold is to have the property listed on the Multiple Listing Service, or MLS. In fact - many agents use the MLS as their main marketing tool.

I believe the MLS is a great tool for selling property, and I continue to incorporate the use of the MLS in the majority of my listings.

On the other hand, when you are trying to sell your property in a competitive market, or you are a buyer looking for a specific type of property or special financing such as a contract for deed, perhaps one of the questions you should ask your prospective Realtor is "how many properties do you sell each year without being listed on the MLS?"

". . .perhaps one of the questions you should ask your prospective Realtor is "how many properties do you sell each year without being listed on the MLS?"

Why? In a market where there are a lot of properties to choose from, the agent who is selling homes before they go on market or without ever going on market is really demonstrating a talent for networking.

For example, I have a buyer who is looking for foreclosed apartment buildings in a specific area. By the time these properties go on market, they are typically in multiple offers. So I tracked down two buildings for them through banking connections (one connection I've had for several years, one I made looking for the building) and both of these transactions would probably not have occurred without my networking as neither were on the MLS.

I have several buyers looking for specific types of commercial property in a specific areas. I've got 3 non-MLS deals going right now for these buyers, none of which are published on the MLS. One of the buyers I acquired because I found the lead on the building, the other two buyers told me their needs and I went out and found the properties through agents and other contacts I've built up over the years.

In another example, I obtained a listing on a bank-owned, commercial office building in South Minneapolis. I networked it with agents in my office and got a showing with a fairly serious buyer before it even went on market. The fact it wasn't on the MLS actually made the property more interesting to the buyer - knowing they were getting a "first look" created a sense of urgency with the potential buyer.

When selling residential real estate, it can be harder to match buyers and sellers as a home is a very personal purchase. Using One Time Showing Agreements has been a great way to connect potential buyers to sellers, and reinforce my abilities as an agent who is worth considering for a listing. I've also used the One Time Showing Agreement contract to get sellers to consider buyers who may need special financing or consideration, such as a longer contingency or temporary Contract for Deed financing.

In the last 6 months, 6 of my deals (4 sold, 1 under contract, 1 with a Letter of Intent) are non-MLS transactions. Networking still has a role in today's real estate market, and the better your agent is at it, the better you will be served.