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Mary Shelsby's Blog

By Mary Shelsby | Agent in Rochester, NY

Buy Before Labor Day


I am advising all of my first time home buyer clients to be under contract by Labor Day to qualify for the federal tax credit being offered to most home buyers that have not owned a home in the past three years. I don’t really think it is going to take 80 plus days for a transaction to close but I do anticipate gridlock at banks and attorney offices. I do know of several real estate attorneys that have plans to keep their office open until midnight if necessary to close every transaction that is clear to close before the December 1 deadline.


My biggest concern is housing inventory. Inventory is tight right now, especially homes priced less than $130,000. For example, I started working with new clients just over a week ago that want to buy in the city of Rochester near the U of R. To start their search, I called on 12 listings to schedule an appointment. I could only get appointments at 7 of them because the rest had accepted offers. Of the 7 properties, 2 had offers in that were being negotiated and one smelled so bad we never made it to the second floor. One home was really nice and when I called the next day to schedule a second look, four offers had arrived. This week, 4 new listing came up that met their criteria but 3 of them sold within 12 hours of being listed and the 4th was liked by her but not him. We’ve decided that we’re going to step our search up a notch or two.

Other areas of the city are selling very rapidly as well. The Culver-Winton and Browncroft neighborhoods are definite hot spots. Outside the city, starter homes in the Brighton School District seem to be sold even before they hit the market. And as we count down to the deadline imposed by the Federal government, I anticipate inventory to get tighter and competition more fierce. And so, again, I urge buyers to try to be under contact before the Labor Day holiday.

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