The National Association of REALTORS® is calling upon its 1.2 million members to urge Congress to extend the successful homebuyer tax credit into next year.

Since its inception earlier this year, the $8,000 first-time homebuyer tax credit has brought 1.2 million new buyers into the market-350,000 of whom would not have purchased a home without the credit, according to NAR. The credit is due to expire November 30.

Now is the time for Congress to keep this recovery going by extending the tax credit through 2010 and making it available to more homebuyers. We have all seen how the credit has been a spur to bring homebuyers into the market, and have seen the beginnings of a real recovery in the housing market. Housing has always led this nation out of economic downturns, and can do so again, said NAR President Charles McMillan.

Write Congress Now

REALTORS®, the leading advocates for homeownership and housing issues, will be writing to their Senators and Representatives to tell them of the successes with the tax credit thus far, and press them to extend and expand it now.

McMillan added that the market has improved, but it has not yet fully corrected itself. The credit needs to be available for an additional period of time in order to sustain the progress that's been made so we can continue to see our markets fully recover. Uncertainty about the future of the credit will dampen consumer demand. The only way we can assure that the progress we've made can continue is to extend the credit and to do that now, he said.

As the current deadline for the credit looms, potential homebuyers need to complete a contract, satisfy any contingencies, secure financing, and go to closing by November 30. In today's market, NAR estimates that it generally is taking between 45 and 60 days from contract to closing.

That means potential homebuyers who qualify must act now, and so must Congress, McMillan said.

Source: NAR