Real Estate Summit Highlights, Part 1

By Brian Summerfield, Online Editor, Realtor® Magazine

At the morning session of the Real Estate Summit at the 2009 NAR Midyear Meetings, comments about improving short sales and foreclosures and driving a turnaround in the housing market and the economy generally with home buyer tax credits drew the biggest applause.

The biggest news was HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan’s announcement that funds from the $8,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit would be available for FHA financing, which would permit home buyers to monetize their tax credits for down payments. He promised additional details about this in his keynote address. Stay tuned for more info!

Relating to the that, another point that met with audience approval was a comment from Robert Sibcy, president of Sibcy Cline Realtors®, about enhancing the $8,000 tax credit. He said that amount should be doubled, and expanded to include as many people as possible.

“Every American should be able to take part in this economic recovery,” Sibcy said.

Also, Ron Phipps, Broker, Phipps Realty, and NAR’s First Vice President, got a warm reception from the crowd when he talked about improving the procedures for transactions on distressed properties.

“There are fundamental problems with short sales and foreclosures in terms of process,” he said to considerable applause. His comments come at a time when the industry is starting to push for a more formal method for such transactions. (To learn more about short sales, register for our free Webinar on May 28.)

Brian Summerfield

Brian Summerfield is Manager of Business Development and Outreach for NAR Commercial and Global Services. He can be reached at

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