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Realtors Moving to Avert Tax Credit Crisis

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RISMEDIA, June 15, 2010—Alexander E. Perriello III, president and chief executive officer of the Realogy Franchise Group, said real estate industry leaders are asking Congress to extend the June 30 closing deadline imposed by the Worker, Homeownership and Business Assistance Act of 2009 at RISMedia’s Leadership Conference “The Real Estate Social Media Summit” held last week in Rye, New York.

Under the Act, qualifying home buyers who signed purchase contracts by April 30 are entitled to up to an $8,000 tax credit, provided they close their sales by June 30.

But as the deadline looms, buyers are learning that their closings may be delayed because lenders have piles of unfinished paperwork due to a spike in April applications triggered both by the tax credit program and an unanticipated market-wide spring surge in contracts signed.

“It’s the classic ‘pig in the python’ scenario,” explained Perriello, who spoke at the Conference.

“Congress must act before Father’s Day. Many contracts signed in April have escape clauses letting buyers to walk away from their deals if they don’t close by June 30,” added Lester Kravitz, President of The Guild of Independent Real Estate Professionals, who attended the RISMedia Leadership Conference.

Perriello said Realogy Corporation’s president and CEO Richard A. Smith and other Realtors were meeting in Washington with Senate leaders, urging them to address the issue now to head off a potential month-end disaster for affected buyers.

Perriello oversees Realogy’s brands, which include Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, Century 21, Coldwell Banker, Coldwell Banker Commercial, ERA and Sotheby’s International Realty.

Realogy is owned by Apollo Management, a private equity firm run by Leon Black. Black also was in DC, but he was meeting with legislators behind closed doors to rally against proposals to raise taxes on hedge fund profits, according to The Financial Times.

For more information, visit http://realogy.com.

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