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Backup offers can still qualify for first-time buyer tax credit

Home Sale Hindsight

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Q: Could a backup offer, submitted prior to April 30, be considered a binding contract, for purposes of qualifying for the first-time homebuyer tax credit, even if it's not formally in contract until after the deadline? A: I know so many buyers who worked for months to get into contract in time to qualify for the 2010 first-time homebuyer credit. For some, it was meant to be, and for others, it wasn't -- and many wise homebuyers decided they would not feel pressured into buying if the "right" home hadn't yet come along or bidding more than they would have otherwise, because of the urgency created by the credit deadline. Your question, though, brings up an interesting hindsight scenario: Looking backwards, if you were in backup position to buy a home, and got into that position before April 30, does that qualify you for the homebuyer credit? The answer in any particular scenario depends heavily upon the language of the contract, which varies by state and even by ci...