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Financing continues to be a major challenge in today's market. If you're struggling to find clients who are ready, willing and able to buy, the 2009 NAR Profile of Buyers and Sellers -- which is based on survey data from a sample of 9,138 participants who purchased a home between July 2008 and June 2009 -- contains some very helpful data.

Tighter underwriting requirements, appraisal issues and higher downpayment requirements mean fewer buyers today are able to qualify for financing. Credit-card companies are either lowering people's credit lines as they pay off their bills or canceling them completely. This has the effect of lowering the amount of credit the consumer has available.

It also results in the consumer having a higher percentage of debt vs. available credit. The overall effect is that it lowers consumers' credit scores, making it more difficult to purchase. Given the current situation, it's more important than ever to be able to identify the buyers who are t...