With home sales up double-digits the last two months in Illinois (largely due to the tax credit) why not use this momentum as you plan for 2010? 

Read real estate veteran Steve Harney’s 7-Step Action Plan for the Tax Credit in the January Illinois REALTOR® Magazine, now viewable by iPhone.

A primary motivator for buyers in the months ahead is the federal homebuyer tax credit and so are the low interest rates, still hovering at or below 5 percent last week for the North Central Region. Both won’t last. The credit, for one, expires April 30.

Harney anticipates more banks will be working to improve the short sale process, making it easier, more efficient, and a better option than foreclosure for the bank, the homeowner and the neighborhood. How soon this happens is uncertain on the heels of the Treasury Department’s November 30 guidelines released for its new Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives Program (HAFA), which provides incentives related to short sales and deed-in-lieu of foreclosure. Harney says short sale training is key for REALTORS® in the next 90 days. IAR members can find short sale resources at www.illinoisrealtor.org/shortsales and the National Association of REALTORS® Right Tools, Right Now program is still waiving the application fee for its Short Sale and Foreclosure Resource Certification through December 31.

What will your focus be in the next 90 days?