Congress has passed a bill that will extend the deadline for the home buyer tax credit to Sept. 30. It applies to home buyers who have already ratified contracts but were unable to meet the original closing date of June 30. The bill now heads to President Barack Obama for his signature.

“What a great way to begin celebrating our nation’s most patriotic holiday by opening the door to the American dream of home ownership to thousands of home buyers who would have been shut out of the homes of their dreams through no fault of their own,” said National Association of Realtors' President Vicki Cox Golder, owner of Vicki L. Cox Real Estate in Tucson, Ariz.

“We know that up to 180,000 home buyers eligible for the tax credit are rejoicing this morning. And we all thank both houses of Congress for their work to ensure passage of both bills,” Golder added.  She singled out Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), Senator Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), Congresswoman Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.) for their efforts to extend the tax credit closing deadline.

The passage of H.R. 5623, the Homebuyer Assistance and Improvement Act, is designed to create a seamless extension of the new closing deadline for eligible transactions. There will be no gap between June 30 and the date the president signs the bill into law.  

For more information on the extension, visit www.realtor.org/government_affairs.