The reprieve that many American home buyers  were hoping for has indeed materialized:  Those  eligible for a federal Homebuyer Tax Credit have until Sept. 30 to close the transaction and receive the credit.
The credit was set to expire June 30, but on July 2, Congress voted to  extend the closing deadline  by three months. It’s estimated that the extension  affects  180,000 homebuyers who were unable to close on their purchase by the end of June.
One reason many buyers weren’t able to complete their transactions on time is that they were purchasing Short Sales, which require bank approval in addition to seller acceptance (because the purchase price is lower that the amount owed, and the bank will incur a loss). The additional bank approval protocols  can add months to the process; and the timeline a short sale will require is difficult to predict because each bank’s approval process varies.
The National Association of Realtors estimates that 4.4 million people have received the credit since it was made nonrefundable in 2009, including 2.9 million first-time buyers and 1.5 million repeat buyers.