The $8,000 tax credit is a great incentive if it actually goes to the first time homebuyer. Here is a situation where I was caught of guard. I had a buyer who closed on their new home in 08 and was eligible for the $7,500.00 tax credit. When he filed his tax return he was getting the full credit plus an added amount due to excess withholdings from his earnings during the year. He had already made several improvements to the home on credit and was planning to pay off the debt with the tax credit. Sounds like a good plan until he learned that his entire tax refund including the $7,500.00 tax credit went to his x-wife for back due child support. The real kicker is that he was awarded custody of the children who have been living with him since he bought the home. Apparently there was a period of time where he was unemployed and unable to make payments to the x wife while she had custody. Even though the court awarded him custody of the children the x-wife is still entitled to the back due payments. I did not consider this otherwise I would have counseled him to avoid spending the money before he got it.
It might be a good idea for all REALTOR's to make buyers aware that there may be situations where the tax credit goes to someone other than the home buyer. If he had adjusted his tax withholdings during the year based on the expectation of receiving the credit he may have been stuck with a bill from the IRS.