The federal tax credit for first-time homebuyers may be over, but one Las Vegas brokerage firm is trying to keep the action going with their own version.

Coldwell Banker franchises in Vegas and throughout Nevada’s Clark county are encouraging sellers to participate in a program that offers buyers a credit of 3 percent – up to $8,000 – on their home’s purchase price. Contracts must be signed by July 31, 2010.

According to a story in the Las Vegas Sun:

The program is an offshoot of what some sellers already do — negotiate 3 percent of the closing costs into the final deal, said Bob Hamrick, CEO of Coldwell Banker Premier.

“Instead of negotiating that item, we are going to make it a marketing item and create some energy around it,” Hamrick said.

Hamrick said he expects equity sellers — homeowners with equity who have their homes on the market — to participate along with homeowners who are selling their homes through short sales. Lenders selling foreclosure homes aren’t likely to get involved, he said.

As for his take on the Las Vegas housing market, Coldwell Banker CEO Jim Gillespie said the national press has lumped Southern Nevada with Arizona, California and Florida about the run-up in prices and subsequent market crash, but he said he is looking west to gauge Nevada.

“I think what is happening here is analogous with what’s taking place in California,” Gillespie said. “You are probably 18 months behind California and in the next 12 to 18 months prices should go up and you will see sales continue to increase.”

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