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ConsumerWatch: Bay Area Home Sellers, Buyers Stalled By Washington Shutdown

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A sale pending sign stands in front of a home for sale in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A sale pending sign stands in front of a home for sale in San Francisco. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Sellers across California have been holding the door open, hoping to cash in on double-digit increases in home prices and a surplus of buyers motivated by low interest rates, but the stalemate in Washington is stalling home sales in the Bay Area.

“There’s going to be a slowdown because of this,” said loan officer Ted Hill.

In order to send a mortgage to title, loan officers must have IRS tax transcripts and social security number verifications.

“I just found out this morning, they’re not getting any of those back while the shutdown is going on,” he said.

In short, no federal documents means no closing on homes.  Backlogs of submissions could delay future closings as well.

“We are all in the same boat,” said Hill.

The backlog could leave sellers stuck making extra house payments, and leave buyers who have already sold their homes with nowhere to live. Hill said they are working with buyers to ease the pain of document delay by preparing them for longer closings, locking in longer terms on interest rates and negotiating lender credits.

In spite of the current hurdles, Hill is hoping for a quick rebound once the government gets things straightened out.

“A little bump, just my guess but it could happen,” said Hill.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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