Here is a short summary of changes in the law recently enacted that affect real estate as compiled by the National Association of Realtors:
Mortgage cancelation relief is extended until January 1st, 2014. This is for people doing short sales and not wanting to be taxed on the amount shorted to the bank.
Deductions for mortgage insurance premiums, for filers making under $110,000, is extended through 2013 and is retroactive for 2012.
The energy efficiency tax credit of 10% (up to $500) was extended through 2013 for improvements to EXISTING homes.
Capital gains rate: This stays at 15% for those making under $400k/$450k. After that tax rate is now 20%. The $250k/$500k exclusion for the sale of a single family residence stays in place.
Estate Tax: The first $5m in individual estates and $10m in family estates are now exempt from estate taxes. After that the rate is 40%.