Five easy pieces: John Harris

John Harris

Our newest interviewee for this daily feature is John Harris of Koenig & Strey GMAC Real Estate, who I met at an East Rogers Park open house over the weekend.

In a word or short sentence, describe the mood of the market.
Cautious. Buyers are looking for a long time, making sure they’re seeing all their options. You don’t see as many people strolling around to open houses casually lately.

What’s the most common question you hear from buyers?
“How’s the market?”

What’s your best piece of advice for sellers?
Your home has got to be in good shape.

Give me your best “There’s never been a better time to buy!” pitch.
There’s a lot on the market, big inventory. Prices are low and there is some time left for the $8,000 tax credit. Plus, people who are selling now are serious and likely willing to negotiate.

What’s the worst marketing ploy you’ve come across lately?
Some condos have been offering to pay for the transfer stamps, and of course broker incentives. I’ve been to brokers open houses with cash drawings, Starbucks gift cards, or a raffle for a paid dinner. I say just reduce the price. The buyers are the ones who should be given incentive.

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