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The Home Sale Process—Caravan, Marketing and Showings

You can expect that each agent you meet with will skillfully ask a lot of questions about the timing and location of the move you plan to make and provide basic counseling regarding the current marketplace and sale process.

Table of Contents

Select Your Agent

The interviews will hopefully be based upon what is important to you as criteria for representing your best interests, and perhaps aided with having a list of questions to facilitate the interview.

The agents will most likely have obtained information regarding your home and will have taken care to see what liens there may be and what other issues might impact the salability of your home.  They generally will have prepared a comparative market analysis before meeting with you, so they can be prepared to discuss your home’s theoretical value.

Preparing Your Home for Sale

Once you have selected the agent with whom to entrust the marketing of your home, that agent will discuss such issues with you as pre-inspections, ideas about home preparation that may be helpful, alternative marketing and pricing strategies, and timing of the entire process. Your agent may discuss with you what items may need to be repaired, how to handle the volume of disclosures, and what to expect during the entire marketing and escrow process.

Marketing and Showings

The marketing process itself may begin with the agent helping you to prepare your property for them to have photos taken prior to marketing, and hopefully to be used in advertising for greater exposure both in print and on the Internet.

The agent will arrange for brokers to preview your property on what’s called a “caravan.” This is typically a three-hour period during which real estate agents and possibly some of their clients are able to tour your home without having to make an appointment.

The marketing period may be as short as a few days or as long as several months, largely depending upon:

  1. The ease or difficulty of showing,
  2. How well the property looks, and
  3. How competitively it is perceived to be priced in the current marketplace.

Showings are generally arranged with you in advance by your agent or team member, and usually a day ahead.  A typical showing might require 15-20 minutes, and you can expect second showings could take 30 minutes or more, depending on the size of your home and property.

Choosing and Accepting an Offer

Once an offer is received your agent will discuss all of the various aspects, strengths, and weaknesses, and will suggest various alternative counter-offer ideas for you to consider if it is not acceptable to you as it is.

The next phase consists of the buyer arranging for various property inspections, which may include sewer line scoping, chimney inspection, roof inspection, pest control inspection, as well as a general and sometimes very thorough check-up of the entire property.

Inspections and Negotiations

The buyer typically will have 7 to 15 days to perform any investigations that they desire, and then to decide which requests or credits they will ask of you. Hopefully, you will be able to arrive at an acceptable agreement regarding any requests the buyer feels they would like to make and the escrow will continue towards closing.

It will be your choice whether to accept, reject, or propose negotiating a compromise about their requests. During this same period or shortly thereafter the buyer’s lender (assuming they will be obtaining a loan) will have an appraisal done to ascertain the value of the property for financing purposes.

The Moving Process

The moving process itself can be very complex. However, if organized and planned well in advance, it can be accomplished efficiently. An experienced real estate agent will often provide suggestions about preparations for moving before beginning marketing.

The entire sale process can be rather challenging for most people, requiring a great deal of patience and a good sense of humor.  It is always helpful for you to keep the end goal clearly in mind, ask clarifying questions no matter how silly or small they may feel to you and be fair-minded in the negotiations and any later resolutions.

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