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In real estate a caravan refers to a showing method that some listing agents will use when selling a home. A caravan involves inviting real estate agents into a home, or more often a series of homes, listed for sale in hopes to achieve higher visibility and marketing. The sales theory behind a caravan is that other agents know what their buyers are looking for or may know of an interested buyer that might otherwise have missed the property.
A caravan differs from both an open house and a private showing. An open house is a scheduled time and date where a single home is open to the public, with or without an agent and a private showing is scheduled by a single buyer’s agent for that specific client. A caravan however, typically involves showing a group of homes and is for real estate agents only. The goal of an open house is to bring in as many potential buyers as possible and elicit a quick offer and thus remains the preferred selling tactic. However, certain circumstances may warrant placing a home on a caravan tour.
In certain unique markets, especially those where houses in close proximity to one another are very different or range greatly in price and style, a caravan may expose a listed home to potential buyers through other agents’ feedback. Similarly, in markets where sales are slow, a caravan provides local agents with first hand insight into homes that may interest future buyers.
A home may be placed on a caravan tour shortly after inclusion in the Multiple Listing Service and often after the first open house, especially if it was unsuccessful and poorly attended. The decision to place a home on a caravan tour is made between the seller and their agent. Many agents differ in their opinions of whether a caravan is a successful marketing plan. Some agents believe that a home sells quicker by exposing it to as many people as possible, including other agents, while others believe that a caravan only brings in curious and potentially competing agents and not potential buyers.
If you are selling your home and your agent suggests a caravan, discuss the pros and cons with them to decide if it is the right technique for you. In most cases, it involves only one day, but in some cases a caravan may require the house to be available for multiple days.