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In Real Estate, what is a Caravan?

By J. Beam
Updated May 16, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By anon167122 — On Apr 11, 2011

Where do the Caravans meet, how do I find them, places and times?

By subway11 — On Nov 06, 2010

SauteePan-I think that a caravan of realtors is a good idea because they can also offer staging tips. Homes that have been professional staged have a higher resale value and a higher likelihood of selling in this market.

Being creative and receiving input from other professionals helps the listing agent to determine the opportunities that a home has and how to capitalize on them.

The selling agents have a financial interest in selling the property so it makes sense to use their feedback in improving the home as well as its chances for selling.

It is best to set the price competitive enough in the beginning which will let the home have the best chance at selling because once a home has been on the market a while and you have to reduce the price and it often goes ignored by other buyers who are looking for homes fresh on the market.

By SauteePan — On Nov 06, 2010

Cafe41-I agree with you. Anything that brings in more people looking at the properties is a good idea.

Often Open Houses don’t always yield a lot of results. Usually those are people that are curious and want to see what they are selling a house for.

The people that are serious often have a realtor and are usually preapproved for a mortgage loan. They also see homes with a realtor that the realtor has set aside for them.

Open houses do bring attention to the home momentarily but if the price isn’t right then the house will sit there because there are so many other options in this real estate market.

People shop based on price and location, and if the home fits these two categories then the home might sell with a caravan. Other realtors can give feedback on the price that might be valuable to the listing agent.

By cafe41 — On Nov 06, 2010

Anon4292-I think that that is what the author is explaining. A caravan is when a group of realtors view various homes together in hopes of finding a buyer.

The group approach means that more realtors are able to look at the home thus increasing the chances of it selling. Realtors are really getting creative when selling homes these days because of the sheer amount of homes on the market and the competition for buyers is fierce.

Caravans are a great way to offer a property that may or may not get any visitors during an open house a chance to be viewed by professional realtors that each have potential clients in the area and might have a buyer in mind or might be able to give constructive feedback to the listing agent about how to make the home more marketable. The realtor’s market intelligence really makes a difference in these cases.

By anon4292 — On Oct 11, 2007

Why is it called a "caravan"? Is it because all the agents head out in their cars, one after the other, like a caravan through the desert? You should be more specific, because we're sitting here in our office having read the article and we still don't know what a caravan is, beyond a group of agents getting together somehow to look at a bunch of properties.

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