A happy ending!
We closed & funded! It was a smooth process - a little fast for us, but we got it done & moved out of the house this past weekend. To tie up several threads we've commented on recently:
1) Picking a realtor: we interviewed 3 & picked the most experienced in our neighborhood. Turns out, we got lucky & it didn't matter - house sold to 2nd person that looked on the 2nd day on the market.
2) Appraisal: we got lucky & it appraised for the sale price, just like the old days. It was priced fairly, based on recent comps - thanks to the experienced realtor.
3) Contract: no glitches. Buyer didn't ask for any closing costs or repairs.
4) Moving out: we were fairly confident the deal would go thru & closing was in 30 days, so we risked it and started craigslisting big things the day after we had a signed contract. Moving to a much smaller place so we really cleaned house. Did a 2 day garage sale in 106 degree heat the weekend before moving - never again - but because we had lots of really good stuff to sell that came directly from the house, we bucked up & did it. We were moving anyway & had this not gone thru, the house would not have shown as well empty, but we're glad we did it. Made the move a million times easier & less stressful.
I realize we got extremely lucky this go round & the timing was incredible. We didn't make a bunch of money having bought in 2006 at a high for our market, but fortunate to live in a desired rural area that doesn't typically see the highs & lows of the national market.
Good luck to everyone on their properties!