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Using Craigslist To Sell Your Home

By Erik Folgate

You have heard me talk about the use of craigslist for selling your home, and I would be a hypocrite if I didn’t try it myself. We have been trying to sell our condo for the past three weeks now, and we have had TREMENDOUS success with our Craigslist ad. In three weeks, we have had 6 quality leads and one bid on our condo, whcih we turned down, because the offer was too low. What’s the trick? There is no trick. Here is what we did:

  1. Wrote a quality description with all of the most important information just as a realtor would write on a flier or the MLS database.
  2. Put four bright photos of the most important rooms or features in your home. Craigslist only allows you to put four photos for free. I am not sure if you can buy extra photos, but I’ll look into it.
  3. Relist your ad every other day. Craigslist sorts by the most recent day, so you need to keep updating the ad so it shows up on the top of the list every day.
  4. Watch the buyers role in!

The great thing about these leads has been NO REALTORS. We said in our ad, “No Real Estate Agents Please”. If we end up selling our condo from a referral on Craigslist, we will have sold our home commission free and paid nothing to market it! Does that sound like a good deal? If you are unfamiliar with Craigslist, get yourself acquainted with this wonderful free classified ad website. You can not only sell your house, but you can sell your car, furniture, or old clothes. Try it and see what kind of results you get. If any of you have had good experiences selling your stuff or even your home on Craigslist, write a comment to share with everyone.

Erik Folgate
Erik and his wife, Lindzee, live in Orlando, Florida with a baby boy on the way. Erik works as an account manager for a marketing company, and considers counseling friends, family and the readers of Money Crashers his personal ministry to others. Erik became passionate about personal finance and helping others make wise financial decisions after racking up over $20k in credit card and student loan debt within the first two years of college.

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  • http://www.livinghope.info Rich Schmidt

    We’ve are buying a house as a rental/investment, and we just started listing it on craigslist. Thanks for the tips about pics & posting frequency!

    I do have to say, though, that your exuberance seems a little… over the top? “4. Watch the buyers role [sic] in!” seems like a bit much for 1 bid in 3 weeks… though I guess I’ve never tried selling a home without a real estate agent, so maybe that’s what “rolling in” looks like…?

  • erik.folgate

    Well, I wasn’t basing it on bids. I was just basing it on the exposure that it’s giving our place, and I thought the amount of leads it has generated is impressive. We had someone else using a realtor in our complex and it has been shown twice. The word travels fast, too. Even if 10 people look at it and don’t put in an offer, they may have friends or family looking and tip them off about our place. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing too as well.

    • Andrew

      Erik, you don’t have to buy more photos on Craigslist. Here’s the Youtube that shows you how to add unlimited photos. It’s not that hard at all and I sold my van quick using this awesome technique. The pics are huge and absolutely sell the add. Most CL users select “Has Image” when searching so if you have no pics you won’t get found. If you have unlimited large pics like I’m referring to, you’ll get tons of looks. Just thought this would help.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d45oTN3ogpY

      Andrew

      • Erik Folgate

        Hey Andrew,

        You’re right, this article is a little dated. Now, you can submit html in a craigslist ad that allows you to insert html code that points to larger photos hosted somewhere else on the web. I’ll check that video out to see if that’s what you’re referring to, but maybe there are some other good tricks, thanks for sharing that!

  • SoCalTommy

    Craigslist is terrific for the individual selling almost anything. If you start using it regularly please learn how to Flag bad ads. CL was created for just the kind of thing you did, but there are more and more Businesses who want to hog up what they see as “free” advertising. While you reposted daily to keep your ad near the top (which is also against CL policy, but that’s a different discussion), the greedy real estate folks will spam (flood) a category with hundreds of ads for properties that may not even be their own listing. So the individual ad – YOURS – usually gets lost in the clutter. It takes multiple flags from several people (# is secret) to help keep CL ad space to what it was designed for – local, face-to-face, non-business transactions. There are categories for nearly everything someone migh sell and if you are in business, there is a Services section for business to post to.

    • mmh1280

      Craig’s List does allow “updating” the post every 48 hours (every other day, as the author stated). They even have a button to do that so the person doesn’t have to take down and reenter the entire ad.

      There are those who violate Craigslist TOS, but updating an ad every other day is not a violation, and helps separate serious sellers from curiosity ads.

  • http://www.laverne.edu Sam

    How safe is Craigs List? I had my home broken into after I listed it on a conventional website, I am concerned about how many potential thieves troll CL looking for a potential target. I also know that, at least here in DC, half of CL ads are placed by scammers. I’ve posted ads on CL and most of the responses I’ve gotten were from scammers. How much does CL put you at risk?

  • Guest

    How can I trust what you say if you can’t even spell “roll” correctly?

  • http://www.quick-home-buyers.com/ Quick Home Buyers

    Craigslist can be a great place to sell your home. Depends on the location and current market conditions.

  • Gabrielle

    You are writing an article because you got one low ball offer??? That doesn’t mean that you did a good job. And that’s actually typical of listing on craigslist, getting low ball offers. The buyers know that you are not listing with an agent, and therefore know that you are already saving money from the commission. Also, buyers feel that you are not committed to the sale of your home by only posting it on craigslist, when agents look for the most potential buyers in many venues, and they are also working to get the best quality buyers possible. I’m not surprised that you got a low ball offer. Buyers looking on craigslist are just not quality buyers. Your home wasn’t sold. This article is void.

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