Is Craigslist Worth Listing my House On?

Is it Worth Listing Your House on Craigslist?

When you want to sell something, you may have turned to Craigslist a few times in the past.

People use the site to list things like:

  • furniture
  • cars
  • motorcycles
  • bicycles
  • and even electronics for sale in their local communities.

You can use Craigslist to advertise your home, but it does come with some significant drawbacks.

Note: Craigslist is a mixed bag, and if you plan to use it, you need to be prepared for everything that comes along with the process.

How to List a Home on Craigslist

First, you’ll need to write a killer description of your home.

Think about all of the information that sites dedicated to listing a home will ask you to provide.

You’ll want to include all of the same things in the text of your Craigslist post.

Craigslist has a maximum amount of photos that free posts can utilize.

Make sure the photos you choose to include are:

  1. Well lit with natural sunlight
  2. And feature a clear and unobstructed view of the key features of your home.

You’ll want a photo of:

  • The exterior
  • Your master bathroom
  • Your kitchen
  • Living space
  • and at least one bathroom.

Paid Craigslist posts allow for more photos.

If the fee fits into your home advertisement budget, you may choose to include a few more photos.

The importance of pictures cannot be stressed enough.

Your pictures and their quality are what will bring attention to your home.

This is a key thing to keep in mind when creating a Craigslist ad for your home.

Since thousands of people are posting on Craigslist every day, you may need to keep relisting your home to keep it at the top of the page.

Make sure you have your text descriptions saved on your computer so you can copy and paste them every time you want to renew your listing.

What You Need to Do

When you list your home on Craigslist, you’re responsible for all of the duties a real estate agent would normally perform.

This means:

  • Staging your home
  • And showing it to potential buyers.

Make sure you can keep in constant contact with interested parties and set up meetings that will work with everyone’s schedules.

If you have a full time job, you might need to reserve your meetings for weekends only.

You might want to mention that in your post, so people who are interested will know ahead of time when you’ll be able to show them the property in person.

Most importantly, make sure your home is clean and ready to go. Since listing your home on Craigslist is something that involves work on a daily basis, you want to make every showing of your property count.

Get every surface sparkling, pack away all of your clutter, and send your pets to stay with a friend or family member until the home is sold.

You’ll make a stronger impression that will resonate better with potential buyers.

 

Beware of Craigslist Scammers

Since anyone can view or use Craigslist without a legitimate account or proof of identity, the website has become rampant with scams.

If you know what to look for, it’s easier to protect yourself from these scammers.

Some of them want to steal your money through escrow fraud, while others are more interested in stealing the information about your home.

They plan to use it to extort others, and you may get unwittingly caught in the middle.

People Who Can’t Meet You In Person

You should never agree to sell a home on Craigslist to someone who can’t meet you in person.

Some people might pretend to be buyers who live far away and are looking to move to the area.

Since most people who sell on Craigslist are doing it entirely by owner, a lot of the checks and balances set in place by real estate agents are completely avoided.

The person will make a great offer on your home, and they’ll want to set up an escrow fund.

Escrow is typical in all sorts of real estate transactions, but the process is generally set up face-to-face with an entity who can be held legally responsible if the escrow process doesn’t go as planned.

These scammers will ask the buyer to pay a portion of the closing costs or escrow fees by placing money into an allegedly secure escrow fund via an email exchange.

These are fake escrow services.

The scammer then takes your money, and completely disappears.

Never work with someone who claims to be an interested buyer, but won’t come view the property in person and utilize legitimate avenues that you can vet for trustworthiness.

People Stealing Information From You

If you aren’t living in the home you’re selling or it otherwise appears vacant, someone can take the information and photos from your listing to create their own.

They can claim to be other owner of your property, saying that they’re attempting to sell or rent it.

They’ll collect money from interested parties via similar escrow scams or wire transfer payments, but the house was never theirs to sell.

You aren’t liable for what these scammers say and do, but you could get caught in the middle when people who attempted to buy the property come to your home to ask what happened to their money and when they get to move in.

Is Craigslist Right for Me?

A lot of people sell or rent via Craigslist, but it isn’t always a dream. Many people want to avoid dealing with real estate agents and paying commissions, which makes Craigslist seem like an appealing option.

Overall, it’s a lot of hard work, and you’ll need to be very vigilant to avoid dealing with people who aren’t who they claim to be.

If you want an alternative to selling your house on the traditional market, you can always work with a home investor instead.

Investors have cash, they pay all the closing fees, and they can close in as little as seven days.

It’s a quick and safe process that takes place off the internet, and it requires almost no work on the seller’s part.