Learn How to Sell a House on Craigslist (and Why You Might Not Want to) (2023)

Thinking about using Craigslist to sell your home? Learn the pros and cons and why you may want to consider other options for real estate ads or listings.

Learn How to Sell a House on Craigslist (and Why You Might Not Want to) (1)

Many sellers try to avoid paying the standard 6% realtor commission by selling their homes without an agent. This is commonly known as listing for sale by owner,or FSBO for short.

Two of the most popular listing sites for FSBO sellers are Zillow (learn more about listing on Zillow here) and, of course, Craigslist.

While it's free to sell a house on Craigslist, that doesn't mean it's easy to do.

When you list FSBO, you'll be responsible for every aspect of the home selling process (e.g., pricing, photos, communications, showings, negotiations, paperwork, and more).

You'll also have to compete with thousands of other local sellers who are likely working with experienced agents and listing on hundreds of other high-visibility real estate sites.

If you'd still like to try your hand at a FSBO listing, go for it! Read on for a step-by-step overview of the process, as well as some key advantages and drawbacks of this particular approach.

But for most sellers, the best way to get a great offer is to work with an experienced, local realtor.

if commission fees are a concern, Clever negotiates low commission rates with top-rated, full-service agents nationwide. Sellers who work with Clever pay a low 1.5% listing fee — and pay just a fraction of what traditional realtors charge. Find top local agents near you today!

💰 Thinking about selling your home on Craigslist?

List with Clever instead and sell for a better price while saving thousands in realtor fees!

(Video) How to sell on Craigslist | Full Walkthrough with Tips

How to sell a house on Craigslist

Getting your house listed on Craigslist in the United States is almost as easy as buying something on Amazon.

The first step is to go to the website and click “create a posting.” After that, just follow the prompts and fill in the information. Just select “real estate — by owner” as the category. You'll want to be thoughtfulabout the ad.

Keep reading for tips on how to create the best FSBO listing on Craigslist.

What makes a good Craigslist listing?

There are some important things to include in a Craigslist ad so you have the best chance of selling your house.

First is to write a good description. Include details about your home that make it special and let potential buyers know about any improvements you havemade to the property.

Make sure you include all the relevant details about the property in your Craigslist listing buyers want to know. This will save you from answering a ton of questions.

Tell people about the parking and laundry situation, and the yard. Use keywords you think people might search for when looking for a home.

Next, include at least four (or more) quality photos, taken in a good light, and showing different areas of the home.

(Video) How to Sell Something on Craigslist

These photos should be clear, bright, and in focus. Be sure to show both inside and outside areas of the property. The best time to take photos is midday when the sun is not super bright. You want to make sure things don't look dark but also don'thave a glare.

Another important thing to include in your ad is a way for potential buyers to contact you! Unless you want your phone ringing constantly, the best advice is to include your email address (and not your phone number) in the ad.

This way, people can contact you whenever they want, but you won't be bothered by midnight phone calls.

Once you create your ad, you will want to renew it as frequently as allowed so it always appears at the top of searches.

Pros of FSBO on Craigslist

One of the biggest reasons that sellers decide to sell their home on Craigslist rather than working with a real estate agent is to save on commission.

On a $300,000 house, the commission can be $15,000 or more. On a $1 million dollar house, the commission could be $50,000! However, it's important to remember that you'll only save on listing agent commission this way. Chances are you'll stillbe on the hook for the buyer's agent commission, which is approximately 3% of the final sale price.

Assuming your buyer has a realtor; as the seller, you must offer a buyer's agent commission for the work the agent does. If the buyer has no agent, you can pay a real estate transaction coordinator to draw up the contracts, but this will still cost some money.

Selling your house on Craigslist also requires less of a commitment. Many realtors require sellers to sign an agreement committing to multiple months. With Craigslist, if you change your mind, you can just delete the ad!

Cons of FSBO on Craigslist

When you list your house for sale on Craigslist, you must do all the work an agent would normally do for you. You have to answer all inquiries, possibly give out your personal phone number, and schedule all showings and host open houses. This can takea lot of time and can be a major inconvenience.

You also won't have the professional marketing and signage you would get when working with a real estate agent. Many agents can publish homes for sale in local papers, in property databases, on social media, and with their professional networks. Postingon Craigslist won't get you this much exposure.

(Video) How to Post on Craigslist in 2022 (Powerful Tutorial For Business or Personal)

Without access to your local MLS, you're less likely to get qualified home buyers and get into your new home quickly. If youdecide to use Craigslist, also consider listing on sites like Zillow and Trulia, which are free, and can increase your exposure beyond the classified ads platform.

The scam problem

Craigslist has a scam problem, including fake buyers and listings, bogus rental properties, and lies about square footage for home. Additionally, many buyers on Craigslist aren't serious about purchasing a home.

Sifting through all the responses you get on Craigslist can take a lot of time and effort. As an inexperienced seller, it may be difficult to find out which buyers are serious and which are just window-shopping (or phishing).

If you don't have a background in real estate, you may be better off working with a professional realtor. An experienced real estate agent can protect your best interests and vet potential buyers, ensuring that you don't waste your time with fake offers.

Is there a better option than selling on Craigslist?

Although trying to sell your home on Craigslist will save you from paying listing commission, there is a better way which is almost as cost conscious. It allowsyou to work with an agent and get all the benefits, but costs far less.

Working with Clever gets you the same full-service experience you want, but with a flat listing fee of 1.5%. Clever Partner Agents are top agents in their local marketplaces and will list, market, and sell your home forthe best possible price.

They are there to support you throughout the entire process and are professionally trained to answer all questions and provide the best advice. In many cases, a Partner Agent can sell your home for more than you could by selling FSBO, more than makingup for their reduced commission.

If you're thinking about selling your house on Craigslist but want something better, give Clever a call today to get a premium experience for less and without the hassle of going the FSBO route.

FAQs about selling a house on Craigslist

1. How do I post a real estate listing on Craigslist?

Step 1. Navigate to your local Craigslist page.

Step 2. After you get there, choose the option, "Post to Classifieds."

(Video) How to Sell on Craigslist | Full Walkthrough Step by Step

Step 3. Next click, "Housing Offered."

Step 4. Choose which type of property you're listing — "for sale by owner" if you're going it alone, "Real Estate by Broker" if you're working with an agent.

Step 5. Select the community closest to you.

Step 6. Craigslist will take you to the listing details page — note: all fields in green are required.

Step 7. Enter the required information, include a map, and add up to eight photos of your property.

Step 8. Confirm the ad once Craigslist emails you — and you're listed!

How much does it cost to sell on Craigslist?

Listing a home on Craigslist is free, as are most Craigslist postings. The only relevant exception is brokered apartment rentals in the NYC area, which cost $10.

How do you successfully sell a home on Craigslist?

There's no one right answer to successfully selling a home on Craigslist, but it starts with writing a good listing description, keeping your home clean, and having excellent photography. Even if you're saving money by choosing Craigslist, that doesn't mean your buyers won't want an appealing home to walk through. It's also important to price your home right. Use online tools to get a good estimate and perform your own comparative market analysis to get the best valuation.

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How do you sell on Craigslist for beginners? ›

How To Sell On Craigslist: A 08-Step Easy-Selling Guide (+Updated)
  1. Go to Craiglist.org and choose the place where you reside.
  2. Go to the top-left side and click on the option “Create a posting.”
  3. Choose your “type of posting”
  4. Choose your Items “Category”
  5. Describe your item of choice, and fill the sale information.

What should you not do when selling a house? ›

10 Things Not to Do When Selling a House
  1. Neglecting Repairs. ...
  2. Overpricing Your Home. ...
  3. Failing to Stage Your Home. ...
  4. Kicking Curb Appeal to the Curb. ...
  5. Shying Away From Showings. ...
  6. Overlooking the Clutter. ...
  7. Leaving Too Many Personal Items Out. ...
  8. Ignoring Obnoxious Odors.
Sep 2, 2022

What is the most common reason a home fails to sell? ›

The most common reason why a house fails to sell is because the asking price is too high for the current market or for what the home offers. If your asking price is unreasonable and doesn't compare favorably to similar properties, it's unlikely your house will sell.

What makes a house hard to sell? ›

Factors that make a home unsellable "are the ones that cannot be changed: location, low ceilings, difficult floor plan that cannot be easily modified, poor architecture," Robin Kencel of The Robin Kencel Group at Compass in Connecticut, who sells homes between $500,000 and $28 million, told Business Insider.

What should I not do when selling on Craigslist? ›

Avoid adding any personal information in the posting, including your name, real phone number or real email address. Always use the generated email address on your Craigslist posts. This creates a random email address, so the poster doesn't have your real email on file.

How should a beginner sell? ›

11 Sales Tips for Beginners
  1. Think About Who You Should Be Selling to.
  2. Don't Think About Your Goals – Think About Your Customer's Goals.
  3. Sell Value, Not Specs.
  4. Don't Take Rejection Personally.
  5. Honesty Is the Best Policy.
  6. Research Is Key.
  7. Personalize Everything.
  8. Practice Your Small Talk – and Write a Script.
Jan 11, 2021

What is best month to sell a home? ›

Sellers can net thousands of dollars more if they sell during the peak months of May, June and July versus the two slowest months of the year, October and December, according to a 2022 report by ATTOM Data Solutions.

What makes a house sell for more money? ›

De-Clutter and Stage Your Home

One of the best ways to make your home sell for more money (and quickly!) is to declutter, clean, and stage the space. A dirty, cluttered home will feel small and make a buyer wonder how much money they'll have to spend to get the house move-in ready.

What is the most important thing to do when selling your house? ›

Pricing your home right is the most important thing you can do when selling a home. If you overprice the home, it could sit on the market for a long time. If you underprice the home, you'll leave money on the table. A seasoned real estate agent should be able to give you expert price guidance.

What makes a house worth less? ›

Changes in the real estate market can lower the value of your home. Natural disasters and climate change can lower your property value because the property is a greater risk to purchase. Foreclosures in your neighborhood can also drive down property value.

Are older homes harder to sell? ›

Are older homes harder to sell? They can be. For instance, older homes pose a much higher risk for sitting on the market. There are plenty of reasons why a home might not sell at all, but older homes pose a much higher risk for sitting on the market.

How do I get my house ready to sell? ›

6 Steps To Get Your House Ready To Sell
  1. Understand Your Home's Value. Your first step should be to determine what your home is actually worth. ...
  2. Find The Right Listing Agent. ...
  3. Depersonalize And Declutter Your Space. ...
  4. Make Minor Repairs And Updates. ...
  5. Touch Up Your Home's Exterior. ...
  6. Get Rid Of Odors.
Aug 22, 2022

What is the safest way to get paid on Craigslist? ›

Use cash — safely

If you're dealing with a local, the most secure way to pay or collect funds for a Craigslist transaction is with cash. To keep it even more secure, you can make the exchange in a safe place like your local police station or even at Acclaim FCU.

Should I post my phone number on Craigslist? ›

Omit any personal information about yourself when you create your Craigslist ad. Do not include your phone number, a permanent email address or anything in photos of your product that someone could use to find your house or place of business.

How do you get your money when selling on Craigslist? ›

Cash or Check

Paying in person with cash or a personal check are the only forms of payment that are recommended by Craigslist. Understand that Craigslist does not guarantee transactions or have any power to correct a transaction gone wrong.

Is it worth selling on Craigslist? ›

It's great for selling STUFF. LOCALLY. They also give you good advice because scammers, phishers, and other low lives haunt the site trying to get your phone number, actual email address, etc. But Craigslist does a good job of protecting those until you feel certain that the potential buyer is actually a real person.


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