With the advent of the internet comes the advent of great free advertising tools and Craigslist is one of them. For those who do not know, Craigslist is a free online classified website used to buy and sell a variety of items. One area that has huge success on Craigslist has been with real estate and millions of people advertise on Craigslist daily. Because of the high level of advertising participation by other sellers in order to fully take advantage of Craigslist you need to stand out from the rest of the ads and get noticed.
What you need to have a great Craigslist Ad are the following:
-> Posting Title (aka your Compelling Headline): You need to make your listing unique. As mentioned earlier, focus on your homes features, benefits and what makes your home unique to get a prospective buyer’s attention. The headline needs to be compelling enough to get people to click on your ad before all others. Mention that your home is FSBO. People like to know this and on Craigslist this will give your ad more attention as people will like the non-real estate agent appeal.
-> Posting Description (aka Property Information) – Your ad and content should be brief and to the point. Don’t go over the top with catch phrases and marketing language, people will see right through that. Since your ad is a reflection of the home you are trying to sell make sure you spell-check and proof-read your ad to make sure it looks acceptable. There should be an internet web link or multiple web links from your ad that will bring a prospective buyer to your comprehensive property information page. This web link to a comprehensive information page could be your MLS listing, Facebook listing, postlet listing or all of the above.
Your Craigslist Posting Description should include:
1. Your First Name
2. Email and/or Phone Number
3. Home Address
4. Your Posting Title (compelling headline). Stated Again.
5. Brief Informational Facts About your Home (e.g. # of bedrooms, # of baths, single family or multifamily, price, sq. ft., parking, lot size, etc.).
6. Property Description in a Couple of Sentences.
7. Property Features in a Couple of Sentences.
8. Web Links.
9. Open House Information if Applicable.
10. Your Contact Information Stated Again.
Please see the ad sample below to give you a better idea of how an ad is put together.
Sample Craigslist Ad:
Posting Title: Private Lakefront Home Close to City Center of Maple Grove – FSBO
Mary Jane Doe | 555-555-5555 | Email Address Here
1234 Center Lane N., Maple Grove, FL
Private Lakefront Home Close to City Center of Maple Grove – For Sale By Owner
3 Bdrm Single Family Home offered at $250,000
Year Built 2000
Sq. Footage 2,150
Bathrooms 2 Full
Lot Size 1 Acre
Garage 2 Car
This 2,150 sq. ft. home is mint condition and has 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a great view of the lake from the kitchen. The kitchen is open and spacious and has granite counters, stainless appliances, porcelain tile and cherry wood cabinets. The private backyard leads to the lake, dock, firepit and lots of space to have fun.
Gas Forced Hot Air Heat, Central A/C, Gas Fireplace
Vaulted Ceilings, Many Closets, Hardwood Floors, Tile Kitchen & Baths
Family Room, Sun Room, Dining Room, Bonus Suite, Owners Suite, Full Basement
Stainless Refrigerator, Gas Wall Oven & Range, Microwave & Dishwasher
Granite Countertops, Center Island with Sink, Cherry Wood Cabinets
Washer & Dryer, Cabinets, Mud Area
Big Yard, Lake, Doc, Firepit
Full Property Description:
[Web Link Here]
[Web Link Here]
-> Photos & Virtual Tour – Include a few of your best professional photographs so that prospective buyers can see how your home shows. As mentioned earlier, high quality photos are very important part of your listings. You should also have a link to your Virtual Tour so they can see what your home would feel like when walking through it.
-> Call To Action – When the prospective buyer opens your ad they should see a call to action also compelling them to call or email you. Think about it, what would make you call on an ad in your area.
-> Relist Your Ad Everyday – Craigslist sorts ads by showing the most recent ads first or at the top of the webpage visible to the viewer. Therefore, as ads continue to be posted, your ad will continue to go further down the list or on a subsequent page. Although many prospective buyers will use search terms to find a listing, it is still beneficial to be as close to the top of the page as you can because some people do view homes by most recent date order.
-> Real estate agent or NO real estate agent – If you put in your ad “No Real Estate Agents Please” most real estate agents will not contact you therefore only unrepresented buyers will contact you. I still subscribe to the theory that more exposure to a buyer pool you would otherwise not have access to is better, however, if you really want to try and sell your home 100% commission free you will want to ad “No Real Estate Agents Please”. This may be a risky move because you will limit your prospective buyer pool, use your own judgment here.
-> Best Time to Post Your Ad – The three times a day that will give you the best possible exposure are in the morning, midday and at night after dinner. Pick a time and go with it. Your ad will only be at the top for a brief moment, but every helpful tip counts.