Craigslist is an easy, inexpensive way to sell a lot of things, from old furniture to used cars. But what about houses? There are four questions you need to ask yourself before deciding if selling on Craigslist is the way to go.
1. Am I willing to sell this home for less than I think it’s worth? Let’s face it – Craigslist is not the place that people go to when they’re looking to pay top dollar. These are bargain hunters. These are cheapskate investors. These are people who can’t get bank financing and are hoping to be able to purchase a dirt cheap home without a bank being involved. If you think you’re home is worth $50,000, then a person on Craigslist will offer you $30,000. That’s simply the nature of the people who use that site, and it’s important to know that ahead of time. Which leads me to the second question:
2. Who do I hope will buy this home? If you’re hoping a wealthy, cash-buyer investor will see your home on Craigslist, odds are you’re going to be waiting a while. Most investors don’t spend time on Craigslist because there are so few deals that really make good business sense for them on that website.
If you’re hoping a buyer with good credit who can get good financing to purchase your home will see it on Craigslist, again you need to rethink things. For starters, most buyers with good credit are using realtors and looking at homes on the MLS, not Craigslist. But the other issue is that if a home needs work done to it, a bank is not likely to provide financing for it. The banks don’t want to see holes in the walls, stains on carpet, or heating/air conditioning issues. If they do, they won’t provide financing – simple as that.
That means, your audience on Craigslist is everyone else besides the wealthy investor and the well-to-do homeowner who needs a mortgage. Most of these people are those who don’t have a lot of money and have poor credit – is that who you are looking to sell your home to?
3. Am I willing to provide seller financing? This may be the most important question of all. Why? Because the vast majority of those who are going to contact you on Craigslist: a) don’t have much money, b) can’t get bank financing (due to bad credit), and as a result c) can only buy a home if they can get seller financing of some sort.
So if the answer to the above question is Yes, then maybe Craigslist is a good option. But if you’re hoping to get paid in full right away, you aren’t likely to get anywhere advertising your home on Craigslist.
4. Am I willing to deal with the hassle of Craigslist? Anyone who has ever sold anything on Craigslist knows what I’m talking about. It’s a HASSLE. Lots of phone calls. Lots of emails. Lots of showings. And no showings (“Oh, sorry – I thought I told you I was no longer interested and didn’t actually want to see your home today”).
Everyone sounds like they’re going to buy right away, and then nobody does. Remember, if they’re contacting you, they’re probably contacting a lot of other people about their homes too.
So what is my suggestion? Deal with an investor, like Upstate House Buyers who has the ability to purchase your home painlessly and quickly. If you’re interested in learning more, go ahead and fill out our “Sell Your House” form, and we’ll be glad to get in touch with you.