How not to reply to a Craigslist ad

When my wife and I bought a house together last year there was one problem. What do we do with my house? The housing market being what it is helped us find a really good deal on a house we plan to stay in for quite a long time. The market also meant it was going to be next to impossible to sell my house. With no luck trying to sell we set forth on our next option, foreclosure...no...I mean renting it out.

We were both new to this, where do we start? Do I print up for rent fliers and nail them to the utility pole. Ah ha, Craigslist, the 21st century version of the classified ads. Never having posted anything on Craigslist, I figured I would test my luck. I typed up a nice detailed description of the house and details about the lease, added some pictures and posted the ad one night.

The next morning I woke up, poured some coffee and decided to check my email. WOW, 41 responses! This is going to take forever to weed through. Well not exactly. Some of the responses were deleted by title alone, others were scarier than going into the Craigslist casual encounters section. So as a newbie landlord, I've listed a few pointers for those responding to a for rent ad on Craigslist.

A realistic living arrangement helps. My house is a small 1000 sq ft house, being that it's located behind a college, I had numerous college students inquire about it. Most of which went something like this: Saw the house for rent, was wondering if me and my 4 roommates could come by and take a look. Sorry guys but this isn't going to work.

Rent amount is not negotiable. If I'm asking a certain amount we should just stick to that. I guess it doesn't hurt to ask but you should probably wait until we meet in person. If you put in the header What's the lowest amount you'll take? I'm not going to bother opening that email.

40 year old lady with 6 cats whose mom can cosign. Does this need explaining? Delete.

Spell the words out. I understand you're on your iphone or Blackberry, but if you want to be considered as a renter U shd prbly spl th wrdz out. Technology has made everything easier but a little effort never hurt.

If you send an email, and then a follow up email, that should suffice. There was one potential renter (yikes) that wanted to see the place that minute. They then proceeded to email every hour on the hour. I understand you may be interested but this is annoying. It's not you it's me.

Hope this helps if your ever trying to rent a place on Craigslist. I'm sure other landlords may have more experience dealing with these situations. As first time landlords we have a lot to learn. Everything did workout in the end. We have an ideal tenant living in the house and our biggest problem right now is hoping she'll stay. Maybe I'll send her an email...


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Comments 22 comments

Dawn Conklin profile image

Dawn Conklin 5 years ago from New Jersey, USA

Wow, that is funny! Sorry to laugh at your experience with it, but I can't believe people actually responded like that.

Glad you found the ideal tenant and hope she stays with you! If she is happy with the place and you are a cool landlord (no I don't mean money wise) just somebody she can respect, she will probably stay. I stayed in an apartment that wasn't really my favorite as an apartment, but my landlord was nice and a cool respectable guy. Never gave me discounts or anything to make him cool, the rent is the rent amount and that is it. I would never ask for it to be changed. We got along great in a landlord/tenant relationship (so to speak) and I stayed there for years longer then I would have otherwise.

If you keep up the place when she needs something fixed or let her do it and take it off rent (with a receipt), this makes a big difference. Too many landlords don't care about what needs to be fixed, show her you do and I am sure she will be happy.


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks for the advice Dawn. I will definitely try to keep her happy. Thanks for reading!


Diane Fanning profile image

Diane Fanning 5 years ago from New Braunfels, Texas

Too, too funny!


tirelesstraveler profile image

tirelesstraveler 5 years ago from California

I am going to list something on Craigslist. Your hub made clear that knowing what you want and setting limits is vital when posting on Craigslist.Thanks for your informative and funny hub.


ripplemaker profile image

ripplemaker 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

I've never tried Craiglist but what a funny experience.. :D

I enjoyed reading your hub.

Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! http://ladyjane1.hubpages.com/hubnuggets6/hub/If-T... Follow that link and you will see! Or check your email too! Read and vote!


catsimmons profile image

catsimmons 5 years ago from Mission BC Canada

Oh too funny...! I like looking through Craigslist and am actually sitting on one of couches we bought though it right now..There are certainly some very odd folks that use it though!!


FloraBreenRobison profile image

FloraBreenRobison 5 years ago

I'm afraid of using craigslist for pretty much everything but, say, selling furniture to people who live in my general area. Congratulations on your hubnugget nomination.


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks for commenting guys, it was just that an experience!!!


bwhite062007 profile image

bwhite062007 5 years ago from East Coast

This was too funny, but scary as well because it's true. I tend to avoid Craigslist as much as possible. Great hub and congrats on your Hubnugget Nomination!


sparta11 5 years ago from Cincinatti, Ohio

I have had the same experience, not renting apartments or housing but selling in the classifieds. I tried to sell a laptop that was only a month old. Retailed at $699.00. I was only asking 500 obo, I had people offering me $100 or asking if I would trade it for a paintball gun. Seriously some people are ridiculous!


weestro profile image

weestro 5 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks for reading! It's sad this hub is 99% true!!!


mserscan profile image

mserscan 5 years ago from Orlando

I use and reply on Craigslist all the time. I can't believe you got those kind of responses from potential renters! By the way....I'm on my iPad and I can still my words out :)


travel_man1971 profile image

travel_man1971 5 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

Thanks for the tips regarding those responses when posting an ad on Craigslist.

Here in the Philippines, the classified ads on newspaper are still popular and get positive responses from those looking for job openings and rentals.


Rob 4 years ago

Well I guess in such a terrible market, you can still somehow afford to be a picky jerk. You might as well keep the house and just give up with that attitude.


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

I have a wonderful tenant Rob, so all is well. This was a light hearted attempt at humor, sorry to have offended you.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Excellent tips that many people might not think of. Well done Pete!:)


Stephanie Henkel profile image

Stephanie Henkel 4 years ago from USA

I've never tried renting on Craigslist, but I, too, made some mistakes the first time I listed anything. First thing I learned is to recognize the scams that offer to send me a check for double the amount if I'll hold the item for them, and then I can just send them the change after I deposit it... oh, yeah, I'll just do that. I've always wondered how renting on CL works out - glad to hear that you got a great tenant! Thanks for the tips.


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

Thanks Sunshine, I had forgotten about this experience....and I don't miss it!

Great points Stephanie, thanks for stopping by!


Julie DeNeen profile image

Julie DeNeen 4 years ago from Clinton CT

LOL- this was really funny. Craiglisters are scary!


weestro profile image

weestro 4 years ago from Virginia Author

Yes Julie, they are! thanks!


davidmurree profile image

davidmurree 3 years ago from USA

i will try this


Johnc907 2 years ago

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