How to List and Sell your House on Craigslist and Save a ton of Money!

How to sell your home on Craigslist

It's easy to save a ton of money in real estate commissions by selling your own home using Craigslist. This can be done from 3,000 miles away and without a real estate license and I will show you how you can do it. A lot of people will try to get you to list your home with them or on their website. I think that is a total waste of time. Craigslist gets over 40 million hits per month! That is huge! And it's completely free, so why waste your time with some obscure website that no one knows about. I sold my house on Craigslist within 2 months of listing it...and at full price without ever being in the state where the house was!!!! You can do it too, you just have to follow these steps.


The first thing you have to do is to emotionally distance yourself from your home. You absolutely must get a realistic assessment of your home. It's not difficult. Call a half a dozen real estate agents and tell them you are thinking of selling your home and ask them what they would list it at. They will give you their estimation based on comparable sales in the neighborhood as well as homes that your home will be competing with. After you have looked at these comparable sales and listings take a drive (if you are in the vicinity) and see if there are any extenuating circumstances. For example is one of the comparables located on a busy street while yours is nestled in the woods? Maybe one of the homes has an unfinished basement and yours doesn't. You must look at these comparables with the eyes of a buyer. If you have any doubt as to your own objectivity then have you friends look at the comparables with you. If there is a home that is very similar to yours and it is located right next door and it is listed for $225,000 you should list your home for $195,000. In this market you MUST be competitive.

Then, once you have come to a conclusion as to what the listed price should be take a weekend and completely spruce up the home. Take all of the family photo's down and paint the walls they were on. You don't have to paint the entire house (unless of course it really needs it) but if you paint a few key areas it will make a big difference. Don't forget that you only have one chance to make a good first impression. If buyers come through your home and see a bunch of garbage and clutter they will assume that the home has not been taken care of. So spruce the place up! Make sure the lawn is mowed, the flowers are blooming, all pink pelicans are removed, all pictures and clutter are removed and the beds are made at all times. Also, do a sniff test, the only smells potential buyers should be smelling is the aroma of fresh baked bread or chocolate cookies just coming out of the oven.

OK, now you are read to advertise your property. Take a few digital pictures and put them on Craigslist. Make sure your pictures are nice, and that you have lots of them. Don't even think of putting an ad up on Craigslist without some wonderful pictures. If you don't have a camera borrow someones and have them take the pictures. I was 3,000 miles away so I had a friend do this for me and email them to me. Now put your ad on Craigslist and make sure to put in the heading the most important feature about the home in the title. Is there a pool? Is there a mother-in-law suite? Whatever it is that sold you on the home put as the header. Update the ad every other day or as much as possible so that it doesn't get lost in a pile of old Craigslist ads. People tend to look at the newer ads first.


Now wait, within a matter of minutes you will begin to get inquiries. Many of them will be with agents. When you get an request by an agent to list your home tell them that you will be glad to give them a 2.5% commission (or whatever is fair in your area) if they bring a qualified buyer and sell them home. You will still be saving 2.5% to 3% off of the sales price by listing the home yourself and if you have never sold a home in your life the buyer's agent will do all the work for you (remember they want that commission too) Do the math, 3% off of a $200,000 dollar home is still $6,000 that you just saved yourself.

When people come to look at your home make sure to get the telephone number of the agent so that you can ask for feedback later. If the home is priced well it should sell rather quickly. If it lingers, find out why. If the home is located in a poor location there is nothing you can do but lower the price, if you need to do more sprucing up you can either lower the price or spruce it up yourself. Keep putting ads on Craigslist as the ads must be updated in order to attract lazy buyers who don't have the time nor the inclination to look through all of the ads.

Finally, remember that everything is negotiable. Once an offer comes in you can negotiate everything from the closing date to the repairs and make sure that you keep advertising the home in Craigslist until the time comes that the money is in your hands and the home belongs to someone else, a little competition never hurt!

Good luck and happy selling.


Staging Your Home to Sell for Top Dollar!

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Comments 71 comments

sally wolfe 8 years ago

Very helpful


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

It's amazing how much US estate agents charge. Here, in the UK, 1-2% is common.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi London: Yea that might change with the way the economy is going...at this point 6% of nothing is still nothing!


LondonGirl profile image

LondonGirl 7 years ago from London

It's a fair point!


jgwyld 7 years ago

Thank you for providing assistance on how to sell your home on craiglist. Very useful.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

You're welcome and good luck in this terrible market.


linjingjing profile image

linjingjing 7 years ago

How to Sell your Home on Craigslist and Save a ton of Money

I am in favor of


LVREALTOR 7 years ago

Did you ever stop to think that maybe..just maybe...the reason real estate agents have to charge top dollar for their commisions is that they are working under a brokerage which gets a certain percentage of their commision? That maybe..just maybe.. they pay advertising and marketing expenses out of their own pocket before they ever see any commision at all? And none period if a house does not sell after months of work trying to compete with bank reos and foreclosure prices? And oh yes- lets not forget about the people that just want something for nothing all day long. The ones that want to use the real estate agents services and never pay them a dime for any of the most valuable advice they provide, the research they have done beforehand or the time they have taken away from other more sincere clients having the true intention of actually employing their services. Even people working a 7/11 go to work expecting to get paid - don't you? And yet here you shamelessy admit you wasted 6 real estate agents time under the "ruse" you were going to list your home through them. And recommend all others to do the same. That is both lying and decietful. Have you no morals or conscience at all? I was a new reader enjoying a few of your postings until I read this one and saw more into your character. You appear to be just a user with no apparent concern for anyone other than yourself as long as the outcome benefits you.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

LVREALTOR: I was a realtor so I know exactly what the business is all about. And I also know that there are quite a few agents that are more than willing to give a "broker price opinion" in the hopes of getting a future listing from fsbo's (for sale by owners). It's all part of the job. If you are offended then maybe you should get out of the business.


LVREALTOR 7 years ago

There is a difference between a BPO or Brokers Price Opinion for which one gets paid and a CMA or Comparable Market Analysis for which listing agents will gladly do in hopes of getting a listing to further grow their business. You did not have a BPO if you did not pay for the service and you called 6 agents out with absolutely no intention of using their service in the first place. I am not offended as I am not a listing agent but can separate the truth from fiction and see that you intentionally used these agents with no regard at all for their time or worth. Perhaps it is the agents fault as well for not qualifying you properly before going out on a listing appointment. They can be forgiven I suppose as they were only trying to do their jobs and earn their bread and butter. To pay bills and put food on the table for their families in a market where they must now work 3x as hard to make 1/2 as much money due to declining home values. Instead they get called by someone such as yourself, who had absolutely no intention of hiring them in the first place what-so-ever . Had you told them this from the beginning perhaps they would not have wasted their time. They would have more than likely sent you email comps taking just minutes of their time rather than hours. But no- you had to get each and every one of their hopes up in anticipation and then dissapoint them all. Knowing you were never going to hire any one of them from the beginning. Must have been a fun ruse for you- knowing this the whole time. Just pumping them all for as much information as you could get without it costing you one red dime. Seeing as you were a real estate agent in the past you should have been able to figure out the comps yourself instead of having to call in 6 professionals to do the price work for you. There is enough information on websites such as Trulio etc in order to do so. Then again, whatever inadequecies and flaws you had as an agent should not make you wish others to take advantage of your former collegues in their chosen profession. It is your own fault you are in a JOB you now hate.FYI- I am still in the business and going strong. My clients are devoted and grateful and send many referrals my way. I love what I do, providing sanctuary and security to people finding homes which they will create many future memories in years to come. I do not allow people to use me like you have done to others so ungraciously and unappreciatively. I do my best to discern they do in fact need my services and for the most part they are sincere. Which you, my dear, do not appear to be. And just from this story alone, I must wonder how often it applies to the rest of your life.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

When I had my house, the internet was just starting so that wasn't an option and all the people I called knew that I was putting my house on the market myself. You sound terribly bitter, since you've been doing this so long I would think you would know the game by now.


LVREALTOR 7 years ago

I do know the game and I am not terribly bitter. Just able to spot the inconsistancies that don't make sense very easily since I listen to peoples wants and needs on a regular basis. I can point out the fact that now you according to you in your very own words you appear to be not only a user but also a liar. You state that "when you had your house the internet was just starting so that wasn't an option" and yet in your original post you only sold your house last summer. So which is it Miss Brie? Your story makes no sense at this point. The internet was going strong last summer as it has been for years. Craigslist is full of scammers and thiefs not to mention murderers and I cannot believe you would advise your readers to invite these people into their homes unscreened by a professional REALTOR or not even prequalified or preapproved by a lender in the first place to see if they are capable of buying the home before they even enter he premises. You are setting every one of your readers up for a multitude of possible crimes to include robbery if a supposed "buyer" is scouting out their home for valuable items. You are reccomending they let unscreened,unqualified strangers into their homes in today's day and age. But then again, you do it all the time just to make a little extra money to pay your bills. Well I consider you very lucky in that aspect and hope your luck continues but I watch the news on a regular basis and have heard too many horror stories from homes that have been listed on the market FSBO to know that there are a myriad of possible situations you are not even beginning to let your readers know of. Selling homes is not as simple as you make it sound. If it was , perhaps you would still be an agent yourself. And since you're not, perhaps you should stop giving out advice as though you were.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

I sold my house in the summer of 2007 on Craigslist. This post was originally written in 2008. When I had my boarding house business the internet was not an option and I did not use it (I believe that is what I was referring to). So I did NOT lie as is your accusation.

I think that your bitterness shows very clearly. I am no longer an agent because I moved, not that it is of your concern.

And if people are afraid to have strangers come to their home then I'm sure they have enough brains to figure that out and spend an additional 3% to have an agent bring strangers to their home. One is statistically more likely to get hit by a car then to be murdered on Craigslist. I don't live my life in fear, if you choose to do so, then that's your business.

Your tone reveals your bitterness, I'll let your post speak for itself.


LVREALTOR 7 years ago

You have said you advertise on craiglist and rent out your sofa to strangers on occasion. Call it a boarding house "business" if you like. There was a Craigslist killer. That is a fact. Real estate agents always prequalify/ preapprove clients through lenders before even letting them in their car to drive around and look at clients homes. They know all their background information and whether or not they even have they financial ability to indeed purchase the home they are viewing in the first place. They do their homework. statustically speaking they have much better odds of bringing a qualified individual to purchase the home. Not a complete nutcase from Craigslist that has no money and is only a lookieloo wasting time.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Before doing that in New York I ran a boarding house for 10 years in Portland, Oregon. Life is full of risks, like I said you are more likely to be hit by a car.


LVREALTOR  7 years ago

Yes life is full of risks but there is a difference between "living your life in fear" and taking necessary precautions to prevent the likelihood of occurences happening. And people do get hit by cars- it happens everyday, many times over. That is a fact.That is reality. We never think it will happen to us but sooner or later it eventually does. Now 10 years ago Portland Oregon was most likely a different scenario than New York or Las Vegas is today, would you not agree? Desperate times make people do desperate things- you must realize this. Now you sold your home from thousands of miles away so to let strangers into a vacant property is really of no consequence in the selling of your property as you were not there. But the mere suggestion of allowing unscreened, unqualified buyers into a home that is currently resided by it's owners makes me squirm in my seat. Let me give you few reasons why-Example: Caller asks to see property this weekend or at 2PM Seller INNOCENTLY responds: unable to show because I will be out of town or I am at work. EEGADS! Seller may have now just unknowingly let a robber know the exact hours they may come by to rob the home! This happens ALL THE TIME !!! Especially during the holiday season it is much more rampant. Agents know this. They will not say such unwitting things. Another common misconception is the fact that an "open house" will sell your home. Fact of the matter is less than 2% of homes ever sell directly from holding the open house itself. Less than 2%!!!! Why do agents do them in the first place? Because the seller/owners INSIST. They think opening their homes up to complete ,unqualified strangers is going to sell it faster when in fact it usually does nothing but open the doors for opportunity to burglary as well as give the agent LEADS to BUYERS interested in other homes because it is highly unlikely someone will walk in off the street and decide this is the home for them. All buyers want to see more before they decide to make such a large investment-and well they should. But sellers insist agents do this for them and so they do. But all agents do insist on a sign-in list-not only to safeguard & protect the sellers interest by knowing EXACTLY who walked through the door (along with adress& phone #) but to follow up on buyers leads as well-you see? Point being-they take PRECAUTIONS by having people sign in at least. I've talked to FSBOs who haven't even bothered doing this and just gasped. They seem not to realize they are opening their doors up to complete strangers they know nothing about who could potentially be scoping out their home for future burglary. You say it's not likely ? I hear of this ALL THE TIME. Most listing agents I know don't even like to do open houses because they know the dangers of this happening are a fact but they do it anyway only because the owners INSIST and they feel the owners will think they are "lazy'" if they do not when nothing could be farther from the truth. They are simply trying to look out for their clients best interest but some clients are hard to save from themselves. They already have their own ideas set in their head as to what works best. Another listing agent went out to check a vacant house she had listed for an out of state client who had relocated and was trying to sell the former home. She had received a phone call that someone had broken a window so it needed to be fixed. Arriving before the window repairman she unlocked the door and went into the property only to be assaulted and robbed by a vagrant. Ended up in the hospital in a coma and needed two brain surgeries. Made headline news when police caught criminal in the next state. Did not make news she is still paralyzed and her life will never again be the same. Do you think she earned her 3% commission? Oh wait... house didn't sell so she earned absolutely nothing for that. And now will never be able to work again. Another agent I personally knew was robbed at gunpoint, taken to the ATM and then had his car stolen. Shot in the arm while refusing to give his wedding band to the thief. Left on the side of the road bleeding. Was a new agent. Didn't think to screen his client properly before letting him into the car. There are procedures a good agent goes through to prevent something like this from happening. Yes, life is full of risks and we take our chances every day. But I do not see any sense in risking something preventable. And I don't expose clients to risks they should not have to take. Would you walk across a busy street without looking both ways?? I do try to use common sense and proceed with caution. Being in this business on a daily basis gives me more knowledge of what may happen than one who only ventures in for a moment. We all think something like this can't happen to us until it does. All I am saying is there is more to selling a home than just putting an ad on Craigslist. Kudos to you for having done so. I am saying in certain circumstances it is best to proceed with CAUTION as well. Don't dissolution your readers they will all have it as simple as you make it sound(or as safe). They most likely will not. If that were the case why would statistics prove over 87% of FSBO (for sale by owners) eventually end up listing their house with an agent in order to sell and another 72% of those surveyed state they felt their homes would have sold faster and for a higher price if they would have done so from the beginning with an agent? Those are high numbers and this is a tough market with a lot of competition from the bank owned REOs. To me this simply shows you were one of the lucky few. May all your readers be as lucky as you :)


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well, you can quote statistics all you want, and if someone wants to have an agent sell their home for them, I would not stand in their way. But there are a lot of people who cannot afford to pay the commission otherwise they would be upside down after the house sold. My post is for people who want that option. I think the statistics are biased towards realtors (I mean it is realtors that are gathering the statistics and they do have a bias). I worked as a realtor for a couple of years in Portland, Oregon and then I worked for a relocation firm (for 5 years) selling homes across the country. So my advice is good advice for those who want to give it a try. Maybe things have changed since then but I never once heard of any agent I knew getting accosted. I don't think I was one of the lucky few, I think that the chances of something bad happening is rare. Does it happen? I'm sure it does, but I think it's a rare occurrence. After selling homes for almost 10 years I think it's a very easy process, it doesn't have to be difficult and thats why I posted the hub.


LVREALTOR 7 years ago

Just because you haven't "heard" of these things happening in your perfect world doesn't mean they don't happen in others. Believe me- they happen plenty. Just because you can't see air doesn't mean it doesn't exist either... Ask any agent in any metropolitan city- I'm sure they will tell you more stories such as mine. And FYI- most people right now can not afford to sell their house PERIOD due to the markets declining property values they no longer have any equity left in their property in order to even begin to think about selling their home unless they absolutely must. And most people at this point are attempting to "shortsale" their homes since they are so upside down owing more than the property is worth. A process they are unable to successfully do without a real estate agent or on Craigslist as you suggest. The clients are not charged typically real estate commissions for this service as the bank usually pays for them. Why don't you with all your "real estate experience" write a post about that ? Now I've wasted enough of my valuable time on you- you're really starting to irritate me thinking you know it all when in fact you know nothing.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

It's a free country, I am just responding to you.


johnsopinion 7 years ago

I too was a real estate agent at one time. I too am considering posting

my house on craigslist. The information you offer is good common sense Brie. Thank you.

Questions:

Is it ok in listing on craigslist that a house will not be available until say, 6 to 8 months later, or should one just wait until they are ready to move out? I want to buy a house in another town

that is offered by an agent now, May, but I don't want to move until December.

Should I go ahead and make an offer on the other house now or

wait until I've sold my house--would telling the agent that I don't want to take possession or close on their house until December be an ok way to approach this? It is an estate type sell and has been reduced in price?

In other words, timing is my problem, so to speak.

Thanks.

John


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Personally, I would wait. You might get a few people that would need a house in 6 to 8 months but you risk overexposing the house. It is crucial not to overexpose your house. If a house has been on the market (I would guess even in this market) too long people think that there is something wrong with it. The other thing that I would do if I were you is low ball the price. Try to get enough people interested so that they bid up the price. You are going to have to be very aggressive to sell in this market. But you should sell the house first especially if you need the money because you don't know how long it will take to sell that house in this market.

I would not make an offer on the other house yet. First of all you need to sell yours, secondly I believe that the prices will go even lower in 8 months so you can buy it for less if you wait it out ANd the last thing you want is to have two houses on your hands.


Joe 7 years ago

LVRealtor, find yourself a good therapist. And stop watching Dateline and 24-hour news. Not everyone looking to buy ahome is an axe murdererer. Good grief!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

LOL Joe, thanks for the comment! My sentiments exactly!


Cliff Keith 7 years ago

Wow can't you girl just get alone. In my 33 years of real estate experience in California I have had my share of being used. I think it was because of my inability to qualify those people who used me. Today I am a bit wiser and require a stronger relationship before I work with anyone. Brie, I would have told what you could do with yourself and that includes the white horse you rode in on too.

The only saving grace is everyone and I mean everyone is trying to save money and time. It's the person with the self esteem and able to know what they want that will prevail in any relationship. Both parties got just what they deserved. Karma does have a way to raising its' stinky head when you least expect it.


rbinmi 7 years ago

Thanks for the tips Brie - IMHO realtors really earn their keep when working with a buyer - running around from home to home, in the evening (usually) or on Saturday's when they would rather be at their kid's soccer games. And they are a huge help when moving to an unfamiliar area. Luckily we're hoping to relocate South (not West) so we're fortunate, in my opinion, that we won't run into disgruntled realtors rattled by competing with FSBO's. I'd suggest a new occupation for those who are. One thing to think about - I have heard of sellers offering HIGHER than average commisions to motivate their realtors more. If our house languishes (which they all seem to, here in Michigan) I'll probably go that route. Right now we are FSBO (+3% to buyers agent - that's what it says on our sign) and I plan to get it on Craig's this weekend. Thanks again for the tips.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 7 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks for writing Rbinmi, but I don't know if I would offer more to the agents in this market. I think what I would do is cut the price of the home as far down as you can right off the getgo. It's a very difficult market and to attract buyers you are going to have to be very competitive. I worked at a relocation firm for 5 years and price is the only real motivator. Believe me, agents are motivated already because there are so few closings these days. Also, make sure to mention that if they buy without an agent (in your Craigslist Ad) that they will save the commission because you have to spell it out to the potential buyers...put the amount they will save in your CL ad in bold.


Kevin Barnes 6 years ago

Great article! Realtors simply lower the price (easy tactic for a quick sale) they don't care about you or how much you make. A difference in the sales price of $25,000 is only a loss of $625 to them (one-half of 5%) but it's huge to the seller. They just list the property on the MLS and then sit back and wait for the phone to ring. I work with realtors so I know how worthless they are. The only question they ever have is "when do I get my check"?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

So true, thanks for writing.


sam 6 years ago

Enjoyed the notes here...I'll be posting our house on Craig's List in a few months...We paid $120,000 and will try to sell for $100,000. My wife and I bought the house so I could go to graduate school for four years and now it is time to move on. We would have paid ~$35,000 in rent over that period, but figure if we lose 20k in a home purchase/resale, we really didn't lose anything at all. My question is, do you think we should just cut the price to 100k right off the bat or should we try to get 110k, since houses around us sell for ~125k.

Thanks again!


Typical. 6 years ago

Wow...13 year olds have better manners on youtube..Lol. What have the adults in my nation come to? It's no wonder it's so hard to find any role models to look up to anymore..


Deborah  6 years ago

Hi Brie,

I have to sell my house and I am going to try the Craig's List route - I just lost my job and my husband and I are getting separated - very scary!!! I do have a few additional questions:

1. Should I consider paying for an MLS listing; if so how do you do so without getting ripped off?

2. Should I get a professional appraisal; and any good ideas about where can I find a good appraiser?

3. Is there a way to find out if callers are really pre-qualifed - i.e. asking for a pre-qualification letter.

4. Should you put a FSBO sign on your home?

Thanks for any help you can offer. Deborah


foreignpress 6 years ago from Denver

Wow. One can tell there's a lot of anger out there -- and fear. And it all revolves around money (or lack of it). I've been forced into selling my home. But I'm going to try and keep it by renting it as office space or as a boarding house. Zoning laws will dictate. You do what you have to.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

To Everyone who has commented in the last 2 months: For some reason my email notification was off so I wasn't notified when you wrote your comments. Thanks for commenting and I'm sorry I wasn't able to respond in a timely manner.

Deborah: You don't need to pay for the appraisal, the buyers will pay for that...DON'T GET ONE AHEAD OF TIME, IT'S A WASTE OF MONEY. I am not sure about the MLS thing...personally I would just stick with CL. There is really no way you can be sure that someone is really pre-qualified. A Buyer can get right up to closing and be denied at that point. Whatever you do, don't let them move in early. I suppose a FSBO sign wont hurt, although you may get a lot of hassle from invenstors.

Foreignpress: I ran a boarding house for 10 years, it worked beautifully. Let me know if you need any advice and stay tuned I may post a blog about it.


Mileah 6 years ago

Brie,

Thank you so much for all the info. My husband and I are expecting our first child and are wanting to get out of our house quickly and get into one with a much smaller payment so that I can just work part time when the baby comes. We bought our house 4 years ago for $216,000, owe 205,000 and realistically could probably only get $215-220,000 on a quick sell but really know nothing about selling a house nor have a lot of time to fuss over it. We found a house we really like for $180,000 listed through Windemere. Do you think we could negotiate with that agent to try to help us get into that house by helping us sell our house but only charging us a small percent for our house as I woud guess he will be getting 6% or more if we buy that one through him. We need every cent we can get out of this one which is why I am considering Craigslist but know that if I had a professional it would probably sell a lot quicker. If you think we could negotiate.. what percent do you think is realistic? Thanks so much!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Mileah: Absolutely, Real estate agents are DESPERATE right now, ask her or him to take 2% and see if she/he will do it. If she/he says no, call around for a few different agents and see if they will do it for 2%. Personally, I would still try and sell it myself, selling a house is easy and if you want I would be glad to advice you.


Hfruitco 6 years ago

after meeting with 2 different realtors we realize having them sell our homes is impossible. They would not budge at all on their commisions so selling ourselves looks to be our only option. I see that you said to Mileah you would advise her...can we take up that offer too? We have a great clean home but we don't have a clue how to get it out there so to speak. One realtor said that the house was ready to show in its current condition so we're ready but how do we do the ads? Any advice would be helpful especially about getting offers in writing and having a lawyer ready to do the paperwork etc. thanks


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hfruitco: What state are you in?


hfruitco 6 years ago

We are in Colorado


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Do they use lawyers to close deals or escrow companies in Colorado?

If they use a lawyer to close then try to get a referral for a good one and get him/her lined up. If not do the same only with an escrow company. Next, don't worry about anything after that until you have an offer. Take some good digital pics of the house and put the house up on Craigslist. I am assuming that the agents gave you ballpark figures for what the house is worth? Use a medium high price at first. What is the ballpark average price that they said your home is worth?

Put that figure in the Craigslist Ad and then wait, in the meantime go and look at other homes that are for sale in your neighborhood, see how they compare. Make sure to put all the amenities in the Ad. If you get nothing in one week, lower the price.

More than likely, if you get an offer the other agent will take care of everything for you, as far as the paperwork. When you get the offer you can negotiate that agents fee, normally it would be half which would be 3% but I would try and negotiate it to 2%. Whatever you do don't tell the other agent you don't know what you are doing, the less said the better, however if they ask you about the house do be honest and tell the truth. Make sure you give them 10 days to get inspections done and to ask for any repairs....remember everything is negotiable, if they ask for the moon, just say no, but you also have to remember that people are going to try and get you to come way down because of the market so my advice is to take anything you can reasonably afford to take. Whatever you do do NOT let them move in before closing, that is a complete nightmare.

If you need ideas about how to put your ad on CL, look at the other ads, they will give you ideas.

Let me know if you have any further questions.


hfruitco 6 years ago

Thanks for your comments, they are very very helpful. The median price range varied by $40,000 between the two realtors we had come meet with us. We would obviously prefer the upper price quoted but it does sound like our area is a bit lower than what we expected. I think one other question we have is this: Our home was built by a high end builder. It's the only house he built in our neighborhood. He put in a ton of amenities and upgrades and we purchased the house at a higher cost because of them. However, it sounds like the realtors are pricing our house alongside all the others in our neighborhood just because of the proximity. They throw the unique qualities of this house out the window. Is this something we should expect when trying to sell the house ourself or should we price it for it's amenities and upgrades? I hate to think because our neighborhood is selling at one price ours will have to too just based on us all being here together rather than the quality of our home. Is this true? Your thoughts on this?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Hi Hfruitco: Here's the deal, if you price the home at the higher spectrum you run the risk of alienating potential buyers in the beginning. Unfortunately, most home buyers either do not see the upgrades or they consider them "a bonus". I know that is not what you want to hear but that is the way a lot of people look at them. A lot of this depends on your situation. If you are desperate to sell, you have to be very aggressive in the price and with a little luck you could get more than one offer and play them off of each other (that is the best case scenario). But, I wouldn't hold my breath on that. The market right now is brutal, so my advice would be to price it as low as you can take (remembering that you may have to include a 2% fee for the buyers agent). You didn't mention if Colorado is an escrow state or attorney state. In Oregon where I worked as a relocation consultant you didn't need an attorney to close the deal (it saved a lot of money). Call an escrow company and give them a figure that you think the house will sell for and then ask them if you have to pay 2% to an agent what the bottom line will be for you (how much money will you take home). Figure out if you can live with that then go with that price as the asking price. If it is priced well, you should get an offer within a couple of weeks (a month on the outset) unless your area is extremely depressed which it doesn't sound like it is. If you can afford to wait then you might want to try it at a higher price, see if anything comes of it. If nothing does, take it off the market completely for about a month to 6 weeks, then lower the price and try again.

Of course, if they don't have an agent you save the 2% and it might give you a little wiggle room. Just try to see your home through the buyers eyes, they are comparing your home with all the others on the market who are desperate, they don't know what will happen in the economy and so they might want to price in further declines in the market. Try to keep your emotions out of it.

Let me know if I can help further.


santiagodemierre profile image

santiagodemierre 6 years ago from Edmonton

Hi by using leverage tools you can not only submit your properties to Craiglist but also to 39 other sites in one click! Check out this tool that submit your property to Craiglist, twitter, facebook, and many sites more in just one click: This is where I explain what it does: http://hubpages.com/business/How-to-Sell-your-Home...

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carol johnson 6 years ago

Need help selling home. Doesn't anyone give unconditionally anymore,without some condition involved? Have been in critical conditions for long time and nobody seems to care. What happened to doing things Gods way?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 6 years ago from Manhattan Author

Carol, write to me using the contact email and I'll see if I can help.


miggy2007 profile image

miggy2007 5 years ago

New here, "lurking a bit" and now wanted to say thank you Brie! I enjoy your perspective, informative and thought provoking while able to be steady as she goes as well. Cudos!

scott from Texas


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Thanks Scott and welcome aboard!


JayeWisdom profile image

JayeWisdom 5 years ago from Deep South, USA

Thanks for the useful advice, Brie. I'm hoping to downsize homes within the next year or so. I bought my present house directly from the previous owner, and worked with realtors for years while I was an HR manager (to sell homes of managers who relocated), so I plan to sell this one myself. Property values have decreased in my area, and, at my age, I can't afford to "wait and see" if they improve. Jaye


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

They will not improve, if anything sell and wait for them to go down some more before buying. We haven't seen anything yet!


lyle 5 years ago

Cannot find How do I find list to sell my property on craigs list?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Go to the real estate section and post your ad.


mike 5 years ago

Hi Brie,

love your input, As an agent how do I post home's on craiglist.

thanks

mike


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

The same way as anyone else.


SaveOnAnything 5 years ago

Thanks for the advice. It’s very helpful. Keep up the good work!


David Ballantyne 5 years ago

Hi Brie,

I have been looking for ways of avoiding real estate agent fees, but had never thought of Craig's List. I'm in the UK and didn't think we had it here, however, I have just searched for it online and have discovered that not only do we have it in the UK, but that there is also a page for my part of the UK.

I will add your approach to my house selling toolbox.

Thanks!


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good luck to you David.


cheri 5 years ago

Your advice is quite helpful.I live in Florida and want to go back home to Oregon your advice is great.Problem I have with realtors they won't come to my home as I have 4 pit bulls...so will do it myself

Thank You


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

You may have trouble getting buyers to come with 4 pit bulls! I would find a place to take them to when people come over if you want to sell. Good luck I love Portland myself.


Chris Orion 5 years ago

Interesting post. I'll say up front that I'm a Realtor and can see both sides of the coin. I agree that there are PLENTY of real estate agents that place a home in the MLS and sit back (especially here in Central Florida), but I pride myself on great customer service and an extensive background in marketing.

I found your site because I've never posted a home for sale on Craigslist and was curious if it worked. As of 4PM, there are 500 "homes for sale" from today alone. They appear faster than any human could possible read them. Yes, it’s free and one of the most visited websites in the world, but I’m not sure that being “1 in 500” is going to be good enough to get your home sold. There are very good reasons why you should at least consult with a Realtor.

I pride myself on my work ethics and quality of my service. I NEVER take a listing where the seller wants too high a price. To me, I'm misleading them and I wouldn't get enthused about spending my money on marketing an overpriced listing. I've turned down plenty of listings, watched them go online 20% above market with other agents and sit.

When I meet with a seller and they can appropriately price their home for the market, I give them 100%. Before i see a dime of commission, I'm spending time and money on: MLS (including annual fees), lock boxes, color flyers, full 1080 HD video tours, direct mail to the community, professional email campaigns, yard signs, phone calls, etc. I provide my sellers with weekly updates on showings, market conditions and feedback. My phone is ALWAYS on for their needs.

Additionally, on a good number of deals, a buyer's agent will come along, go under contract and "hope for the best" and not participate in the deal. Ultimately, it's MY responsibility to follow up, make sure deadlines are reached and the deal closes.

The average home in Central Florida is selling today for $115,000. From that commission (3% or $3450) our corporate parent takes 6%, we pay $25 for Errors and Omissions Insurance on every transaction, my office takes 35% of what remains. I get a check for $2,091. I set aside 33% for the IRS. Personally, I ALWAYS send out a very nice thank you gift ($50-100), and I take about 10% of every deal and put it back into my business. So when all is said and done, I deposit about $1,000 into my checking per closing – not nearly enough to cover my personal expenses for the month. I have to close at least 2 transactions a month and have the next two months closings scheduled as well.

I’ve never done this job for the money. I honestly do it because I love changing people’s lives. When people come to me, something big is happening - They are taking a fork in the road to a new destination. I make “enough” in my life to be happy. Yes, I could make a lot more money…and I’ve seen people make A LOT in this business, but I’m happy with the clients that I have. And the best reward for me: I’ve received a referral from a past customer 95% of the time.

Additionally (and not to sound pompous), I never negotiate my 3% on average listings. My fee is my fee and it is well earned. I provide a professional service and I charge an appropriate amount. You don’t negotiate with your hair stylist, your dentist or even the pizza shop to lower their prices. You would be insulted if your boss asked you to work for less this week, because he feels you make too much. Yes, I’m sure I’ve lost potential sellers over this, but the moment you negotiate your fee is the moment people lose respect for you.

Side note: I sell land for 10%, split 5 and 5. Land is A LOT harder to sell than a house and requires a lot more money in marketing (equestrian magazines, large custom signs) I charge 5% on any listing over $500,000, split 2.5 and 2.5. Any listing under $50,000 is a flat $3,000 commission, split in half. We have small condos here for $25,000 and I can’t bring buyers unless I offer a decent co-broke amount

Anyway, thank you for reading my long-winded post. I just wanted you all to be aware that there’s a few of us good agents left.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 5 years ago from Manhattan Author

Well Chris there may be 500 new postings but usually a buyer is looking in a certain price range and a certain neighborhood which narrows it down quite a bit. I agree if someone doesn't mind the commission by all means they should use a realtor, however there are a great many out there who just don't have the money, they are lucky to get anything out of there house these days and by selling themselves they can come out with a little bit of money verses nothing. Thanks for commenting.


rena 4 years ago

hi we just lost are mom and dad cant live in his home and wonts to sale it the trailer is a 1968 one badroom with washer and dryer in it on a lot


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Rena, follow the guidelines in the article.


Jason1973 profile image

Jason1973 4 years ago from Mineral Bluff, Georgia

Well I just listed our house in the mountains of Blue Ridge, GA on craigslist today. Lets hope for an offer and closing date soon. Thanks for your article and advice. I will post a follow-up as to if the house sells and how the deal went. Have a Merry Christmas.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Good luck Jason


Jason1973 profile image

Jason1973 4 years ago from Mineral Bluff, Georgia

So it's been just about 24 hours since I listed our house for sale on craigslist and already have an interested family who want come take a look at the end of the week. They do have a buyers agent. If they make an offer should I talk to their agent and try to get the agent to take 2% to sell/handle paper work on my behalf, or should I get a contract/discloure form, etc together on my own? This buyers agent has me for a loop... not sure how to handle it?


Jason1973 profile image

Jason1973 4 years ago from Mineral Bluff, Georgia

So after one day on craigslist we have an interested party who wants to come take a look at the house later this week. They do have a buyers agent. if they are interested and want to make an offer should I talk to their realtor and offer them 3% to handle all the paperwork?


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

Try to get them to take 2 1/2 percent..what do you mean the buyers agent has you for a loop?


Jason1973 profile image

Jason1973 4 years ago from Mineral Bluff, Georgia

What I am getting at is, will that 2 1/2% include their realtor doing the entire purchase agreement, working as a dual agent, or will I be responsible for all paperwork? Will their agent handle the transaction. again thank you for your generous time and advice, it is greatly appreciated.


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 4 years ago from Manhattan Author

It should, and I would make sure that the agent agrees to do that...they will, don't worry...they want the sale! Don't even worry about the agent being a dual agent.


linda 4 years ago

I thought of considering a real estate agent but after reading all of this cat fighting etc-there are better ways to sell a home. no thanks no thanks!


Mohamed 2 years ago

How can I list my house for rent in Graigslist, what site should I visit


Brie Hoffman profile image

Brie Hoffman 2 years ago from Manhattan Author

Real Estate for Sale

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