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...