How To Sell Your Home Using Craigslist [save thousands in realtor fees]


Knowing how to list your home on Craigslist is a huge advantage for saving money. I’ve sold every property I’ve ever owned on Craigslist and ended up saving thousands of dollars in realtor commission fees by using a discounted realtor to write-up the contract for me.

The best part about it is, I actually enjoy doing the marketing of the home to line up potential buyers, then showing them my property.

Once you have a buyer from showing the house yourself, you can proceed one of two ways:

  • Execute a full For Sale By Owner and do all the legal work yourself, check out this NoloPress FSBO Sell Your Home Guide to find out the pros and cons of doing a full For Sale By Owner of your home with out the help of a realtor. Doing this is a nightmare for most people and I don’t recommend it.
  • What I do recommend is to hire a real estate agent at a discounted rate. Preferably one you know personally or spoke with ahead of time about the idea. My realtor use to do the contract for me for a flat 2% commission fee, saving me 4% which equaled an average cash savings of over $20,000 dollars. This is by far the best approach to saving money when selling your home!

How I Use Craigslist And A Real Estate Agent To Sell My Properties

Honestly, It’s pretty amazing how awesome Craigslist is and how great the results can be. Especially in cities or towns like the SF Bay Area where there is a decent amount of people living with a short supply of homes to buy, there’s lots of potential buyers. In a seller’s market it’s even better!

If you make a good ad with decent photos, you’ll usually get e-mails from people interested in viewing your home within an hour of you posting the ad.

First, you need to find a realtor to work with you at a discounted rate.

Contact a realtor and say “I’m planning on lining up a buyer for my home, can you draw up the sales contract for a reduced commission, for an easy sale?”

I normally keep at least 2 – 4% of the total 6% commission in my pocket this way. They’ll get the same range depending on how you divide it up and negotiate. The total commission among all the realtors should never exceed 6% for the entire sale of the property. If the buyer you lined up has their own real estate agent, you’ll be negotiating the commission with them too.

For your effort of finding a buyer, you could be saving as much as $20,000 dollars for a $500k home sale.

Next, you need good photos for your Craigslist ad

  • Make sure that your home photos are not stretched out; it creates a false perception. Keep them to a normal aspect ratio that’s set automatically in your digital camera. Avoid using a filters that will change the natural colors too. You don’t buyers showing up and asking about why the photos don’t look like the house for sale?
  • Most of the time photos taken with an iPhone or Droid phone with lots of natural light is the way to go, I love my iPhone pictures!
  • Post at least 10 – 15 photos of the home, maybe more if needed.

Now, It’s Time To Create The Craigslist Ad

The secret to a good sales ad on Craigslist is to make it exciting and honest. You’d think writing a good Craigslist ad would be easy, but for most people, it’s actually kind of hard. Below we’ll go over an example to help make writing your ad easy.

Home For Sale Craigslist Ad Example

Note: This Craigslist ad is pretty generic because it’s an example. I’m leaving out specific names of schools, parks, neighborhoods, etc. Of course, you’ll want to add those details to your ad. Don’t copy this word for word either, just use it as an example and make your own original ad for the best results.

[—– Beginning of Sample ad —–]


3 Bedroom 2 Full Bath Home For Sale! [An Open Floor Plan Beauty!]


1800 Sqft. beautiful home in Alamo, Ca. with 10,000 sqft. corner Lot!

This dream home is priced to sell! It’s close to all the best elementary, middle, and high schools in the area. Your kids will be able to walk or easily take the bus for getting to school in this safe neighborhood.

Not to mention it’s a very family-friendly community with lots of outdoor activities frequently happening, especially in the summer. Last summer was full of outdoor concerts, farmer’s markets, and family nights in the nearby park.

The home was recently remodeled and has a whole new kitchen! The bathrooms were also remodeled. The entire house just got a fresh paint job inside and out. Brand new solid oak floors throughout!

The house has an open floor plan that flows. All the closets are spacious. The backyard has a new deck covering and a built-in brick BBQ. It’s a BBQers paradise for 4th of July parties or any family celebration.

All the bedrooms are on the backside of the house so you can have your windows opened safely and without traffic noise.

There are no window coverings or bright colors; it’s a blank canvas ready for you to decorate to your specific tastes.

See the pictures attached to this ad! Seeing is believing! E-Mail or call Scotty at the number below for a private viewing or to be invited to the next upcoming open house this Sunday.

[—– end of sample ad —–]

Lastly, It’s all about showing off the house in its best presentation with an Open House

Have an open house to show prospective buyers, just add an announcement for the date of the open house in the title of your “for sale” ad. Update it with “OPEN HOUSE 01/05/2018” (with the date.) Refresh your ad in Craigslist to move it to the top the day before or morning of.

When writing an ad or meeting prospective buyers in person, always convey all the benefits of your property! If it’s close to the freeway or public transportation, describe that. If you just got a new roof installed, say it. If your house is at the end of a cul de sac or close to the best public schools in the area, don’t forget to mention that too.

Once you have an offer from a buyer get the real estate agent your working with on the phone right away to get the paper work started. It’s just that easy!

Have you sold your home by finding the buyer, then using a realtor to write up the contract? Share in the comments below…

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