Is Craigslist past its prime for home buyers (and sellers)?

I have been using Craigslist to promote new listings (and sell a car) and the site used to deliver results.  But I have noticed a trend over the past year and starting to think Craigslist is becoming less and less relevant.  Go back just 4 years and it seemed that many true buyers were using the site to get useful information.  But now, I feel that it is cluttered with random offerings and I get spammed from Nigeria and beyond.  It seems that the site has become a victim of it's own success.  Does anyone else see this trend or am I alone? 

Eric Brooks - REALTOR ®
Long & Foster Realtors
4733 Bethesda Ave #100
Bethesda, MD 20814
Licensed in DC, MD and VA

  • October 15 2010 - Bethesda
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Answers (17)

Best Answer

I had posted a few listings there recently and I mostly got inundated with spam emails, so I would say it's past it's prime.  Then again, I'm in Los Angeles and maybe there are more crazies on craigslist here than in other locations! ;)
  • October 15 2010
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Profile picture for treepro
I own a tree service in Colorado as well as a few rentals and Craigslist use to provide 1/3 of my bussiness. Now I'm lucky to get 2 calls per week from clist and they are usually a lower end clientele. So I guess the middle class have stopped using craigslist here in Denver also.
  • October 29 2013
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Yes Eric, CL is full of spammers.  CL does produce some customers, if you can handle the spammers.  
  • May 07 2013
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Although most professionals agree that CL seems to attract spammers, and there is a number of miscategorized ads; it seems that people who are relocating use CL as a resource. Not necessarily a source to find homes, but a resource nonetheless.
  • November 22 2012
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Profile picture for metrodcexpert
I'm not a fan of Craigslist anymore. It's a haven for spammers that can't wait to fill your email inbox with garbage. In addition, I've had several clients come to me who've been scammed by having deposits taken from them to reserve a rental from someone other than the true property owner. Craigslist has "jumped the shark". Time to move on...
  • August 06 2012
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I agree with Christine, more exposure is better than less. That said, I find Craig's List to be most effective with rentals over sales. It is a great source to rent your rental listings yourself, but the quality of leads on a home for sale is lacking.
  • May 24 2011
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Profile picture for WydlerBrothers
We stopped using Craigslist because scammers were picking up our listing content and reposting as sham rentals w/ below market rates.  The goal was to collect deposit and rent checks from unsuspecting prospective tenants.  Deposit numerous complaints to the folks at Craigslist, it didn't get better. 
  • May 20 2011
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I think Craig has had the best of intentions in allowing the world to post everything and anything on his free site but it has become overly saturated with stuff.  Too much of everything...and not enough demand!

And as for some alternative sites...there are quite a few of them with no value except possibly for the site manager who is trying to make a few bucks.  That doesn't increase demand.
  • February 05 2011
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Profile picture for Josh Hayles
I've been using Craigslist for a couple of years and I've seen a dramatic drop in quality from this source. Not only has the leads pretty much stopped altogether, but there's SO MUCH random clutter from agents (and whoever else) posting a bunch of crap that home buyers obviously got tired of looking at. And I don't blame them one bit.

I think the problem with Craigslist is they haven't set a strict set of guidelines to follow and add to the mix that it's free, that was just begging for disaster. Google might be a pain in the but sometimes to comply with their policies but they understand that their 'Real' customers are not the advertisers, it's the consumer who uses Google to search for 'Quality' information. Because if the consumer who uses Google to search for information sees that Google is giving them 'crap' results, they'll stop using Google too. And when the consumers leave, so do the advertisers.

I do think Craigslist has it's place with certain categories that work well for selling stuff, but I'm pretty confident buyers are looking elsewhere for quality informaiton.

Josh Hayles
  • February 05 2011
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I feel any exposure is better than nothing and free is even better, but I think it's very hit and miss with Craig's List. I post my listings because Point2 syndication charges for Craig's List. I think too, it depends on where you are posting. The bigger the area you are posing, the less I get results and agree with rockinblu that you need to re-post often to stay on top.
  • October 15 2010
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Profile picture for rockinblu
The best thing you can do on craigslist is to delete and re-post every 48 hours. It's not allowed any sooner. However, I really don't know how that works if you're using a syndication service.
  • October 15 2010
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I get lots of traffic from Craigslist.  I use Postlets and E Property Sites to post on there.  E-Property-Sites actually can show you statistics where your clicks are coming from. 
  • October 15 2010
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In this market, I will continue to use any and all marketing tools, esp. the ones that are free.  Craigslist does seem to be saturated and I imagine some of our postings get lost in the shuffle.
  • October 15 2010
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I agree with your assessment of that site.   It tries to be all things to all people and legitimate listings get lost in the noise.   I put listings on there when a seller thinks it's important - otherwise, I don't bother.   Never had a single lead from that site in this market and don't know any other agent who has.
  • October 15 2010
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I still find it to be helpful in rentals, otherwise no. 

I also have found it helpful to "give things away" or put them at very low prices to avoid going to the dump or hauling away. 
  • October 15 2010
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Profile picture for JarydRuffner
Craigslist has a terrible search engine so many serious home buyers will look elsewhere for homes. Craigslist seems to draw in more "flaky" people as opposed to serious interests. As a consumer, searching on Craigslist is very time consuming and frustrating. There are so many great sites available that mmost buyers and seller would rather use a home site.
  • October 15 2010
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Unfortunately you cannot avoid spams from this website. It happened to me a lot. Since the website is free and coveres a lot of topics of interests all types of spams appear. I still believe is one of the best source of marketing FOR FREE. I recently sold my old sofa-thanks to this website.
In addition I use to promote my listings. I cannot demand too much since it is for free.
  • October 15 2010
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