Is a Craig’s List Posting Worth $30,000?

I was listening to a recent “For Immediate Release,” aka the “Hobson and Holtz” report, and listened with awe that frequent contributor Dan York pulled off a Craig’s List miracle.

For those of you who are regular listeners to FIR, you’ll know that Dan often reports from the “picturesque countryside of Vermont.” Well, Dan is relocating to Keene, NH, as he describes in his blog. Here’s where it gets interesting: Dan listed his house on Craig’s List at 8:30 am and had a signed offer by 4:30 pm – THAT DAY. As the cheesy commercials say, “your results may vary,” but this is an incredible testament to the power of Craig’s List, which has already punched a hole in traditional advertising and is now making its way into new venues.

First, congratulations, Dan.

Second, I had a similar experience a couple of years ago. I got a serious steal on a house in a very desirable neighborhood outside of Washington, DC — with a huge caveat that we settle and move in 13 days (this is not a typo). Two sleepless weeks later, my family and I moved and I was faced with selling my own house in a market that had just begun to slump.

I went with a real estate agent who had never heard of Craig’s List, but knowing that I was tied into a 90-day contract with him, I cross-posted the MLS listing on Craig’s List. What happened was that two I-can’t-sleep-at-night-because-I-am-carrying-two-mortgages months later, my old house sold. But what happened in the meantime was interesting.

When I posted my house, I was getting inquiries from interested parties who were going about the traditional route through their agents. Then after hearing all of the wonderful things that real estate agents say, the prospective buyers would email me questions. And I would answer. And they would email more. And I would answer. And I would subtly let them know that I was pleased at the attention that my listing got on Craig’s List (read: competition).

So what happened? My house sold the good, old-fashioned MLS way, but had that not worked out, I had two interested parties with whom I had already developed a good relationship waiting in the wings.

Had I had more time, I would have (like Dan did) listed my house exclusively on Craig’s List. With a six percent commission on a average house value of $500,000, I would say that a Craig’s List posting is definitely worth a $30,000 real estate commission fee.

Sorry, National Association of Realtors.

Mark

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