Craigslist Real Estate Ads that Find Motivated Sellers

Property MOB
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I don't know if Craigslist real estate ads are a fluke or what.  I'm not usually one to use Craigslist for real estate wholesaling, mainly because it's something that you have to stay on top of and do constantly.

But this morning while I was drinking my Gevalia coffee with White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Creamer in it (my favorite), I decided to see what would happen if I quit staring at the fish while they ate their cichlid pellets, and posted a few Craigslist real estate ads instead.

It was finally time to see if I could find motivated sellers on Craigslist.

How to Generate Real Estate Leads on Craigslist:

I wasn't sure which category to post the Craigslist real estate ads under, because there's only a gazillion.  So I tried a few different things, each only slightly different.

My first Craigslist real estate ads to find motivated sellers were posted in "Real Estate - by Broker", which totally must've been a mistake. I try to avoid anything that's related to brokers or realtors if I'm working in my investing business. But somehow, that's what I selected. HAHA. Whatever.

The content of my ad was the same on each one. It said this:

"I'm a cash buyer in Jacksonville Florida, and I will make you an ALL CASH OFFER on your house. I can close in as little as 7 days. Give me a call at (904) 257-3782 and let's set up a time when I can come out and look at the house. My name is Tracy"

My second and third Craigslist real estate ads were posted in these Categories: Real Estate Services, and Real Estate Wanted.

craigslist real estate ads

Test Multiple Ads on Craigslist

Below is a screenshot of all 3 of my ads that I posted. The only variation that I used was the headline.  (More on that in a minute).Once these ads were posted, within an hour, I received my first email.  Here's what it said:

"I own a home in Jacksonville. I am in NY state where I live. The realtor that sold the house to me, was a vicious man. My dad took ill and I couldn't move, so he put someone in my home. I been trying to sell my house for months now, trying also to get this man out and off my property. I want to sell it cash $15,000,00 firm, but the buyer has to be willing to take over the issue. Can no longer wait. I had a 3 day eviction notice posted on my property already.

It's near $300 for the court to mail him one. I own the house outright, no liens, no back taxes. I want to do a cash deal and have the deed and key. It's a simple process of changing the name of ownership. if you're interested, please email me asap. marlene"

The first thing I did was look up her name in the tax records-- her first and last name were in her email address. And sure enough, there she was.  Mailing address in New York, and property in Jacksonville, FL.

I knew this was my girl, and her story was confirmed.  I've been communicating back and forth with her for the last hour, and have struck a deal with her for $12,000.00 cash.  I am about to send her the contract via HelloSign, and I'll have 30 days to wholesale this.

The Seller replied to the ad with all of the $ $ $ $ DOLLAR SIGNS $ $ $

How effective is Craigslist for real estate? Two valuable lessons have been learned by me today (and hopefully learned by you, as well) when it comes to Craigslist lead generation for real estate:

1.  Craigslist real estate ads DO WORK to find motivated sellers. So if you're looking for a FREE way to generate motivated seller leads,  then I've given you a solution right here.  All you have to do is execute this simple strategy, be consistent, post every day, and wait for the sellers to contact you.

2.  Even when you think outside the box, like I do, I still find that I get stuck inside of my own box sometimes.  For that split second of a moment, I decided to try something different than my normal ways of generating leads, and was instantly gratified. You should do the same. Get out of your own way. The M.O.B. encourages you to always be moving forward with your goals and DON'T GIVE UP! Use those keywords, find motivated sellers, and make those deals.

Use Craigslist real estate ads!

50 comments on “Craigslist Real Estate Ads that Find Motivated Sellers”

  1. Davine Morris says:

    I have been trying to use Craigslist myself; but, the wording is not your way! Thank You! Very interesting ads. I like them!

  2. I'm in the business of generating highly motivated seller leads and selling them to investors. Our website ranks very well for "sell my house fast" but I've always wanted to use Craigslist to generate even more seller leads. However, our company is in Florida and my lead buyers are all around the US. Im trying to find out a way to post these kind of ads in California and other major markets, but Craigslist runs a tight ship when it comes to posting real estate ads form more than your own market. Any ideas on how to circumvent this?

  3. Great info. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Thanks Tracy for this valuable information I am going to try it now, I’ll keep you posted

  5. Excellent website. Lots of helpful info here. I'm sending it to several friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
    And certainly, thanks to your sweat!

  6. so wait did you pay cash for the house? Because that's what your ad said you would close in 7 days.
    So i guess I'm asking, did you buy the house for 12 paid her cash and then turned it around to a buyer?
    or did you re work (deviating from the 7 day close) the deal so you could put her under contract and find the cash buyer? I'm just asking because that's what your ad said and i wonder how you got her to agree to 30 days when your ad said close in 7? anyways great article, i appreciate the tips!

    1. mallory0331 says:

      i assigned my contract to a new buyer. The purpose of the ad is just to generate a lead. So, i negotiated 30 business days once I got her on the phone.

  7. Tyrone Dixon says:

    I'm new to investing and I think this helped me get started thank u for your help and if I have any questions I will let you know.

  8. Tamara Foreman says:

    Thanks so much Tracy for the post. The information you posted has given me the confidence to implement, edify and execute efficiently.

  9. Am I correct that the response came from the ad in the "by Broker" section? Did you get any other responses?

  10. Thanks so much for sharing. Did you target a specific zip code on the map or did you omit that part?

    1. Ebelin De Cecco says:

      Your ads say october 4th, 2013 on them. Lol. How about some up to date results. Typical marketing scheme, just recycle old info huh? Lol

    1. hello mark can you tell me how you did this adv. and the cost to make the web site
      thanks Rob.

  11. Love the posts and detail in this one especially. This is what started me doing CL ads. Tahnks!

  12. Have you seen things change since Craigslist started charging to post? I've seen a decrease in listings so I think this could even work better now.

    1. Mallory Caywood says:

      our efforts are more focused on direct mail more than ever before so we havent posted on CL in a while. but please share your findings with us:)

    2. Mallory Caywood says:

      our efforts are more focused on direct mail more than ever before so we haven't posted on CL in a while. but please share your findings with us:)

  13. I dont see a real estate wanted section

    1. Mallory Caywood says:

      Glad you enjoyed it! Let us know your results.

  14. Mallory Caywood says:

    WordPress is a good place to start.

  15. Great Article. I love using facebook and craigslist to generate additional off market deals for my investors.

  16. Ernie Parnell says:

    Does craigslist ads have any hidden charges or it is totally free? I would like to add my friend's real estate business so please let me know if you can help me in this. Thanks for the article!

    1. Mallory Caywood says:

      I know they charge, I think, $25 for certain ads but the majority of it is free.

  17. Russell Hudson says:

    This information is so very helpful.

    Thank you for sharing.
    Russell Hudson

  18. To be honest, I usually do not leave on articles that I have read but I have got to say that I found this your article inspiring and informative.


    1. Mallory Caywood says:

      Thanks so much! So glad you enjoyed it

  19. I Googled something like Using Craigslist ads for real estate wholesaling and found this post. Thanks for sharing.

    One observation: over the last few months I've seen a lot of wholesalers consistently post and repost to Craigslist. There is one easy conclusion from that.

  20. Local House Buyers says:

    This is very helpful. Thank you for the information.

  21. I have always thought craig list leads would be low quality but based on this I am going to give it a try

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