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Craigslist offers their customers the opportunity to browse listings of all types to find things they are looking to purchase. These listings include jobs, housing, goods and services. These listings can be posted by anyone who has the need to sell something, which can be a good or a bad thing for the customer. The wide range of listings brings more than 50 billion page views every month, which gives the seller a great incentive to post quality listings for the customers to find what they are looking for. Craigslist’s region specific listings are perfect for customers to only see listings that are helpful or them.  

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The Good

  • Private listings
  • Items for sale

Many real estate search sites are limited in what listings they post for their customers to search through. They typically only publish listings that are created through a real estate agency or verify the ones that are not for sale through a specific agency. This can mean that customers will miss out on homes and properties that are for sale by the owner. Many people choose not to list their home through an actual real estate agency because they do not want to have to pay the fee or think they don't need the help. Whatever the reason may be, these homes could still potentially be the type of new home a customer is looking for but they will miss out if the company they are searching through does not allow that type of listing. But Craigslist does not have these restrictions and definitely allows homeowners to post their own properties through them. This is a major benefit to customers who want to see all types of listings, not just those through a real estate agency.

Craigslist is also a good choice for customers who are looking for more than just a home to purchase. There are countless types of items for sale through the Craigslist platform. The customer could find land (not just the home), animals, furniture or cars to fit into their new home. It's a benefit that the customer can look for all kinds of items in one place, not just real estate listings.

The Bad

  • Consistency
  • Verified information

Since Craigslist is open for anyone to post their listings on, there is no consistency throughout the property listings. There are no required elements that the seller must provide to the customer, the seller can give as much or as little information as they want. This can be a big problem for the customer because there is often a large lack of specifics given in the property listing. With such a big decision as moving and purchasing a home, the customer needs as much information as possible to be confident in the decision they do make. There is such a wide variation among the listings it is hard for the customer to know what to expect from these properties. Some listings have a full description with lots of details, while others have the bare minimum of size and price listed about the property. Some listings come with some pictures, others do not. It is just hard for the customer to be able to feel confident that they will find what they are looking for because of the difference in property listings.

Another issue comes from this open listing policy that Craigslist has, that is the fact that the information given in the listings is not often verified. There are so many listings of all kinds through Craigslist that they cannot possibly monitor all of them all of the time. This can lead to minor exaggerations by the seller or outright scams to get people's money. There is not a definite way to make sure the listing the customer is interested in is, in fact, a real property but they do have ways to flag listings that seem to be scams. After the listing is flagged, the Craigslist team will investigate the listing to discover its authenticity.

The Bottom Line

Craigslist may not be the most reliable choice for customers to find their new place to live at. There are so many listings that can be added by anyone, which means that some may not be real or completely accurate. Customers who decide to search using Craigslist will have to be especially careful to do their own research about the properties they are interested in to make sure they know exactly what they are purchasing.

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