How To Sell Land On Craigslist - Real Estate Listing Guide
If you want to sell real estate on Craigslist, you probably already know that it's a great platform for posting free ads, it has high traffic volume, and is used to buy and sell just about everything. But you may be wondering, "Can I sell my land on Craigslist?" The answer is Yes - you can list land for sale on Craigslist and reach a large audience of potential buyers.
With millions of visitors per month, Craigslist.org is one of the most visited websites in the US. If you think of Craigslist as just a place to pick up used couch, think again. For one thing, Craigslist is home to millions of real estate listings. First created in 1995, people keep coming back to this marketplace for everything because of it's clean and simple interface and robust search functionality.
In this guide, you'll learn the pros and cons of using Craigslist to sell real estate, how to create a listing that will stand out, how to make sure your ad gets as many views as possible, and even some advanced tactics to give your land posting an edge over the competition. Looking for more info on how to sell land by owner? Check out all our for sale by owner posts.
- 📢 Craigslist is a high-traffic website with a specific category for posting land for sale
- 📸 Quality photos, including aerial drone imagery, can make a significant difference in attracting buyers
- 💰 Craigslist is free to use, but there may be "tire kickers" and bargain buyers to deal with
- 🔄 Renewing and reposting your Craigslist land listing frequently is crucial to keep it visible
- 🏷️ HTML tags can be used in the description to make the ad stand out
Why sell real estate on Craigslist?
The main reason is that Craigslist is a very high traffic website. The map search function makes it ideal for real estate listings. They also have a specific category for posting land for sale. It’s also free. For all of those reasons, Craigslist should be one of the first places you post your land for sale.
Craigslist does have some drawbacks though. There tend to be a lot of ‘tire kickers’ - people that will ask questions, but are not serious about buying. The most dreaded question from anyone who’s ever sold land on Craigslist may be ‘Is it still available?’
Craigslist is also associated with bargains or discount real estate for many buyers. It wouldn’t be ideal to sell the most valuable types of land listings such as a 500 acre ranch or commercial property in an urban area.
- Very high traffic website
- Specific category for land
- Upload up to 24 photos
- Responding to ‘tire kickers’
- Bargain buyers
- Need to repost often
Before You Start
Get quality photos
Like most of the ways to market your land for sale, you’ll need quality photos to sell your land effectively on Craigslist. For most land listings, getting your land professionally photographed will be one of the best investments you can make to sell your real estate.
Not sure where to start? Check out Should I Hire a Real Estate Photographer? to see whether you need to hire someone and how much it will cost.
Set your asking price
You’ll have to decide what asking price you want to set your property at before you get very far in creating your Craigslist ad. Craigslist itself is one place you can search to determine what land is selling for in your area, but you’ll want to check other sources as well.
Do I need a second phone number?
You may want to get a second phone number to sell your land. This can be done free or very inexpensively, without getting a second phone, and helps to protect your personal information.
Many of the ways to market your land for sale require you to publicly post your phone number, including Craigslist ads. Using a second number will keep your own phone number private and avoid personal data sale.
Post land for sale on Craigslist
Create a Craigslist account
You can post to without one, but for most people it’s worth creating a Craigslist account. It makes it easier to renew and repost your listing, which you’ll be doing often. If you follow our recommendation below to create blind ads as well, then having the ads in one Craigslist account becomes even more convenient.
What category to post land for sale?
Everything in Craigslist real estate is organized into categories. There is a specific category for land sales in Craigslist, but it’s not intuitive to find. To list your land for sale, first select 'housing offered,' then 'real estate - by owner.' This will take you to the listing page where you can select 'land' under the dropdown menu called 'housing type.'
Real estate listing title
Create an appealing title that will grab people’s attention. You’re likely competing against many other listings and standing out starts with the title. The title should make it clear what you’re trying to sell and what’s most appealing about it.
For example, Build 🏠 on Scenic Hilltop in Frostburg emphasizes the lot for sale is buildable and that it offers a scenic view. Six 🌲Wooded Acres near Water 💦 let’s people know right away that it’s a wooded lot and highlights being near the water as the main selling point.
The emojis used here are a final touch that add some color and interest to the title. The key is to use them sparingly - one or two per title - otherwise it can seem spammy. Here are a few more emojis we like for land listings: 🏔️🐟🔥🏕️🚜🏹
Head to EmojiFinder.com for a full list of emojis you can use.
The first couple of sentences of your property description will do more to sell your property than anything else besides your photos and title. What’s unique about this property? What can the land be used for? Is the land near conveniences like shopping or attractions like a lake or state park?
You may have owned this property for many years, but try to see the land as a buyer coming across it for the first time. Things that may seem obvious to you might be overlooked by a buyer that doesn’t know your property or the area. Here’s an example a of short description that calls out the most important features:
Use HTML tags
You’ll notice that not all the text is formatted the same way. You can use basic HTML tags in the description to make your text stand out. Options here include bold, italicized, and underlined text and creating line breaks. Check this guide for a full description of HTML supported in Craigslist postings. Here’s what the same ad looks like with the html tags during the editing phase:
Just the facts
It’s also helpful to list relevant facts about the property. This helps to reduce responding to real estate leads ‘tire kickers’ who are not serious, but want to ask questions like ‘what’s the property tax amount?’ or ‘how many acres is this?’ Here are some details you can post in this section:
- Parcel Size (acres)
- Street Address
- GPS Coordinates
- Assessor’s Parcel Number
- Annual Taxes
- HOA (Y/N; annual fee if applicable)
- Utilities (list which are available)
This is where there are some quirks to posting land on Craigslist. Most important is that ‘Housing Type’ is land. The ‘Laundry’ and ‘Parking’ fields are required and normally ‘no’ would be selected.
Craigslist only allows square feet for the size of your property, so use the formula 1 acre = 43,560 sqft to convert from acres to square feet. Here’s what this section will look like when complete:
We recommend keeping as many of the contact options open as possible to allow people to reach out to you whichever way they’re most comfortable. People often have preferences for email, phone, or text, so why not make all of them available? Here are our recommended settings:
If your property has a street address you can post it in the Location Info field if you like, but your listing will be shown on a map in the next step even if you leave this blank.
Once you click Continue, you’ll be able to place your listing more precisely on a map. To start with, Craigslist uses your property’s zipcode to locate the property, so initially it may be far away from where it’s really located.
Taking a moment to locate it is important because some buyers may be searching for land using Craiglist’s map view, and they may not bother looking at your listing if it’s not displayed where they’re looking to buy.
Add quality listing photos
The final step before posting your listing is to add your photos. As discussed above, having great photos including aerial drone imagery is something that can differentiate your listing from the competition.
Once the photos are uploaded, you can rearrange them. Pay particular attention to which image is first (the featured image in the top left corner). That’s the only photo that people will see unless they click on your listing, so it should make it clear exactly what you’re offering. Oftentimes, this will be an aerial shot identifying the property boundaries.
Review draft and publish
If everything looks good, go ahead and publish your listing. Congrats! You’ve created your Craigslist land listing. You’ll receive a confirmation email from Craigslist letting you know it was published successfully.
Not quite ready to publish? You can save and edit later. You can also edit after publishing if you need to change something.
Repost as frequently as permitted
This step is critical because recently posted ads are viewed much more than older ones. Fortunately, Craigslist has a built-in way to do this. Check on your ad three days after posting it by going into your account. If it’s ready, there will be an option to renew that looks like this:
If it’s not ready yet, check back in a couple more days. Different geographical areas have different rules about how often you can renew - more densely populated areas allow you to renew more often because they have higher daily posting volume.
Once you know how often you can renew your listing, create a schedule and reminder for yourself to renew as often as possible, whether that’s twice per week or every other week.
When creating your schedule, keep in mind that real estate on Craigslist get more traffic on the weekends and lower traffic Tuesday - Thursday.
Eventually, after you’ve renewed a few times, your listing will look like this and you’ll have to repost it. Once you’ve reposted, you can start the cycle of renewing the post every few days again.
Find this step tedious? It is, but if you’re not willing to do it, it’s not worth posting a Craigslist ad in the first place. Craigslist is not a 'set it and forget it' strategy to sell your land.
Advanced Craigslist - creating blind ads
What is a blind ad?
A regular Craigslist ad is similar to any other real estate listing - it will have a price, description, and photos. It’s an ad for a specific property and it’s up to buyers to figure out if it fits the use they have in mind.
A blind ad is different in that it targets a specific type of buyer, not the specific listing you have. It’s blind because your buyer won’t see your actual land listing until they’ve responded to your blind ad. It’s a way of getting more advertising space on Craigslist for one property, without creating duplicate ads (which are prohibited by Craigslist).
Blind ad examples
Here’s how this works in practice. Let’s say you want to sell a 7 acre wooded parcel of land. You know that the land has good potential for hunting. You could create an ad specifically targeting hunters with a compelling headline and image. For example, it might look something like this:
This works because it captures the attention of a specific type of buyer that is looking for a hunting property, but may have overlooked your land listing which would work great for this use.
For another example, maybe your property allows RVs. This is another specialty type of buyer - make it easy for them to find your property listing by creating a blind ad that appeals to them. It might look something like this:
Again, this works because this type of ad will jump out to someone looking for land for their RV much more than a regular land listing advertising a 7 acre wooded parcel of land.
When someone responds to your blind ad, just let them know that you have a property for sale that might meet their criteria and share the land listing with them.
The key with this strategy is to use the knowledge you have of the land to think of who would be most interested in it and create specific ads to target those groups.
Craigslist is a powerful advertising platform to sell real estate because of how much traffic it gets and the ability to create listings with detailed descriptions and lots of photos that showcase land really well. It’s remarkable that Craigslist is free.
The main thing to emphasize again with this marketing strategy is you have to commit to refreshing your post often. There’s a lot of competition because Craigslist is free to post, so renewing and reposting your listing often will give you the best chance of finding a buyer.
Looking for more ways to sell land without a real estate agent? Check out 6 Free or Cheap Ways to Sell Land Without a Realtor.