How to Find Buyers for your Houses

With the expiration of the first time home buyer tax credit last spring we saw a pretty good decline in buyer activity. The tax credit pulled a ton of demand forward, as everyone was trying to get in under the wire and grab their $8,000.

Knowing the market would slow quite a bit we had two options; 1. Stop buying and see how things shake out…. or 2. Keep on buying and put a renewed emphasis on finding buyers for our houses.

Now since I’m addicted to buying houses, and I can’t imagine ever stopping, or even slowing down for that matter, we chose the second option.

In the past, For Sale signs in the yard and placement on the MLS was working real good for us to sell houses….. but in this post tax credit era I knew we were going to need to do a little more. So what did I do? I took to the internet and began really pushing our properties there, with my weapon of choice being Craigslist.

Now, I’ve used Craigslist in the past with minimal success. It seemed to me that there was nothing but tire kickers and time wasters on there. However, since really making a commitment to putting up some great ads and being consistent in my postings, we’ve been able to find buyers for 6 of our properties from Craigslist ads since October. Thats pretty darn good!!

There are a few keys that I’ve discovered to make your ads work really well which I have listed below.

1. The most important thing is having a great headline. Your headline must grab peoples attention and make them open the ad. I’ve crafted up a few that have been working awesome, and I think this is the number one reason for our recent success on Craigslist. Once people open our ad and get a look at the pictures of our houses they fall in love…. but the key is getting them to open that ad, and thats done with a killer headline!!

2. The second key to success is being consistent with your ads. Make sure you post them 2-3 times per week so they stay fresh. I used to post an ad here or there, every other week or so, and wasn’t getting any results. There are always new people searching on Craigslist so you want to stay on that first page if you can. This is a great job for an assistant, intern ,or VA.  On the flip side, don’t become a spammer and post your property 6 times per day from multiple email accounts. That just gets annoying and is sure to turn off any potential buyers!!

3. The third key for me has been putting a link to our website within the ad where potential buyers can see a list of all our properties for sale. So, if for whatever reason the property ad they clicked on doesn’t suit them, they can browse our other gorgeous homes and find one they like. This worked with one of our recent buyers. She clicked on one of our rent-to-own craigslist ads and while on our website she fell in love with one of our rehabbed houses that was not rent-to-own. She called her mortgage broker right away and found out she was right on the cusp of being able to qualify. We worked with her a little and now she is going to be able to buy our rehabbed property in the next 30-60 days. Obviously you need to have multiple properties for sale at any one given time for this to work… and if you don’t have multiple properties for sale you need to get off your butt and get out there and buy some!!!! What are you waiting for!!!

4. The last thing I’ve found to work is to have multiple ways for potential buyers to contact you. Everybody likes to communicate in different ways, so through our Craigslist ads people can email us, call us, or go onto our website and fill out a buyer form requesting more information.

Not everyone who contacts you is gonna buy one of your houses, so this is a great way to start building your buyers list. Make sure you get peoples names, phone numbers and emails addresses so you can keep in touch with them about any other properties you may have going forward.



Well thats all I’ve got for tonight. I was going to post some updates on some of our deals, and maybe talk about some of the new properties we have in the works…. but this post got real long.

I hope you find the above information useful in your quest to sell some of your houses.

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  1. Thanks for the idea. We ran into the same problem after the tax credit. I ended up with 9 properties on the market over the new year (the property tax bill was a nightmare).

    The properties are starting to move again and I am ramping back up to purchase a ton of properties this year. I will be sharing the adventure on my blog.

    Thanks for the great info once again.

  2. I’m with Randy – lets hear a few tried and true headlines – I’m in Baltimore so dont worry we wont be competing for buyers. I’m about to try and flip my first house

  3. Do you mind sharing a few of your craigslist ads?


  4. Awesome post Matt! The company I’m working for has created a Craigslist posting system for our vacant apartments, but it’s inundating Craigslist with up to 6 posts per day. This spammer-style approach hasn’t had any success at all either. The ads are being flagged/deleted/ghosted on a consistent basis. My suggestions to alter the campaign fall on deaf ears, but that’s Corporate America for ya! Glad to hear you guys are having success with your quality vs. quantity approach to ad-posting!

    • Hi Zac,

      Sounds like typical corporate stuff…. if it’s broke don’t fix it. Lol

      You gotta get your RE investing business going and fire your boss!!!

      Thanks for the comments.


  1. […] 4 Effective Strategies To Finding Home Buyers In This “Post-Tax Credit Era” Posted by: tiffany | Category: Flipping Houses, Real Estate Investing, Rehabbing Houses […]

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