Craigslist – A Great Tool for Finding Rentals and Roommates, but not Without its Flaws

Craigslist is a united state identified advertisement website with sections dedicated to jobs, housing, sales, items wanted, services, community service, gigs, resumes, and discussion forums.

We’ve all seen this beautiful webpage before.

The most beautiful UI ever made…It should never change

The real estate market is leaping, and it’s always best to do your research before you hop onto buy or rent your next place, but should you rely on just Craigslist?

Read below to see for yourself if you must rely on craigslist or not.

1. No Background Check for Roommates

Imagine you are looking for a house on sharing basis when you move to a different city for college, but you find out that you roommates are guitarists and they practice in the apartment – would you be able to study?

We think, no!

Craigslist allows you to see the house but does not allow you to learn about what’s in the house. It does not give you the numbers of those staying in the house, and by the time you find out about the people and the house, it is usually very late.

2. Scams are Everywhere

Scams are increasing day by day, no matter how authentic a platform is, the scammers find ways to swindle people. While craigslist does its best to prevent any sorts of scams (they’ve got pretty sophisticated bots that flag content based on IP address, posting frequency and certain keywords), there are still ways in which they can scam you.

When it comes to real estate, you might pay online, but there is no surety that it will be true. There are high chances that when you go to a location with all your bags packed, you will find out that the house never existed. Sometimes it happens that when you reach the house, the people living there tell you that they never posted an advertisement on craigslist.

Don’t be deceived, there are tons of scams out there!

It is always best to hire a real estate agent or property management firm who can provide you with all the information. If the person posting the listing doesn’t want to hop on a phone call, virtual tour or provide any extra photos – steer clear.

3. Pictures can be Deceptive.

Just like makeup, pictures posted for advertisements online can be deceptive. You might think you will be going to a house that is freshly painted, has all the necessary appliances, and is in the cleanest area, but it might be far from the truth.

There are many editing software that makes the picture amazing, and you will never be able to find out if it’s real or fake.

Even though it is good to know your options via craigslist, but you must hold your ground before buying or signing a lease for anything. While this may seem obvious, I know a few people who have been totally convinced that the post was real, when in fact it was a check scam. Make sure to do your research.

Zillow taps into the MLS for all its data – use it!

Check out other platforms like Zillow, Trulia and Redfin for photos of the property. These sites pull MLS listings (property sales), so the home should definitely have photos related. You can also use Google Maps Street View to suss out any deceiving features of the home, or to find out if it’s actually what the post presented.

The Bottom Line

Craigslist is one of the most visited websites in the world. Regardless of their 1990’s interface, they remain a dominant platform in real estate and leasing transactions. All kinds of companies flock to the site in the hopes of finding buyers, sellers, investors and tenants. There might be tons of scams on the site, but there are also jewels to be found.

It’s in your best interest to know the red flags when you see them when searching on the platform. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t good people using the site for selling property or finding renters. I personally know at least 10 different people, all walks of life, use Craigslist to find roommates, rooms for rent, flexible leases and more. It might seem daunting, but it’s one of the best places to find a good deal.

Happy searching.

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