I am a big user of many of the free classified sites out there that allow us to list our properties for free, Craig's List is one of the most well-known. Nowdays most of us have less ad money, but perhaps more time. And these free sites allow you to do multiple ads for a property for no investment except your time. I tell customers it is like putting a sign on every corner in a subdivision, if it were legal to do so. A searcher driving around is more likely to see that the seller's home is for sale. In the same way, using many free sites increases the probability that a Google or Yahoo searcher will come across your ad.
However, I recently used a site (Postlets) that not only posts on their site, but sends the ad out to several other sites. Great, right? You do the ad once and it appears on 5 other sites for free. It is very good, no doubt about it. However, when I checked how the ad was appearing on one of the feeder sites, I saw it did not pull out all of the information that I had put in the main site. One important item that was missing was the name of my broker's company. I believe that most, if not all, states require that any real estate ad contain the name of the listing company so that it does not appear to be a private sale. So technically, that secondary site (which was Kijiji.com, by the way) was showing an illegal ad for my property. I was able to go into kijiji and manually add the name so it now complies, but I bet a lot of other agents do not realize that they may have ads out there that are in violation of their state laws, and probably the NAR Code of Ethics. The two sites I mentioned above said they would try to correct this issue and were unaware of the requirement for company identification that most of our states have.
So when using free sites, especially those that feed ads to secondary sites, it may pay you to check out all of the feed ads to make sure they comply with your laws and ethics. Keep in mind that there are people out there just looking for a way to trip up the competition.
John Elwell - REALTOR
Bill Nye Realty, Inc.
Licensed in Florida