Modelry - A Random Walk through Internet Real Estate: Goodbye Real Estate Classifieds

Goodbye Real Estate Classifieds

Seattle Times Real Estate SectionWell, it finally happened.  The real estate section of the Sunday Seattle Times has disappeared.  Good old Section D.  Gone.  Finite-o.  

I, as many people, do enjoy opening up the Sunday newspaper, although I hear this is becoming a shrinking past time.  I always flip through the main section, look at the business section and check out the real estate section, before heading to sports and comics.  

This Sunday, there was no real estate section in the Sunday Seattle Times.  


I flipped through the newspaper frantically looking for it.  I found one real estate article tucked at the back of the business section talking about Mercer Island as the 21st most expensive city in the country.

I then went to the classifieds and found 5 classified ads for sale estate, sandwiched between "Pet City" and apartments for rent.  

Everyone in the online real estate industry has been predicting the demise of the real estate section of the newspaper for years and years, but as we look through the market data, there are still billions of dollars spent in print advertising every year.  

But perhaps the run for print advertising is near its end with the rise of Zillow, Trulia and

Looking through the Seattle Times, there were still very high end ads in a color insert focused on luxury and home design.  

Maybe this is the new normal.  Real estate search is 100% online.  High-end luxury homes, new construction, luxury condos, and other high-end niches continue to use print to reach a differentiated consumer base.

What do you think?  Do the newspaper classifieds have a future?


Real Estate Insert   Windemere Ad

Nikesh Parekh

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Comment balloon 15 commentsNikesh Parekh • November 11 2013 09:16PM




Nice post and good observations. I wonder what the future of newspapers will be altogether  now that we have instant access to news through cabel and internet. 

Posted by Alan Kirkpatrick, Alan in Austin (Austin Texas Homes) about 7 years ago

It is sad to see the ads disappearing. This is probably a result of the lack of ads being placed to warrant it's own dedicated section. We still have ours here in a couple of our papers although all of the ads are down!

Posted by Gerard Gilbers, Your Marketing Master (Higher Authority Markeing) about 7 years ago

YES.  The newspaper classifieds do have a future.  The information is viewed on the newspaper web sites.

Actually, our local, city/county paper publications publish local real estate information.

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley,, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 7 years ago

You knew that the classified ads would diminish to some extent!  Of course, I have not used them for the last 13 yrs, do the the cost and shelf life of a newspaper ad.  Just did not make sense in our market.

Posted by Dan Hopper, Denver Broker / Author / Advocate/Short Sale (Dan Hopper - Gold Way RE) about 7 years ago

I think the newspapers themselves are on their way out too!  Everything will be online...  Thank goodness my mother finally learned how to use the computer.

Posted by Shanna Hall, I love selling houses!!!St. Louis, MO 314-703-1311 (Real Estate Solutions) about 7 years ago

I think there will be two markets - the mass market will be online and the niche upper end markets will be online and on print.  More affluent buyers or sellers may use different media or may be harder to reach online.

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) about 7 years ago

Hi Nikesh - The real esate section of the newspaper has been essentially irrelevant and a dead end for years now, and it's just taken this long for it to be noticed. Many of us stopped spending any money on print several years ago, and I still don't understand why it should be any different for high-end properties (other than seller expectations, which can be reprogrammed with a bit of effort).

Posted by Dick Greenberg, Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate (New Paradigm Partners LLC) about 7 years ago

I just find it hard to believe that people, of all types, don't look online for homes. I hardly ever see people reading the paper anymore and when I do, I'm sure it's not for real estate.

Posted by Suzanne Otto, Your Montgomery County PA home stager (Six Twenty Designs) about 7 years ago

Print ads are dying because things change in the time it takes for the ad to reach the consumer.   We are in an instant, right now, current marketplace.   Ads are even moving beyond your computer to mobile devices.   I still post an occasional print ad but focus more online because of it's current accessibility and because I can withdraw it or take it down myself when it is no longer relevant.

Posted by DEANNA C. SMITH CERTIFIED MOBILE NOTARY, Highest Ranked Certified Mobile Notary in Virginia (Certified Mobile Notary Signing Agent) about 7 years ago

Nikesh~ great read! I believe "as long as the information is on point & as long as the information is accurate, the information source will thrive....If you take away transparency or if the information is deceptive, well; it won't last long...

Posted by Jon Kolsky, Licensed California Real Estate Broker (Kolsky Realty & Management) about 7 years ago

Thanks for the great feedback everyone!  

Warren Buffet is buying local newspapers these days.  I wonder if he knows something we don't!

Posted by Nikesh Parekh, Technology Entrepreneur, Executive, & Investor (Suplari, Inc.) about 7 years ago

I think your response here, Nick, is spot on ...

"I think there will be two markets - the mass market will be online and the niche upper end markets will be online and on print.  More affluent buyers or sellers may use different media or may be harder to reach online"

Computer use and internet access has now become such a mainstream commodity .... that more affluent individuals may be indeed be harder to reach online, especially if they view social media activity as a threat to privacy.....

Just sayin'......


Posted by Cheryl Johnson about 7 years ago
We are going through a dramatic change in the Information Age and as a realtor that is all I am selling iss information. Getting use to the changes at the ripe old age of 69 is challenging but I quess it will keep me young. I will miss the FSBO;s in paper form.
Posted by Jimmy Faulkner, The Best Of St. Augustine (Florida. Homes Realty & Mortgage) about 7 years ago

Everything is online now. Even I read only e-newspapers....So I think newspaper classifieds have future because people read e-papers.

Posted by Jennifer Popo almost 7 years ago

The daily paper in our state capital(Harrisburg,PA)now is published 3 times a week !!!!! 

Posted by Michael J. Perry, Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist (KW Elite ) over 6 years ago