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Every person selling a home wants to get the process over with quickly and efficiently. Unfortunately for many, selling a home is a lengthy process, and it can be difficult to get people interested in your home. One way many real estate agents try to get this done is by buying ads in the local newspapers. However, is this approach really useful, or is it wasting time and money?

Simply put, newspaper ads are not effective. In a digital world, fewer people each day are subscribing to newspapers. Even The New York Times and other big publications are turning away from print and may soon become digital-only. Sure, some newspapers may sell ads on a section of their website, but it still is not as effective as listing elsewhere.

Although declining readership of newspapers is a huge negative, perhaps a bigger one is the lack of photos. Typically, newspaper ads only come with one small photo of a home’s exterior, alongside a short description of the house. This small picture is barely enough to get someone interested, let alone tell a story. Compared to sites like Trulia and Zillow that can have dozens of pictures per property, it’s no wonder that newspaper ads are failing to draw people in.

Going along with that is the description accompanying the picture. These descriptions often only contain the most important pieces of information: the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, any major additions (such as a pool), and keywords meant to entice readers. One rule of newspapers is the more space your ad takes up, the more it is costing the company. Therefore, ads are limited in their word count and do not allow for elaboration.

Listing sites, on the other hand, allow for tons of elaboration. You can talk about the specifics of each room, as well as when major appliances have been updated, whether the home is part of an HOA, and more. There’s a drastic difference, and a home listing is the one place where people prefer length.

Unfortunately for many sellers, real estate agents still stand by newspaper ads. Sure, there is a small possibility that people will see it and become interested, but it is unlikely that younger individuals will find their starter home this way. If your agent relies heavily on the success of newspaper ads, I suggest searching around for another realtor.