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For Sale by Owner Articles • Owners.com - Advertising and Marketing Your Home

Writing a Good Real Estate Ad

Most buyers will discover your home either by driving by and seeing your sign, or by reading your advertisement in the newspaper or local newsletter.
Since it costs money to advertise in the major print media, you’ll want to keep your ad short, but still highlight the positive aspects of your home. The purpose of an advertisement is to get buyers to call you for more information. It should contain enough information for the buyer to pre-qualify themselves in terms of price range and location, but not so much that it costs a fortune to run or eliminates the need for potential buyers to call you.
The minimum your ad should contain:
The fact that you are selling FSBO. Usually this means either putting FSBO or BY OWNER at the beginning of the ad.
The price of the home. While this will disqualify some buyers, what is the sense of having $75,000 or $300,000 buyers call you when your house is priced at $175,000? Buyers shop by price, so put yours in the ad.
Your neighborhood. You can best decide whether you want to list the specific neighborhood or just the area of town. If your neighborhood is well known and highly desirable, obviously you should include the name. However, if you are selling a home in a less desirable neighborhood, just put in the area of town. Get an idea of what others are doing by looking at classified ads for homes in your area.
Buyers generally have a size in mind when they look for homes. Most buyers know that they need at least 3 bedrooms or a family room or a large yard. Put the approximate size of your house in the ad.
The most compelling selling feature of your home. For instance, if you are selling a low-priced home, the feature might be that the payment is no higher than typical rent. Or, your home might be completely remodeled, or unusually charming or a wonderful family home. Your schools might be exemplary or your neighborhood very family-oriented. Or perhaps your yard is park-like or your home is priced below appraisal. These are all features that will draw buyers.
YOUR PHONE NUMBER!
So, a good small classified ad might look like this:
BY OWNER $150,000 3 BD/2BA Colonial in Parklawn Village. Excellent schools, great neighborhood, priced below market. 659-0808.
Another type of ad you could consider is a more informative ad. This would be a good ad to place in a neighborhood newsletter or on bulletin boards of local employers or in your information box on your sign. This type of ad doesn’t work well for classified advertising because it is simply too expensive to include so many words. An informative ad would include all of the above, plus more personal information. For instance, a good informative ad might look like this:
LIVE IN A PARK! BY OWNER $150,000 3 BD/2BA Colonial in Parklawn Village. Enjoy a wonderful yard with built-in barbecue all summer and gaze at a winter wonderland all winter from the firelit family room. This charming family home is nicely and neutrally decorated and in move-in condition. The neighborhood offers excellent schools, a swimming pool and tennis court – all in a close-in location and priced below market! Please call for more details: 659-0808.

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