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For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

Learning how to do for sale by owner ad writing using the newspaper classifieds section, can still be while worth it when selling for sale by owner.

Having said that, if you don't have a quick sale, local newspaper classifieds can be your biggest expense marketing your home.

Note: Don't forget to check out the other advertising pages on this site which cover other topics in more detail, including examples.

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

Use Your Dollars Wisely

Check with your local newspaper before you write your ads and compare costs. Ask about any specials that are currently running.

Ask about the price for different size ads. Ask about 2 or 3 day run cost. Ask how much for a photo ad.

When you have all the ad prices, take them home and devise a plan. Plan for a 90 day selling time.

Your property may sell in 2 days or it could take 6 months. There are too many factors to even attempt a discussion on this subject.

The time frames mentioned above should be the same whether you are for sale by owner or listed with a real estate agent.

Your particular selling time may depend on whether you follow the guidelines on this site. :)

For other forms of advertising and marketing ideas, click on one of the photo links below, or just continue with this newspaper classifieds page.

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing Ideas

I would start my newspaper advertising plan by deciding how often and when I was going to have open houses. For information go to Open House Weekend.

If you run the newspaper ads, put out proper signage and take advantage of the real estate agents having their open houses, this can work very well for you.

Your whole local newspaper classifieds can be run on open house ads only if you have them almost every week-end.

Worth Repeating

  • Plan for at least a 90-day ad campaign

  • Look for advertising specials

  • Stay within a budget (set a dollar amount you are willing to spend on newspaper classifieds and build your advertising plan from there)

  • A picture may be worth a thousand words, but look at the costs before blindly running to your local newspaper classifieds with your brilliant creation!

Once you have a plan of what size ads you want and how often you run those classifieds, you are ready to start writing.

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

Your agenda is to sell My House. Think about that one for a minute.......OK? Do you understand the difference? Great!

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

What to ALWAYS Include

A Visitor's Testimony

 I just wanted to get an opinion from someone who understands the real estate field. I have really respected your advice and opinions thus far.

Thank you again for taking the time out of your day, to respond to my email.

The address or at least a named area. examples: Birchgrove Sub-Division or 2 miles (km's) south of town. Of course if it's an open house ad, you MUST have;

The address.

The Price

Someway to get in touch with you. (Don't laugh, I've seen it happen)

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

Highly Recommended to Include

  • Number of Bedrooms (optional what level). example: 2+1 or 3+2 etc.)

  • Square Footage - You can use the footprint, or if the house is completely finished, you could, for example, use 2400 square feet of finished area.

  • Number of Bathrooms (if more than one)

  • Garage (attached, detached, single, double, insulated, heated)

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing Description

Some More Ideas to Think About

  • Age (if new or newer)

  • Upgrades (especially furnace, flooring, roof etc.)

  • Extras such as; Air conditioning, underground sprinklers, central vac, swimming pool, hot tub (if included) etc.

  • Kitchens If you have a super nice kitchen, let the buyers know.

These are just a few ideas for your newspaper classifieds when it comes to for sale by owner ad writing.

Take your best selling features and include those keeping yourself mindful of your advertising budget.

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing

Not Recommended to Include These

  • Lots of kids in neighborhood (Your buyer may be in their 70's and want peace and quiet)


  • Close to schools (Same reason as above)

  • Quick commute to the Industrial Park (Buyer pictures lots of noise from close by industry)

  • Bus stop at door (Buyer may picture people hanging around area and noisy buses coming and going)

The Following Invite Low-Ball Offers

and Serve No Useful Purpose

  • Make me an offer: Translation - "I'm desperate"

  • OBO (Or best offer): Translation - "I'm really flexible on price"

  • Must sell: Translation - "I'm desperate"

for sale by owner ad writing

  • Owner anxious or motivated: Translation - "I'm desperate"

  • Have bought another property: Translation - "I'm desperate"

  • Moving out of state, province, country etc: - Translation - "I'm desperate"

  • Will look at all offers: Translation - "I'm REALLY desperate"

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing


Just think before you write your for sale by owner newspaper classifieds. Ask yourself this questions. Is this a feature or benefit that will appeal to many buyers? If the answer is no, don't put it in your ad.

You have to catch the buyers attention! Make them want to view your home. Make your place a must see! Just writing hard facts may be enough but why take a chance?

The problem with printed advertising in your local newspaper classifieds is you usually have to pay for each character or for space used.

This is why in local newspaper classifieds you see lots of short forms such as:

A/C, b/r, baths, h/w, f/p and u/g sprinkler. Of course when you advertise on a for sale by owner website, you usually can write as large of an ad as you wish.

For Sale by Owner Ad Writing


Why You Should Always Include Address and Price 

(when for sale by owner)

Why do you always put the address and price in ALL advertising? Because you are selling YOUR house not A house.

When a real estate agent advertises, they just want the phone to ring.

If the area or the price is not suited to the person that calls in on the ad, they try to switch them to another property.

You, on the other hand, most likely have one property for sale and one only. It is in a certain area and a certain price range.

You DO NOT want calls from people who don't want to live there or who can't afford to buy in your price range.

Unwanted calls will just discourage you and annoy you. The quality of calls is what you want, not quantity. Real estate agents want quantity not necessarily quality on a given property.

Make sense? The reason I cover this in such detail is I've seen this mistake made far too often by for sale by owners.

For sale by owners will run an ad in the local newspaper classifieds and not include the address or the price. Why?

Because they look at the real estate agent newspaper classifieds and figure the Realtor's are the professionals so that must be the right way to advertise.

Stuck for words? I found this website page that might help you with writing your ad whether for newspaper classifieds, the internet or some other media. This page covers Adjectives, Nouns, Verbs, Spaces and Features, Negatives and Phrases. Check it out by clicking the link below.

For Sale by Owner Words for Advertising

Side Note: When I was in real estate, newspaper classifieds actually had a low return on the investment. Today, I'm sure it is even less. Why? The internet.

For More Information about Advertising 

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