Running a newspaper ad when you have a property for sale sounds pretty obvious, right? Well, it pays to know how to put your ad together so that it draws the most number of calls. You want to run an ad that makes the property look very attractive to a large number of buyers.

The wording that you use will of course, depend on what sort of deal you are offering. For instance, if you were offering a house on a lease option, appropriate wording might be something like-

North side RENT TO OWN! Credit Problems OK!
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. In ground pool. 2 car attached garage.
You can OWN this home for only $995 a month!
555-555-5555

Please Note:  There have been recent law changes that affect lease options and how to approach them and what wording to use.  This example was written before those changes.  Be sure you’re up-to-date on the laws!  These examples are only left here to demonstrate the concepts.

As you can see, there are many incentives for a potential buyer to call this ad. The ad starts out by screaming that this home is for sale on a rent to own basis. It is a good idea to put this right in front of the ad so that it attracts attention and draws in potential buyers to read more.

The ad goes on to read “Credit Problems OK!” This will attract even more potential buyers that may have some credit problems, but can still qualify for a loan at some point down the road after paying steadily on a lease option. This will increase the response rate to your ad.

Please Note:  Again, there have been recent law changes that affect lease options and how to approach them and what wording to use.  This example was written before those changes.  Be sure you’re up-to-date on the laws!  These examples are only left here to demonstrate the concepts.

You will of course want to include the number of bedrooms and bathrooms in the ad. Also, you will make sure that you add any other attractive features of the house such as a pool, garage, hardwood floors, etc. Add any pertinent details about the neighborhood if it helps sell the house, such as being close to schools, shops, etc.

Remember to add a line to the ad stressing that the buyer can OWN this house for whatever the monthly payment is. This makes people who are renting realize that they could be homeowners for the same amount of monthly payment that they are paying in rent! This motivates a lot more potential buyers to call you.

Now if you are running an ad to sell your property on an agreement for deed (or land contract) or with owner financing, you will need to word the ad slightly different. You will keep it largely the same since you want to mention the attractive elements of the property as well as the fact that the payment allows the buyer to OWN the house. Here is an example-

South side OWNER FINANCING! No bank qualifying!
3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house. Wall to wall carpeting. Appliances
included. You can OWN this house for only $1,275 a month!
555-555-5555

Please Note:  Again, there have been recent law changes that affect lease options and how to approach them and what wording to use.  This example was written before those changes.  Be sure you’re up-to-date on the laws!  These examples are only left here to demonstrate the concepts.

Again, you are making the property and terms look very attractive to buyers. You are mentioning the owner financing right up front to draw the attention of buyers. Adding the line “No bank qualifying” to the ad is similar to “Credit problems OK” that you include in a rent to own ad.

Once again, please check the latest laws before using this wording.  You may have to change things to comply with recent laws.

Something to keep in mind when placing ads in the paper is that many newspapers have restrictions on the wording that you can use in your ads. Many times, they have restrictions that make absolutely no sense. For example, when I called to place an ad on a home that I was selling with seller financing, I asked to have the phrase “no banks” added to the ad. The person taking the ad asked what I meant by that. They asked if I meant that there were no banks (of earth) on the property.

I explained that since I was selling the house with owner financing, there would be no banks involved that the buyer would have to deal with. The operator told me that they could not put that in the ad! I asked if I could simply run “No bank qualifying” and they said that was not permitted either.

Just be aware that some papers may have odd restrictions on what they will allow you put in your ad. Be prepared to be flexible. It sometimes pays to have a “backup” ad ready to dictate if you are told that the one that you want to run is not permitted.

Another ad that seems to draw fire from “politically correct” newspapers is an ad for a “handyman special”. The very first time I tried to place an ad for a property that I had for sale, this is what I had written up-

Handyman special! House that needs TLC
in quiet neighborhood. 555-555-5555

This looks like a harmless enough ad, right? Well, when I called to place the ad, I was told that I was not allowed to have the word “handyMAN” in the ad. It seems that would be discriminating against all the handy women out there! On top of that, they would also not run the description “quiet neighborhood”. For some reason, that also seemed to be an attempt at discrimination by me!

As I said, have a backup ad ready in case your newspaper is super sensitive to political correctness. This is not always the case, and often, simply calling back and getting a different operator will allow you to run the ad as you wanted it worded originally. There is not much consistency when it comes to these “policies”, but sometimes you have to deal with them, so be prepared.

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