While signs announce the availability of a property, classified ads, written briefly and accurately, should be considered the beginning of the negotiating process.

Classified outline an initial bargaining position and specifically describe the property being offered. The essential elements of a classified ad include:

Location: The city, sub-division, or area where you live.

Number of bedrooms: If you have a study or area that someone else may use as a bedroom, mention it. For example, "three bedrooms plus den/bedroom."

Type and contruction of your home: Ranch, cape cod, split level, etc. Is it brick, wood frame, stucco? Is there aluminium siding?

Bathrooms: If it does not have a shower it's half a bath.

Kitchen: Describe the condition, appliances, and size.

Basement: Full or crawl space? Finished or not?

Attic: Storage or space for an extra room? Is it finished?

Special features: Storm windows and doors, central air conditioning, dehumidifer, new roof, additional insulation, etc.

Property: Flat lot, fenced back yard, large trees, flower beds, etc.

Financing: If you have an FHA or VA appraisal, or are willing to get one, state "will consider FHA or VA financing." Also, what about assumptions and second trusts?

Brokers: If you are a self-seller and do not wish to be contacted by brokers state "principals only."

Price: State your asking price.

Showing your home: Will you show by appointment only or with an open house? If you are showing an open house, list hours and be certain that your ad appears in the proper classified section.

Directions: Give simple directions, preferably through the best areas to your home.

Phone number: List your number and hours to call, if appropriate.

From all these factors, your ad might say:

CENTRAL CITY - Three bedroom brick rance with two baths, remodeled country kitchen, full basement with finished recroom, attic storage, central air conditioning plus storm windows and doors, flat treed and fenced lot. Will consider VA. $62,500. Open today, noon to six. Call 555-1234. Dir: Rt. to north to State, L on State to Smith, R on Smith to Dover, left on Dover to 1021.