In figuring out how to advertise, people who are selling their own houses should assume that they won't be able to make a quick sale. And the more places they place notices, the greater the likelihood of attracting a buyer.
While signs and classified ads are the most common forms of real estate advertising, alternative forums are available. Many communities, for example, are clustered around major governmental, industrial, or educational facilities that have open bulletin boards near central cafeterias or payroll offices. Such boards can be an ideal - and usually free - location for a small ad about your house.
Facilities with large, transient populations, including military bases and colleges, will have a housing office spefically concerned with finding space for present or incoming personnel. Contect these offices and find out what services they offer. If appropriate, follow up with a letter inviting the housing officer to your property.
Many potential buyers seek homes close to specific institutions. Some buyers may wish to live near a particular religious congregation. It may pay to contact local congregational leaders and discuss your property. The same principle applies to hospitals and specialized facilities such as schools for the handicapped. Administrators at these institutions may know of individuals seeking houses in the area.
There may be selected groups of buyes who have a particular interest in your property based on leisure patterns. Suppose, for example, you have a condominium in a complex that emphasizes tennis. The newsletters or bulletin boards of local tennis groups may be worthwhile outlets to you.
Do you belong to any clubs, professional organizations, or religious groups that have newsletters? Do they have classified sections for members? If so, they might consider running an announcement for your property.
One alternative marketing idea is the use of dispaly advertising such as that used by commercial businesses. Display ads should be at least two inches high and two columns wide. Because of conventional newspaper design practices, an ad this size is likely to be both visable and in the top half of the page.
It should include a picture of the property as well as basic information about the sale. Do not stuff your ad space with information. Rather, leave some while space so the ad is attractive and easy to read. Display ads, which should only be used for expensive or unique homes, are best run in the real estate, business, or front sections of a newspaper.