In writing your ad, and creating a flier, always start with the biggest benefit of your home . . . not a feature. There's a big difference. Come up with a creative headline which describes the benefit. "Room to Roam", "Four minutes from ," etc. It's important in writing an ad to try and create copy which appeals to the specific target market buyer. Avoid using ads that I call "universal" ads which just give features like 4BR + 2BA + FAM RM + 2 car garage + etc. The old sales axiom says "sell the sizzle, not the steak."
Always include your area and price. Don't give out your address. It's just asking for trouble. You never know what kinds of criminals are just looking for an opportunity to steal or WORSE. For sale by owners are sometimes a dream come true for these people. They can drive by first, make an appointment with a phony name and number, have a guided tour through the home to stake it out, and then come back at their leisure to take what they like. Try and verify who you are talking to. Get a Caller ID system, they're cheap and very useful. Very importantly though don't let anyone into your home you don't feel comfortable with. In cases where wives are showing alone and the husband is away...be VERY, VERY careful!! Several recent crimes have occurred which really make us re-think what we do. in one recent case, a women Realtor was raped while showing a prospect a home.
It's also important in advertising to use a phone number where you can be reached directly; not just a message machine. A lot of callers do not want to leave a message or their number. Many times, buyers have car or portable phones, and call from the neighborhood when they see your telephone number on the sign. This happens to me a lot. Be prepared to check for messages on a regular schedule throughout the day if you're not by the phone for extended periods of time.
The most important issue to remember about any advertising is not to discriminate in anyway, avoid being legally incorrect and don't use language which violates the fair housing laws, gets you in trouble and alienates potential prospects. Even something as simple as an add that reads "perfect for the big family" could be viewed as discriminating against people without big families. Know the fair housing law inside and out. Do your research on this! The Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination is out there with "testers" every day.