The ad you write needs to have six types of information:
- Features of the room and house
- Something about who you are
- What you are looking for
- The financial information
- Contact information
The location is in the subject line or headline of a paper ad. The headline should also describe the basics. It is a house, apartment, and how many people there already.
The features should describe the attractive qualities of the room and the larger house/apartment. Is it sunny? Close to public transportation? Have an eat-in kitchen? An outdoor yard?
Describe the current occupants briefly, usually the sex and age range is sufficient. Include any animals. Describe how the house is used. Is it active with people coming and going? Or is it quiet? Do people have regular work schedules? Does anyone stay home all day?
Describe what you want in a house mate. This is an important piece of the ad, because it is here that you make it possible for the right person to go “oh that’s the right place for me.” Fair Housing law requires that you not advertise gender or age of what you are looking for, but you can certainly describe a quality you are looking for.
Then put in upfront what the cost is, the utilities arrangement and the deposits required. No point in talking to anyone who can’t meet those basics.
Contact info: Don’t put your name. Use an anonymous email account for the advertisement. A phone number is fine, if you have caller ID. You want it to be easy to ignore someone if you’ve decided that they aren’t right for you.
That’s it. Simple? Sort of. Try to be descriptive and interesting in short sentences. Good luck.