Tag Archives: floorplans

Floorplans are a relatively new addition to property details. Originally they were only made available for either very grand homes, or new builds. Now much more prevalent and even the humblest of studio flats usually have a floorplan on the details. But why are they so important?

There are three elements to a floorplan that are important in its usability; firstly, it needs to include measurements. Too many poorly-drawn floorplans often have the measurements missing, or else they are instead included in the written description where they lack context.  The right place for room dimensions is in the floorplan, so that a buyer can easily ascertain their relative sizes. Secondly, it should include a compass market, so a buyer can tell which way the front of the house and more importantly, the garden, faces. The last element that should be detailed on a floorplan, is the overall square footage. This allows the house to be compared with other properties, so that a buyer can instantly see how much house he’s getting for his money. In the UK, we often sell houses on number of rooms only, and as a result, room sizes are getting smaller and smaller. These days, a four bedroomed house can take up the same footprint as a three bedroomed property would have done thirty years ago. To be able to see the total floor area gives a buyer the opportunity to ensure he is getting good value for money.

So why is a floorplan important? There are three main reasons:

1. It helps a buyer see how the house ‘works’, and therefore whether it is worth a viewing. Room flow, relative sizes and layout are all factors that a buyer will take into consideration, especially family buyers, and he won’t want to waste time by viewing properties which just aren’t suitable for his needs.

2. A floorplan can help a buyer to visualise the property after the viewing. This can become useful when he may be considering making layout changes, perhaps knocking down a wall or installing an ensuite, and a floorplan is vital for this kind of thought processing.

3. Floorplans can make a house seem larger. It’s very easy when you’ve viewed a house to forget rooms that you’ve seen, or overlook a part of the house altogether. This is especially true of boxrooms, or areas that aren’t being fully utilised, like storage rooms. By showing the house in its entirety on a floorplan, no area will be omitted and as a result, it can even add perceived value.

In summary, make sure you have a floorplan on your brochure, and preferably available as a separate download on the online property portals, ensure it is clear and informative, and that it includes the total floor area. Your buyer will thank you for it.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

What to read next: What’s the Point of a Viewing Rep?

What to do next: Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

Wooden breakfast table and chairs

Once the preserve of new builds or stately homes, floorplans are an increasingly useful tool to help sell your house.

A simple diagrammatic representation of the footprint of your home’s main floors, the tool helps quickly and visually explain to the buyer what is on offer.

But to make them as useful as possible – and to drive more viewers to your property – it is worth remembering three key points:

  1. Include measurements. The plan should be to scale – and with modern laser measurement tools cheaply available there is no excuse for an estate agent not to have one. Prospective buyers can tell at a glance how much space a room has and even check if their furniture fits.
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  2. Include a compass rose to show the orientation of the house – many buyers will be keen to seek that back garden in the south to catch evening sun.
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  3. Total square footage of the property is a must – it allows easy comparison between properties and is a shorthand way for buyers to understand what they are getting. This is especially useful as modern houses tend to have more rooms but of smaller sizes than older properties. A modern four-bed home may only have the same space as an older three-bed property.

So now we know what we should put in a floorplan, we can look at the bigger question – why bother at all?

  1. The prospective viewer can tell at a glance if the house is suitable for their needs and not waste their – or your – time looking at something that was never going to work for them. Layout is important to meet people’s needs and tastes – could a room be a playroom, a study, a guest room, a hobby room?
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  2. The floorplan is a quick visual reminder for the buyer after viewing. Especially if they have seen several properties in quick succession, it is easy to blur memories as to which house had what feature. The plan helps the buyer understand the home when making their decision – even helping with potential alteration thoughts such as making it open plan or installing an en-suite bathroom.
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  3. Size matters – by seeing a floorplan, rooms that are not at their best to visually see can be seen in a new light. Your junk room that seemed really pokey and unused may easily be written off on a viewing but becomes an ideal crafting room on a floorplan.

Floorplans are an essential tool in today’s marketplace so make sure you not only have one but make sure it is clear and accurate and it becomes a great sales help.

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch

Wooden breakfast table and chairs

What to read next: Floorplans – do we need them?

What to do next:  Sign up to my Selling Secrets https://www.home-truths.co.uk/selling-secrets

 

beautiful countryside with houses Who’s Doing the Viewings on Your Home_

I once went to view a property on behalf of a client; a lovely little cottage in Cheshire at £350,000.  When I arrived with a colleague, the front door was wide open and the viewing ‘rep’ was standing in the kitchen, reading the paper.  At sixty-plus, he looked like a homeless person, or at least someone who was down on his luck. Unshaven and dishevelled, our first impressions were less than favourable.

It got worse. He didn’t even look up when we rang the doorbell, but just called at us to come in.  In fact, he didn’t look up from his paper during our whole viewing, but instead left us to look around the cottage by ourselves.  Even when we went to the back door and rattled it, looking for the key, he completely ignored us, only muttering “bye” as we left.

Appalled by the lack of care he had displayed with the seller’s cottage, I called the estate agent’s office and told the manageress what had happened.  Her response left me stunned, to say the least.  She said, and I quote, “He’s not there to sell you the house”.

“So what on earth is he there for?” I asked, genuinely confused.

“His job is just to open the door” came her reply.

I put the phone down. And closed my mouth.

What would their client think?

What would the seller have said if she’d heard our conversation?  If she’d known that he couldn’t even be bothered to find the back door key for me?  Or the fact that we were left completely unsupervised to roam around this poor lady’s cottage, without a thought for the security of her possessions?

At my agency, AshdownJones, we place viewings at the top of our services, and given them maximum priority. After all, this is where the rubber meets the road – the offers are generated. Which is actually the point of an estate agent.

Phil, my co-director, put a new property on Rightmove this week. Within an hour, a couple called from York, some 2.5 hours’ drive away, asking how soon could they see it? Phil shuffled round his diary, and set off to the house, an hour from our office.  It was a two hour viewing. Because we’d sat with the owners for hours discovering all we could about the house, he knew all the answers. In that two hour viewing, those people from York made an asking price offer.

How would other agents have handled that request, do you think? Would they have sent a director out of the office for four hours to do everything he could to ensure the outcome was the best for everyone?

Imagine if he’d been a ‘door opener’, like our friend in Cheshire. What are the chances he could have produced an asking price offer within hours of the property being available?

It’s an estate agent’s job to show your home

Estate agents need to realise their purpose at a viewing – whether it is a director, the manager, or a lowly viewing rep – is to sell the house. They do this by engaging the viewer, answering questions, and helping those buyers come to the right decision for them.

I work with independent estate agents all over the UK, and can probably recommend one in your area. Just tell me a few details about your home here, and if I think I could help you, I’ll be in touch.

Sam

Fire place NLP_ what is it

NLP, or Neuro-Linguistic Programming can be described as a ‘behavioural technology’.  According to Mind Training Systems in Surrey, an NLP Master Practitioner Training Centre, this simply means that it is a “set of guiding principles, attitudes, and techniques about real-life behaviour”.  So what on earth does NLP have to do with selling houses?

I had a meeting this week with the two founders of Mind Training Systems, Catherine Jackson and Colin Mackay, and was particularly struck by something they told me about how our brains filter out information when faced with the enormous amount they receive.  Catherine told me, “Our brains are bombarded, via our five senses, with around 2 million bits of information per second; but our conscious mind can only process around 134 bits of these per second.”  I checked this on my calculator, which tells me that’s only 0.000067% – the rest is simply filtered out, and part of NLP’s technique involves choosing which 134 bits to persuade your brain to focus on.

With me so far?

I got to thinking about how buyers often search for a property; perhaps on their laptop, in the evening. So they may well be watching tv, having a drink, talking to their partner or family, checking their phone and email; then there’s Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep track of, as well as perhaps keeping an eye on eBay in case they’re buying or selling something.  And that’s without their surroundings: the sofa they’re sitting on, the fire, the lighting, and whether their puppy is behaving themselves (this last one is me, actually).  That’s a lot of information to take in!  When estate agents design online adverts for properties, you could be forgiven for thinking that they are assuming the buyer to focus their attention solely on the advert, to pick up any specific words, see beyond poor photography and do any research work themselves.  This is clearly not the case.  If that advert doesn’t grab the attention of the buyer immediately, then they will be focussing their 134 bits of information elsewhere; perhaps on someone else’s property.

Here are three quick ways to ensure your online property advert really stands out and shouts “look at me” to the poor, information overloaded buyer:

 1.  Photo – this has to be big, bold and beautiful!  Don’t forget too that it might be found on a phone, so make sure the house can be seen clearly, even at thumbnail size.  A view across a field may leave your home only a few millimetres across, and require a magnifying glass to look at it!

2.  Headline – make it punchy!  So many of them read something like “An imposing family home in a sought-after setting….” Yawn….. I tried this one recently: “Is this the prettiest thatched cottage in the Cotswolds?” and the click-through rate soared!

3.  Floorplan – buyers love looking at floorplans.  Some research indicates that properties with floorplans receive up to 60% more clicks.  (Source: Rightmove)

Our brains are powerful machines, and with a little direction, can be gently guided down the right path; follow my three tips and hopefully it will be your path!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch

Fire place NLP_ what is it

What to read next: Be a little different – Guerrilla Marketing Tips to sell your home!

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In this day and age when there is a multitude of properties to choose from in estate agent windows and on property websites, a floorplan can really make or a break a decision to view a property. People like to see how a house is laid out, and a floorplan does this for them before they have even stepped in the door. Surprisingly though, floorplans are still overlooked by some sellers and agents, with some only being available on request. In other instances, floorplans are uploaded to a properties portfolio online, but can be too small to view or the zoom function doesn’t work. If this is the case, it might as well be hidden altogether.

So why are floorplans so important? Use our points below to assess how beneficial a floorplan would undoubtedly be when selling your home.

Size – A floorplan enables a buyer to see how big a place is. It is also useful to include measurements too, to ensure you’re providing accurate information. This can let someone assess where their furniture will fit, and how they could display everything in their new home. A floorplan doesn’t miss anything out, leaving no room for error or deception.

Usage – Buyers like to see how the house is laid out, and consequently if the layout will work for them. If parents desire their bedroom to be close to their children, a floorplan could make up their decision to make a viewing. Floorplans show the flow of how a house works. If it doesn’t work for someone, it isn’t worth wasting your time and theirs by coming to see it.

After a viewing – If someone does decide to come and view your property, a floorplan can be very useful afterwards to remember where everything was and to help a buyer further their decision. It is a helpful tool for discussion alongside images, for couples and families to talk about their potential future home.

If you’re selling your home, ensure that a floorplan is available to your viewers. Make sure that this is both available in the agent’s office, as well as online for download via any property websites that your agent may use. Talk to your agent to make sure it is clear and works correctly. It could just help sell your property!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

Sofa Your total floor area: what to include

More and more these days, the total floor area of a property is included on the floorplan, which can be very useful to a buyer when they are trying to work out how much house they are getting for their money. At HomeTruths, we compile a ‘Price per square foot analysis’ for our clients, so they can see how they compare with the competition. But what should you include, or exclude from the overall square footage total?

Well, it’s certainly not an exact science, and other industry professionals may have their own formula, but I thought I would share mine with you here, so you can decide for yourself.
Firstly, let’s look at what the figure actually means; when your floorplan is compiled, the floor area is calculated automatically by the software that was used to create it. This area is the gross internal floor area, which means, it is the total area within the external walls of the building, as if there were no inside walls. So corridors and wall thicknesses are included in this figure. If your property is a square or a rectangle, you may be able to calculate this figure yourself, by taking the outside footprint then deducting the external wall thicknesses (usually around 12” for a brick/cavity/block construction).

Next, let’s consider what should and shouldn’t be included in the overall figure. As a general rule of thumb, I include any area which is, or could, be used as residential accommodation; therefore I would include an internal garage, because these are usually constructed so they can be easily converted, but not a detached garage, which often isn’t. I wouldn’t include an inside swimming pool, whether or not attached to the house, but I would include an over-garage studio, which is extra accommodation. If there is a detached cottage in the grounds, I would include that separately, as it can often skew the results, and position it in the comparison table in two places, to see what effect it has. Cellars can be included if they are full head height (at least 7 feet), similarly with attics.

It is worth bearing in mind though, that not all square footage is equal: town houses, where the accommodation is spread over three or four floors, are not equal to bungalows, where the overall footprint of the house, and its plot, are much larger. There is no formula to take this into account, so when you compare your property to others for sale, try to pick similar styles of home to compare to.

What this exercise may highlight, is how much each room is worth to you: often a valuable insight in itself. For example, if your price per square foot is £300, and you have an unused bedroom or boxroom at 10’ by 10’ (100 square feet) it is actually worth £30,000 of your house price; if you don’t define its use for a buyer, they may well dismiss it, and as a consequence, your asking price will appear to be £30,000 overpriced. Multiply that by three rooms, and you’re potentially ‘wasting’ around £100,000!

If you’d like my help to sell your home more effectively, please answer a few short questions here and if I think I can help you, I’ll be in touch.

 

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What to read next: How I Put My Money Where My Mouth Is

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