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Experts share the tricks of the trade the House Builders don't want you to know
January 9th, 2014
 
We love them, don't we? Beautifully designed show homes that are inviting, clean and appealing - but often they are downright misleading.

Show homes, sometimes called marketing suites, are designed to help sell new properties to the public. Huge sums of money are spent on them and often the house builder or developer will employ subtle techniques to improve the impression given to visitors.

So what are those tricks of the trade?

show homes are usually installed in the largest properties in a development using the highest specification kitchen, bathroom and lighting;

doors are left off frames to give a feeling of space, and under-sized furniture such as short Scandinavian beds are often used for the same purpose;

furniture is always 'dressed' with expensive crockery on tables, and the location of mirrors and colours of painted surfaces are chosen to 'expand' rooms;

only small versions of intrusive items are used - so large TVs or US-style fridge freezers are never used to avoid any sense of being crowded;

purpose-built show houses at large exhibitions are sometimes 10% bigger than the properties they purport to represent.

ceiling lights and additional lighting are always on in a show home - check what the level of natural daylight is in each room by asking the sales person to turn off the lights if visiting during the day.

If a show house is on an estate that is still under construction it is perfectly acceptable for a buyer to ask a sales representative to see a 'real' home nearing completion or even one that is in use, if the new owner is in agreement.

Would-be buyers should:

ensure they have measurements of large and awkward-shaped furniture, and check they fit through doors, up staircases and in rooms;

check architects' drawings or a detailed model of the exact type of property they wish to buy on the development;

ensure they receive a printed floor plan including measurements and a list of which fixtures and fittings are included in each 'standard' of finish;

check unglamorous items that may be ignored in show homes - attics, interior and garden storage, or access to drains, meters and fuses.

 

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