01 Dec 2017

Floor Plan Fails - Why Design Matters

Pop quiz: when it comes to buying or selling a property, what is the most overlooked and underrated factor in determining buyer/seller success? Is it:


  1. The agent’s hair style?
  2. Popping the champagne to celebrate your big transaction?
  3. A great floor plan?


Well, put the hair curlers down and the champagne on ice, because the correct answer is C: the floor plan. Each home is as unique as the people living in it, and as such, the floor plan holds the potential to make or break a home. Which begs the question: why are floor plans so important? Well, the simple answer is, because a floor plan is the only structural evidence that determines whether or not the home suits a buyer’s needs. Will the furniture fit? Will you blow your budget on buying the property only to find you have no funds left to replace incompatible furniture? These are important, if not critical, considerations when buying a home.


Who benefits from a floor plan?

From a buyer’s perspective, floor plans are a magic piece of parchment which hold the secrets to the future of their living space. From a seller’s point of view, not having a floor plan could be marketing suicide. Many buyers won’t even consider viewing a property if there is no floor plan to show them the layout of their potential purchase. It’s also about being transparent about your space – a small room is a small room, don’t try to sell it as something it’s not.


What are the benefits of a floor plan?

So what exactly do floor plans bring to the table? Aren’t they just some pencil sketches on an A4 page? Surely the stunning photography can do most of the heavy lifting on a property… You may be surprised at just how useful those pencil sketches can be.

Floor plans:

Give perspective. Photographs are undoubtedly key selling points, but they are lacking in one thing: perspective. A floor plan is a scaled map revealing the dimensions of the home, and therefore buyers are able to quickly assess whether or not that is the right property for them. Straight to point, there’s no polishing a floor plan to be anything more than what it is. Buyers appreciate honest representation.

Paint a picture. Buyers love using their imagination. They love visualising where all the rooms are in relation to each other, and where all of their things will go.

Provide honesty. When walking through a potential home it is easy to become lost in daydream and distracted by furniture and finishings belonging to the seller. Floor plans pare away all the extra fluff and provide an honest outlook on what’s really important.

Show potential for change. There’s measurements. There’s perspective. Both of which are crucial for assessing a home’s potential for renovation. A buyer may not be in love with the current floor plan, but they could be in love with the potential for what it could be.


What to look for in a floor plan?

Ok, got it. Floor plans = important. But how do you know if the floor plan is actually any good? Well it’s all subjective really and is mostly based on personal preferences, but here’s a few tips to help you decide.

  • Versatile and flexible – is there potential to accommodate your needs as your life changes? Can the office be turned into a kid’s room? Make sure the floor plan is able to be modified.
  • Size – forget what you heard: size does matter. How many people will occupy the rooms? Is it just one person? Is it seven? Being spatially aware is an important factor in assessing a good floor plan.
  • Fits your lifestyle – do you work from home? Entertain regularly? Wash eight loads of laundry a day? Whatever your lifestyle needs are, they should take precedence over features which may only function on an aesthetic level.
  • Architecture vs practicality – Yes, the 12-foot exposed beam ceiling is impressive, but how are you going to clean it? Could a child be in danger using the staircase? How expensive is your heating or air-conditioning bill going to be to moderate the room temperature?


Having a floor plan is in both the buyer’s and seller’s best interest. Floor plans not only save a buyer a lot of hassle (and sometimes surprised disappointment), but they also allow the seller the best possible chance of making a sale. Win win!


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