Is using a floor plan helpful to a buyer?

Houses on the market today just don't seem to have all of the information listed with properties, and because of this it causes to many buyers to look past these properties. Giving buyers an understanding of the layout of a house is a huge advantage, but the problem is I only see this done with new construction.
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June 01 2012 - US
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Replies (16)

Profile picture for sunnyview
I like floor plans, but some agents feel that it reduces the total number of showings for the worse. You have to make the call for each specific property on whether you feel it is s selling feature or something that needs to be seen in person.
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June 01 2012
Profile picture for wetdawgs
I'm a strong advocate of floor plans.   As a buyer, I have very strong opinions about what I want and don't want, and a floor plan can save a lot of driving and looking.     Many agents hate them because it cuts down the number of visits.
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June 01 2012
Absolutely they are helpful! From a professional Realtor's experience of helping over 2000 people find homes, floorplans can be essential in helping a buyer with this visual aid. It is also helpful for the seller because it qualifies a buyer before even seeing the home. I am all for them and utilize them whenever possible.
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June 01 2012
People are visual, so the more information that can be provided the better.  Floorplans, gallery of photos and videos are all an integral part of a provocative listing!
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June 01 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
There was a house I might have looked at and bought IF I could have seen a floor plan. As the listing agent would not show me a floor plan I did not travel over 1,000 miles to look at the property. Driving 30 miles to see a house with no idea of its real size or floor plan is not that bad. Driving 1,000 miles will not happen without good detailed information.

If I had seen the floor plan and the plat with some good pictures I might have decided the house would suit me and gone to see and then buy it. This would have been a cash deal, no financing involved.

A floor plan and plat should be 2 of the pictures available for each house that is for sale. Even if the floor plan has no dimensions it shows the layout of the house. Seeing the layout is enough to say it does not suit my needs or it easily could.

I also want to know the houses dimensions. Not square footage but real dimensions. Telling me a house is 960 sq ft means nothing to me. Telling me the house is approximately (covers your butt) 24x40 tells me the house is not exactly square or very long and thin. On my road there are 2 houses that were stick built on site (I saw it done) that look just like a single wide trailer on a foundation. The square footage would give a false impression of those houses size. Square feet mean nothing to me. Real dimensions tell me what the house is.
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June 01 2012
Profile picture for SoCal Engr
I like floor plans. They may not tell the whole story, but there's a lot that can be determined just from the floor plan.

Unfortunately for REAs, I (and, I assume, others) primarily use floor plans as a mechanism for eliminating houses. This, in and of itself, can be a reason for REAs not to include floor plans in listings.

Here is a website I found that has floor plans for different developments - a good idea if it was more complete.
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June 01 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
It seems to me, that floorplans would encourage potential buyers that know what they are looking for.  It will also help keep away potential buyers that basically walk in the door and walk right back out because they hate the layout.  Personally it providing them with the listing seems like a win win situation for all parties.

How many people will make an offer on a house where they don't like the floorplan? 
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June 01 2012
Profile picture for Pasadenan
Of course it is helpful.  And I see it on the higher priced houses all the time, even if the house is over 100 years old.

I would also like to see interactive floor plans on Real Estate sites, where one can choose a room and a direction and see the photo.  I haven't seen people wanting to set up their sites like that yet though.  Instead, they want to give me a video I have no desire to see, so I skip the property entirely.
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June 01 2012
I want to thank all of the nice people above for replying. I wanted to create a dialog to help those home sellers or even realtors understand that there is a ton of information missing on online listings. Again thanks for your great and thoughtful input.
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June 01 2012
Many older homes for sale do not have a floor plan. They can hire someone to do it ,only when you weigh the entire presentation and process that you need to get the home marketed to its best potential buyer, the floor plan comes in last. I agree IF out have one ,load it on the system for viewing.if you do not I may opt to recommend the preparation ,painting ,storarage of items and staging of a home that are way more costly and appeal to an even wider range of buyers,not just the ones that like to view floor plans. I CAN say with certainty that the visual aspects of the home and the way it looks will throw off a buyer even of they love a certain floor plan. The lot may not be right, it is not set back enough, the yard is not as big, they sit across from a busy street. There is a lot to take in not just the floor plan. I have had buyers only go after the same floor plan they had and loved and NONE of the homes met their expectations even though they were identical. Technology has provided for more an more options for a detailed floor plan of a home. There is still no substitute for the proper presentation, photography and pricing of a home. I too looked at homes for our personal purchase from 1000 miles away. There is no comparison to the actual visits even with a floor plan. The community, the subdivision,the surrounding and neighboring properties..all make a difference. Each street even on a location you know well,can make a difference. Is is near power lines, power plants, is there noise around the home from any commercial businesses. Even in a private gated community,some sellers are in distress and there can be an eyesore tow houses down. Prepare, price and present a home professionally with photos,tours, videos and yes IF you have a floor plan, by all means use it.
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June 03 2012
Profile picture for the_country_hick
If I had a measuring tape, a piece of paper, a pencil, and an hour I could draw a floorplan for any house out there. It just takes measuring then writing the dimensions down. You can find a cheap or free house plan program. Plug the numbers in and you have your floorplan.

Once you add a plat to the listing a buyer can see that the house is to close to the road or has a small lot and will not be what they want.

I would never buy a house in a subdivision let alone a gated community with a HOA.

My point above was the if a realtor does not show what a buyer is looking for in the listing itself they can lose a sale. I have seen houses listed with a small lot like 10 acres with the disclaimer "more acreage available". I seldom see that disclosure as I only want a house with more land so I do not even look at 10 acres or smaller.
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June 03 2012
Profile picture for SoCal Engr
@ Dan, myself, and others...

Let's be realistic. It is not about "what's helpful to buyers". It's about "what helps to sell the house".

As can be seen from many of the consumer responses to this question, a floor plan is a "screen out" vice "screen in" factor. Real estate is a "sales" profession - so why would/should a listing REA provide information that might prevent them from exercising their sales skills?

I could see where a buy-side REA could appreciate floor plans, as it could save them time looking at houses that are non-starters for their clients. Then again, it seems to me that many consumers really aren't able to make decisions based on floor plans - they need to see the house to make a decision, and can be "sold" based on differing factors.

So, as a listing REA, what's the upside to posting floor plans? I want to drive traffic through the house. Not only does it increase the number of people who might look-and-like, but it also helps me demonstrate to the buyer that I am doing my job.

Floor plans would still be helpful to the buyer, but...
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June 03 2012
When selling a home I believe the more marketing material, the better. Under contract with a client for a home right now where they not only left a copy of the floorplan, but also the survey. My buyers were thrilled to have this additional info. I also think it is great when a seller has kept the manuals to items such as the oven or range, dishwasher, etc.
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June 04 2012
Profile picture for hpvanc
I see things a little differently than Socal.  It should help get the right buyers through the door.  It is information that could cause an out of town buyer to make the trip before they are planning to, and it could put it at the top of the list of properties to view for other buyers that are short on time.  I don't see it making a significant difference for potential buyers that have agents that try to get them to look at everything in their price range or the potential buyers that want to see everything.  It has the potential to be as big of a draw as detriment to the potential buyers that are specific in what they want.
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June 04 2012
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September 17 2013
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October 27 2013
 
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