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Show Home Tricks

Don’t be fooled by show homes

It is common practice for house builders to use show homes to sell off-plan properties, but it is essential that you are aware that these can be misleading. This guide highlights some of the tricks used to sell off-plan homes allowing you to make an informed decision about their purchase.

New Build Inspections director Catriona Bright, who produced the guide, discussed the issue with Janet Street Porter on Channel4’s Demolition.

Bright said:

The show was great for raising some very important issues including deceptive show homes and snagging defects in new build homes, but it only really scratched the surface.

Bright added:

A significant number of owners of properties we inspect are disappointed their home is pale reflection of the show homes that they are shown. This is not only in terms of the number of snagging defects, but in areas such as the specification, landscaping and even the size.

Developers spend a large amount of money on show homes, enlisting the services of interior designers and landscape gardeners. Here are just some of the tricks to look out for:

  1. All the lights will be on to create the impression that there is plenty of natural light.
  2. Internal doors are removed to make the house appear bigger.
  3. Glass furniture and mirrors are installed to provide the feeling of greater space.
  4. Fitted furniture may only be half the depth you would normally expect and smaller proportioned children’s furniture is commonly installed.
  5. Bedrooms may only have a bed and a bed-side table. Items such as chests of drawers and wardrobes may be missing.
  6. The fittings will undoubtedly be of a higher quality or not included in the standard specification.
  7. The garden will be professionally landscaped, which is either not in the specification, or will be to a far higher standard than the basic turf normally provided.
  8. Heaters are constantly on high, not to dry the house out but to lessen the time you will spend there.

Advice for home buyers:

  1. Remember you are not buying the show home and you may not even be buying the same style of house. Try to get a tour of the style of property you are buying
  2. Check the specification of your house, as this may be very different in your house.
  3. Get detailed plans of your house and try to work out whether your furniture will fit into the rooms and up the stairs. Don’t forget to check the ceiling heights as these are often low in newly built homes