It's standard practice when selling a home in Northern VA and Washington, DC that you would never list a home without high-quality photographs of the home, including the interior rooms and features. However, many don't realize the importance of providing professional floor plans with their home listing. A floor plan can truly mean the difference between a quick sale and a longer, drawn-out process.
Rightmove.co.uk, the UK's leading property listing website, has researched this subject and found that 1/3 of buyers were less likely to express interest in a property that did not have floor plans included in it's listing. It's the second most desired feature, right behind having a large selection of photographs of the interior and exterior of the property. What does that mean to you if you're selling your home or you're a realtor? Properties with floor plans generate a whopping 30% more interest than those without.
Floor plans help prospective buyers understand the flow of the property in a way that photograph – or even a number of photographs – just cannot do. Even more powerful is the capability you open up when you combine professional photos with a well-done floor plan, enabling the potential buyer to see the flow of the home, the dimensions of the rooms and where windows, doors, and closets are placed, along with corresponding photographs. This is something that Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography specializes in.
Once you decide that you will be using a floor plan for your next listing or to sell your own home, there are a few features that should be taken into consideration with the floor plan you use.
All floor plans should:
Be professionally done. Do not try to draw up or generate your own floor plans. Leave it to an experienced professional for the best results.
Include accurate dimensions. Potential homebuyers rely on the dimensions listed to determine if the home will fit their needs.
Include window and door placement and measurements. This gives the potential buyer an understanding of how the rooms flow, where the light sources are and how much storage is available.
Have a compass marker. This tells which direction the front and back of the house face. Does the morning sun come into the kitchen? Can you see the sunset from the back deck or the front porch? These are selling points that many buyers truly look for.
Clearly show the overall property size. This should include any outbuildings and hardscape features. Just like a floor plan of the house itself, if you have a larger property, providing a plan that includes these features is another tool to help the potential buyer understand the property flow and size.
Why Are Floor Plans So Important?
A floor plan gives a potential buyer the ability to see themselves and their belongings in the home. By having the dimensions and the placements of windows and doors they can determine if their furniture would fit and where it would be placed. Floor plans answer the questions that many buyers have during the home buying process about the little details involved in moving into a new residence - Will they need to buy new furniture? Will the layout of the home fit the needs of their family, their lifestyle, and their daily habits?
Having a floor plan available saves time for both the sellers and the buyers. If a buyer sees that a floor plan will not meet their needs, they will not waste the time needed to go look at it. Likewise, the seller has not had to have their day disrupted to make time and space for a showing of their property.
Other Benefits of a Floor Plan
- Floor plans can show all available space in a home – closets, storage areas, basements, and attics and thereby add perceived value to the home by making the property seem larger.
- A floor plan can help buyers remember important details about the home that stood out to them long after the showing is over. When you consider that most buyers view several properties in one day, any tools that you can provide to help them have a visual memory of your property and to help your property stand out over others is beneficial.
- Having a floor plan available for out-of-town buyers helps make the process much smoother for them. If they're planning to move into the Washington, DC area but are not familiar with the area, they're able to visualize the property flow better and determine if it meets their needs without needing to view the property in person.
- When putting your property online, the click-through rates on homes that have a floor plan in the online description are higher. Since many realtors still do not utilize floor plans as a marketing tool, it also helps your property stand out among the many others you're competing with. The floor plan image can be loaded onto the website, easily shared via email and through social media. The more places your property can be found and the more clicks it receives the better chance of it being seen in searches.
- Larger properties, like many found in the Northern VA area, can show floor plans in relation to gardens and grounds, outbuildings and other hardscape features.
- A floor plan helps to decrease the need for multiple inspections from buyers while they determine what furniture can fit and try to remember other features about the home.
- A floor plan can help inspire renovations. Floor plans are great for remodeling projects that potential buyers may have in mind. They're easy to send to contractors and vendors for them to determine exactly what supplies are needed and in what quantity. Plus an interior designer can utilize a floor plan to design the interior décor – carpets, rugs, curtains, etc. A remodeling contractor can help their client visualize what a room would look like with a wall knocked out or an addition put in. These are all things that cannot be achieved with photographs alone.
Professional Floor Plan Design versus DIY Apps: Which to Choose
There are numerous simple apps available that can help you set up and design a floor plan on your own, whether using your smartphone or mobile device or a robust computer program, but those are not recommended for use when listing your property. The DIY floor plans and apps are really designed to be used by a homeowner for their own personal use – playing around with furniture placement or brainstorming about remodels before taking the project to a professional.
It's important that you utilize an experienced professional to design your floor plan as you need it, with accurate room dimensions and a polished, professional appearance. The return on your investment is worth it for this expense. Hiring a professional also ensures that the finished product will be completed in a more timely manner. It ensures that the marketing material that you need to hand out is complete and professional, with a professionally done floor plan right in the marketing material.
Many real estate photographers, like Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography offer floor plans to their clients. The photographers can take accurate laser measurements, enabling them to create a clear plan with room dimensions and door and window placement. The finished product is polished, professional, and integrates with the photographs taken of your home.
High-quality photographs are still a necessity, even with a professional floor plan. Photographs capture a visual image that will not be captured in a 2D floor plan. A good photograph will showcase unique features of the property. Coupled with the floor plan it's a powerful marketing and sales tool. Many people don't even need to step into the home to fully understand what the property looks and feels like if you've had your photographs and floorplan done by an experienced professional. It's simply one of the best and most underrated ways to get your home sold quickly.
What Type of Floor Plan Should I Have?
Your photographer or other professional that is designing the floor plan will likely know exactly what you need to best showcase your home and to make it easy to understand. There are several types of floor plans that can be used. They include:
- Basic, simple 2D plan with measurements. This is the type most people are used to seeing, especially with new home construction plans and in magazines.
- 2D plan in color. Just like the basic 2D, just with added color to highlight features.
- Textured plan. This can show features such as tile, carpet, hardwood and decking materials, plants, and even landscaping details.
- 3D artist impression. Typically used for yet to be built properties.
Floor plans should be included in all marketing material both paper and digital. Contact Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography to find out how easily we can create a floor plan for your next listing.
Northern Virginia Real Estate Photography