New Build Home Buyers Guide

All housebuilders have new build show homes to show prospective new home buyers examples of their different house types and how they will look like when they have been built.

The show home, its surrounding area and sales office will be the first plots to be constructed on the development. Show homes form part of the marketing suite giving the builder a shop window to sell their houses to prospective new home buyers. In the early stages, when selling off-plan, there may be no other homes finished and available to view.

The psychology used by the developer to entice new home buyers includes clever designs and tactics to present their homes in the best way possible.

Your developer will have spent a huge amount of money on their show homes and show areas. The transformation of the show area will have gone through several stages from initial inception (design) to completion. Using a number of specialist subcontractors, from interior designers, specialist sound and lighting, and landscape designers. In the current Covid 19 crisis, there is an increased emphasis on creating high-quality professional videos extolling the virtues of their new homes online.

The new build show homes will have been finished and dressed with the aim of maximising value and attracting high-quality prospective purchasers to their development.

Clever Tactics Used in New Build Show Homes to Entice You to Buy

show home with clever lighting and carefull placed props

  1. Lights – All the lights will be switched on including bedside lights and table lamps to give the impression of plenty of light
  2. High-end fittings – Upgraded fittings from the standard specification (these are optional extras)
  3. Mirrors – The use of mirrors to give the impression of greater space and light
  4. Temperature – Heating will be set to a higher temperature to minimise the amount of time potential purchasers stay in the property
  5. Landscaping – The garden areas will be landscaped to a higher specification than the standard specification
  6. Symmetry – The use of symmetry will fool your brain into thinking the room is more spacious than it actually is. Regularly spaced symmetrical objects also give humans a sense of calm.
  7. Missing essential items – Leaving out essential items such as the fridge, a TV and bedroom cupboards makes it feel more spacious than it actually is once all the items you need in place
  8. Narrow fitted wardrobes – Fitted furniture such as wardrobes may only be half the depth you would normally expect
  9. Missing fencing – Dividing fencing will be missing in the rear garden area between the show houses to give a feeling of space
  10. Luxury furnishings – Higher quality of finish and soft furnishings and furniture gives a feeling of luxury
  11. Professional video – Expertly produced video walkthroughs of show houses give the impression of space and luxury
  12. Light coloured paint – Light walls give a greater sense of space
  13. Smaller than average furniture – Three-quarter sized beds and smaller than average furniture gives the illusion of more space
  14. Lifestyle props – items such as coffee table books and brightly coloured bowls of fruit and the smells of coffee brewing and freshly baked bread allude to a perfect lifestyle

How to Avoid Falling for New Build Show Home Tricks and Sales Tactics

using mirrors in show homesViewing new build show homes can be exciting as they are always finished to a higher specification than the house you will be buying. The use of high-end furnishings, appliances and decoration make it hard not to picture your home looking the same.

Try to look past all this, as you are not buying the show home and you may not even be buying the same house type. The home you will be buying won’t be dressed as the show houses.

It is important to find out exactly what is or isn’t included in the home you are interested in buying, and if you like some of the upgraded fittings, find out how much extra these will cost.

More importantly, try to focus on the building, imagine living there. Is it well built? Does the layout work (not just now but in the future)? Will your furniture fit? Is there enough space? Take a tape measure with you to see.

Carefully check the plans and specification of your new home. If you reserve the sales negotiator will ask you to sign them to ensure you understand what you are buying. When the home you are interested in is built take the plans and a tape measure to check they are the same dimensions, be aware that the dimensions on the working drawings are brick and blockwork dimensions not plaster finish dimensions.

> View our blog post: Top 8 new-build checklist for first-time buyers

Ask to see a lived-in home in the same development to get an idea of how the property would actually stand up to normal life. Alternatively, a build that’s nearing completion and not yet ‘dressed’ may give you a better impression of size and proportions.

A show home will have been built in the prime location, so ask to see aerial shots of the area and make sure you know the pros and cons of different sections. Find out how close you are to roads and thoroughfares, what the view will be like from your property (remember it will be different from the show home’s), and which way the garden faces to get the best of the sun.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Buying a New Build Show Home

Developers always sell their show houses once they have finished selling all the houses on the development. Buying a show house can have advantages and disadvantages.


  • The show house will be finished so you can fully inspect it
  • Showhouses usually have upgraded fixtures and fittings
  • The landscaping will be finished to a higher specification
  • The new build show house will have been well maintained
  • The show houses are the last to be sold so you won’t be living on a building site for long
  • The furniture may be negotiated as part of the sale


  • The show home will have had extensive footfall by the time it is sold
  • If buying a furnished show house you won’t be able to personalise it without additional expense
  • Items in the show home could be used in other view units on the site
  • You could be paying more for the new build show home
  • Appliances will have been used rather than new
  • The sales car park is usually next to the show home and will probably have been built over another plot, which will be built at the end of the development causing disruption once you have moved in.
  • Once the builder has completed all the houses and sold them on the development they will no longer have a presence on-site to carry out any maintenance. This will have to be carried out by the customer care department.

Finally, our advice is to look past all the glitz and glamour and do your research, the show home is a snapshot of what your builder is proposing to build. Carefully think about the location, access, and local amenities. Research the builder have they built any other homes that you can look at and compare? Do they have a good track record of quality and completed on time? What do other residents say about the development and builder?

If possible, take a friend or family member with you as a second opinion is sometimes a good thing and they may notice things that you haven’t.

Lively Professional Services conduct independent snagging surveys for new home buyers, helping our customers to identify and rectify any build issues before moving in. Please get in touch to ask any questions or for a no-obligation quote.

With thanks to Stanza Style Interiors for the photography.

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