Having your home contain a hodge-podge of architectural styles can be off-putting to a potential homebuyer. For a ranch-style home, featuring columns on the front porch can be as jarring as a log-cabin-styled home with art deco accents.
Each architectural style has its own inherent beauty, so be sure to emphasize these factors. If you don’t, it can be like eating pickles on ice cream!
Hold the rise of celebrity chefs responsible for this one, but kitchens with every appliance imaginable and too much space can be off-putting. Unless you’re hosting lavish get-togethers with a team of cooks, it may be the time to divide the kitchen into segments, like a cozy breakfast nook.
Fake “Old World” Design
By decorating or emphasizing a European style in our home (in particular, the region of Tuscany), we may hope to capture the elegance of the area, but bear in mind that this style has been a form of playing “Telephone”.
Unless you’re sourcing all of the materials (and a vineyard, to boot), there will be something inauthentic about channeling Europe in another region of the world.
If your appliances are white, it is time to upgrade. White may have been at one time a color of choice to emphasize a spotless home (everything shows up on white!), but that’s precisely the problem. Homebuyers will subconsciously feel the toil associated with wiping every surface down, or lingering stains that cannot come out.
In addition, plastic materials can fade over time, turning into a non-uniform yellow. Instead, choose black appliances or stainless steel.
Wallpaper makes a very bold statement in a home. However, that same boldness may put off homeowners, especially if the wallpaper is a cheap, old, and/or common one.
In addition, removing wallpaper is a labor-intensive process that can put off potential homebuyers, especially considering that the removal of older wallpaper may damage the walls and create more headaches.
Also, wallpaper can be a source of undetected mold growth, so stick with paint instead.
There may have been a time when stepping across the master-bedroom and onto a cold-tiled floor may have brought about carpets in the bathroom, but those times are over.
That’s what bathmats are for. Carpets and water simply are asking for mold growth/damage, so tear those out already. Don’t forget that modern homes can have heated floorings, which is a huge selling point to potential homebuyers.
Gaudy Gold Fixtures and Hardware
Metallic finishes can really give your home warmth and sophistication, but if you have shiny gold fixtures and hardware, consider removing them. Gold carries a needlessly flashy and gaudy look that may appeal to some nouveau riche buyers, but most homebuyers find it outdated (like the 80’s).
Instead, opt to replace these fixtures with warmer metals, like polished brass or brushed nickel.
Your kitchen and bathroom countertops play a huge part in the back of a potential homebuyer.
If they’re tiled, consider removing them. At one time, this trend may have seemed modern, but the real nitty-gritty that’s involved with maintaining tiled countertops can be off-putting. Think about it: what do you do if a tile chips and needs to be replaced?
Are you prepared to clean the porous grout regularly to prevent mold and bacteria growth?
Cheap Wood Paneling
Wood paneled homes are beautiful, so if you have stunning wooden wainscoting throughout your home, leave it alone. However, if the walls of your house contain cheap wood paneling meant for a bingo club in Wyoming, remove it immediately.
It instantly dates your home and screams “cheap” to those looking at your home. Worse, it may imply that the wood paneling was put up to cover up larger problems, like a lack of insulation or unfinished walls.
Dead animals on display may not appeal to every homebuyer, so it’s best to remove that moose head when selling. However, it can be popular in certain regions of the U.S., where hunting is becoming more popular (ex. the southern U.S.).
That being said, similar items, like a bulls’ skull strategically placed over a mantelpiece or in a garden, are appealing to certain types of homebuyers.
However, your goal is to make your home an open template.
Simply put, get rid of linoleum flooring. At one time, it was a popular option, especially patterned linoleum that could “mimic” wood or tile flooring. Nowadays, linoleum is almost synonymous with cheap apartments and a careless outlook.
Plus, no one likes walking across sticky linoleum barefoot. Instead, opt for flooring materials like hardwood that are not only comfortable, but also visually-appealing.
If your home contains a popcorn ceiling (also known as a “textured ceiling” or a “stucco ceiling”), you instantly communicate to a homebuyer that your home hasn’t been modernized. Popcorn ceilings were popular from the 50’s to the 80’s as a cheap, ubiquitous alternative to cover up imperfections and cover up unadorned drywall. But to modern eyes, it looks more like a dreary Motel 6 than a warm home.
Removal of popcorn ceilings, like wallpaper, is a labor-intensive affair, so be sure to get it done before your open house. In addition, be sure to look for any asbestos, which can make or break a closing if detected by a homebuyer (or inspector).
Glass Mosaic Backsplash
One of the most common trends from the mid-2000s is a glass mosaic backsplash for your kitchen or bathroom. While it may have looked good then because of its relative scarcity, today it is nearly everywhere. Consider replacing it with marble tiling or plain-white subway tile to obscure your home’s last appointment with an interior designer.
The first thing that a homebuyer sees when viewing a house for the first time is the color: first, the exterior, and then the individual rooms.
Essentially, this “first impression” of colors sets the stage for your home’s other features, including furnishings, decorations, and architecture. If you’ve chosen a bold color on the exterior, like a light pink, you may put off potential buyers that wish to blend in.
If you have room that’s too dark (think dark red) or too bright (think chromatic yellow), the features of the home may be muted or obscured as they compete for visual attention. Neutralizing your home is the best option (see Neutral Colors below), as buyers can project their own color palette to their tastes without being influenced by your preferences.
It’s a very modern notion to have our spaces fit our personalities, quirks, and interests. However, you may want to reconsider the current usage of each space that you’ve repurposed.
Having a garage converted for another purpose besides storage and parking a vehicle may be fine for your needs, but homebuyers may just want a garage for what it was intended. If you’ve converted your garage into a place to run your small business, exercise room, or as a music practice room, be sure to bring it back to its “normal” state to appeal to the largest number of homebuyers.
This is especially true for cities that have limited parking. Similarly, a converted bedroom into a small-office or storage space can be off-putting. This happens because it already puts the should-be-purpose of the room into the mind of a homebuyer and that’s not your goal when selling your home.
Most homebuyers prefer hardwood floors when purchasing a home, even if you’ve went through the trouble of installing new carpet.
Often, people may assume that the germs, pet dander, dirt, and other messes of the previous tenants are still present within carpet.
Furthermore, the color choice for the room may clash with their sensibilities, leading to another item to their mental “To-Do” list when the time comes to customize the home.
Instead, hardwood flooring is a happy medium of a natural hues and the ability to customize. Should the homebuyer want carpet, then all they have to do is install it on top of the wooden surface.
Too Much Landscape
There has been a trend in recent years of introducing the “outdoor living room” as a way to holistically connect nature with the home. Trimmed bushes in ornate shapes, carpet-like moss walkways, sustainable gardens, and ponds are all visually appealing, but there’s a catch. A property requiring regular maintenance may make potential homebuyers hesitate, especially if their future finances are uncertain.
This also includes the recent trend of urban farming. While you may enjoy fresh eggs, honey, and chevre daily, others may be put off by the daily upkeep that animals require, so it’s best to leave no signs that your home was once part-farm.
Hot Tubs and Pools
There may have been a time when a pool was considered a selling point for new homeowners, but many homebuyers realize how much of a maintenance issue and eyesore it can be.
This is especially true for above-ground pools, which tend to take up a large amount of space, create a safety and liability hazard for children/guests, and leave an ugly spot of dead grass when removed.
This is true for hot tubs, too.
Hot tubs are notorious as a breeding ground for bacteria, can be difficult to maintain, and removal from a deck or backyard may lead to even more expenses down the future (ex. rebuilding a portion of your deck where the hot tub once was).
Whirlpool bathtubs may have been at one time considered an item of luxury and a major selling point, but tastes have changed in recent years. Those who’ve owned or used them may have enjoyed the luxury, but realize just how much water they use (between 80 – 100 gallons) and how much space is taken up that could be used for other bathroom features like a bigger shower space or a separate vanity space for each spouse.
Outfitting your home like an urban loft space has long been a trend in interior home design, but this may not be your best option for selling your home.
Minimalist design in this style can make homes seem unnaturally empty, without emphasizing the natural personality of the home that’s attractive to homebuyers.
Instead, you should aim to add accents without creating a barren look. Subconsciously, an overly minimalist design communicates to buyers that the home shouldn’t house furnishings and decorations, something that may be at odds with the buyer’s intentions.
Improvement Trends that Work
Agents, interior decorators, and potential homebuyers.
What do they all have in common? They all prefer neutral colors. Whether it’s showcasing your home’s features without distractions or removing the “personality” from the house, the choice of colors is very important when selling your house.
Picking a neutral color, like beige or cream, helps stoke the interest of those looking at online photographs (just imagine a bright yellow house on your computer screen!).
Let’s take a look at some neutral color trends to help you sell your home:
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