5 Home Trends Real Estate Experts Hate Seeing

published Oct 26, 2019
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Whether it’s installing barn doors or creating an all-gray-everything living room motif, there’s no harm in being trendy in your day-to-day decor. However, once that home hits the real estate market, those design choices can come at a cost. When selling a home, the name of the staging game is to make your home look desirable to as many people as possible, inspiring competition between potential buyers and upping your home price in the process. On the flip side, the more niche or alienating your home comes across, the less likely you are to fetch a top offer.

Thankfully, it’s not hard to figure out what trends can be divisive. To make it easy for you, I spoke with real estate agents across the country for their opinions on the home trends that could actually keep your home from closing. Here, the six they’d rather not see in your home:

Black bathrooms

“Black can be a troubling color for a bathroom because it may make the space appear smaller. And while we love dark colors because they hide dirt and imperfections, anyone with charcoal floors can tell you that dirt rarely comes in jet black. Dust bunnies, fingerprints, and smudges stand out all the more on black cabinetry. There’s one more thing: The trend for so many years has been light and bright so the majority of home buyers will be looking for a bathroom that reflects that aesthetic.”—Janene Ferrara, an agent with eXp Realty in Hauppauge, New York

Eccentric tiling

“[This] may prevent the sale of a house because they tend to have a bold design and fit together to form a kaleidoscope effect. Believe me, undesirable bathrooms can impact the sale of a home so it’s best to stay with solid neutral colors since these will never go out of style.”—Tom Wallace, a certified master inspector at Home Check in Tampa, Florida


“This is one of the most personal of touches that you can add to a home. Some people love it, and some people love to hate it. Regardless, the good stuff is incredibly expensive to buy and install properly. If a prospective buyer doesn’t share your unique taste, it is costly to remove it, both in terms of money and time.” —Nadine Adamson, an agent with Brown Harris Stevens in New York City

Super minimalism

“Having almost no personal items in a home might be trendy, but it makes a house not feel homey, cozy, or lived in. I know most real estate brokers encourage their clients to get rid of any clutter and personal effects, but sometimes people can go overboard. Then, the home has a barren and institutional feel to it. Do keep that cream color faux fur throw on the couch, but [put away] that torn hand-knitted pillow with the cats on it.”—Deborah Ribner, an agent with Warburg Realty in New York City

In-office kitchens

“For a while, kitchen designers were tucking in a small desk countertop beneath some cabinets and styling it with a flat screen or laptop. The issue is that nobody really enjoys sitting in a tight corner in the midst of kitchen chaos, facing a backsplash, while wedged in between a fridge and pantry. More often than not, that space becomes a catch-all for paperwork and junk. People are far more comfortable setting up their laptop or tablet on the island or at the kitchen table. The ‘in-kitchen’ office is widely perceived as wasted space that would have been better served as stacked cabinets for extra storage. If any of my clients have one, I generally stage the space as a coffee bar during showings.”—Ferrara

Looking for trends that will pay dividends when it’s time to sell? Here, four up-and-coming kitchen trends experts love seeing in homes.

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