5 Types of Wall Art That Real Estate Agents Never Want to See in Your Home

published Nov 2, 2022
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Senior Caucasian woman hanging a painting on the wall.
Credit: SrdjanPav/ Getty Images

There’s a reason why people say art is subjective — it’s because what looks like an amazing piece of work to you might look like a bunch of blobs and smudges to someone else. Normally there’s nothing wrong with that, but when it comes time to list your home for sale, real estate agents become quite clear on what pieces of art are wall-worthy and which need to be stashed way in the back of your closet. These are the five types of wall art agents say you need to take down ASAP if you want to make a sale sooner rather than later. 

Family Photos

You’ve probably heard that it’s not a good idea to have too many photos of your family hanging on the walls, but you may not know why it’s a real estate no-no. Brian Worthman, a licensed real estate salesperson with The Corcoran Group says the wrong personal items can make potential buyers feel like outsiders. 

“Family photos and portraits can make a home feel like it belongs to someone else,” he says, adding that anything that gives too much of your personality away could turn someone off. “If someone identifies as a ‘dog person’ they might be put off walking into a home with cat paintings.” 

Anything About Religion or Politics

It’s important to avoid potentially alienating buyers by displaying items that could create mixed feelings. Overtly religious or political signs are a wall art no-go according to Sharika Nichole Giddens, senior commercial and residential brokerage partner at DTSpade Specialized Real Estate. She says keeping these things on the walls could unconsciously cloud a buyer’s judgment. 

Fan Art

Sorry, but Jacob Brenyo, a real estate agent with Awning.com, wants you to ditch the pictures of your favorite rock stars and A-listers. “There is a new trend of full wall portraits of celebrities, which look great in photos but absolutely terrible in person,” he says. “There is very little an agent can do to help a home sell when there is a giant photo of Madonna towering over the living room.” Sorry, Madge! 

Anything of Value

If you’re lucky enough to have a piece of art that’s worth a bit of money, Ken Sisson, a Studio City real estate agent with Coldwell Banker, wants you to take it down ASAP. “It’s always best to be safe and remove valuable wall art from the home, in advance, and store it somewhere safe and secure,” he says. You’ll already have enough on your mind with getting your property ready to list, the last thing you want to worry about is your valuable artwork getting damaged… or worse! 

Common Commercial Prints

There’s a reason why you see some of the same imagery over and over again in homes across the country. Not only are mass manufactured prints generally pleasing to the eye, but they’re also very affordable, making them a win win. But Martin Boonzaayer, CEO of The Trusted Home Buyer, says not so fast.

“How often do you see posters of the Eiffel Tower or the Brooklyn Bridge?” he asks. “I recognize the photo’s aesthetic value but cringe at the idea of its current misuse. The low cost comes from the fact that there are so many of them.” Sorry, but unfortunately Boonzaayer says these IKEA mainstays have got to go.