Trends in the housing market are constantly changing. If you bought your home a while ago, you might have features in your home that were once “standard,” but are now big turn-offs for potential buyers. Here are the top 12 features you should change ASAP if you plan to sell soon.

1. Popcorn Ceilings

We had to start here. Popcorn, cottage cheese, or textured ceilings were pretty standard 30 years ago, but today they scream HUGE PROJECT to potential home buyers. Any textured elements adds shadows, giving the illusion of dark and low ceilings which you definitely don’t want. Not to mention the risk of asbestos.

You can either scrape and skim coat the ceiling, or cover it with one quarter or half-inch sheetrock. Do not forget to check for asbestos!

2. Wood Paneling

We’re not talking Chip & Jo approved shiplap, we’re referring to the dark wood paneling popular in the “man caves,” rec rooms, and personal libraries of the 60s and 70s. If your basement is screaming “That ‘70s Show,” fixing it will help you sell faster. Rip out and replace the wood paneling. If that’s not an option, paint the wood a neutral color to open up the room and make it appear larger than it actually is.

3. Bathroom Carpets

Bathroom carpets – one of the many great ideas of the 90s. The truth is they are a bacterial breeding ground and put you at risk for mold. Rip up that carpet and lay down easy to clean tile.

Need help redoing your master bath? Ask about our quick bath remodels.

4. Laminate and Tile Countertops

Tile countertops are inconvenient, hard to clean, and hard to fix. Laminate countertops can’t handle the heat a kitchen counter should, and it screams the 90’s. Either option signals a remodel for potential buyers – the more work they think they have to do, the more scared they get.

Avoid spooking potential buyers by replacing those outdated countertops with marble, granite, quartz, wood, stainless steel, concrete, or soapstone, depending on your home and the neighborhood.

A minor kitchen remodel has great ROI – request a free quote to get started.

5. Linoleum / Vinyl Flooring

Linoleum and vinyl floors tend to look cheap and don’t age well. Replacing them with hardwood or tile is sure to increase your home’s value.

6. Shag Carpeting

If your home has carpet – as most older homes do – make sure it’s low pile and of a neutral shade. High pile and shag carpeting is hard to clean and your buyers will shy away from that.


7. Vertical Blinds & Big Drapes

Vertical blinds are as ineffective as they are outdated. Plus, you really only see them in motel rooms and offices now – neither of which you want to be associated with your home. If you have to cover a sliding door, opt for a horizontal option like simple, inexpensive rolled bamboo shades.

Heavy drapes used to be the height of sophistication and elegance, but now they just date your home. Today’s trends are all open bright open spaces, so ditch the heavy fabrics and opt for floor-length, neutral colored sheer panels.

Need to completely replace your windows? We offer a wide variety of styles PLUS our energy efficient glass will keep your home comfortable whatever the season.

8. Floral-patterned Furniture

Once thought to be elegant and contemporary, that they are no more! Especially when selling, you want to emphasize neutral tones because it helps potential buyers picture their own furnishings in the space. You don’t want them to fixate on your busy furniture instead of the possibilities the space could hold.

9. Pastel Bathrooms

When you think outdated, you think pastel pink bathrooms with that fuzzy cover on the toilet seat; don’t be that house. Changing the tiles, opting for a walk-in shower versus the typical tub shower combo, and installing a timeless vanity will dramatically increase your chances of selling quickly.

Need help getting rid of your peptobismol pink bathroom? We’ve got you covered.

10. Patterned Wallpaper & Bold Paint Colors

This is standard advice for anyone selling. Since tastes and preferences vary widely, switching your wallpaper and bold walls to neutral colors is your best bet for selling quickly. Choose light colors to make the space feel bigger than it is.

11. Dated Fixtures & Hardware

Shiny brass or gold hardware will instantly take your buyers back to the 80s. Switching them for more contemporary materials like brushed nickel is a relatively inexpensive way to make your kitchen and bathrooms instantly look more modern. If you decide to make the switch, make sure you cover all your bases so your house matches throughout. Make sure to check your cabinet hinges and pulls, your door handles, and your lighting fixtures.

12. Glass Blocks

Last, the glass blocks of the 80s. Often placed in entryways, you don’t want this to be the first thing potential buyers see when they arrive. Remove them completely or replace with a wide picture window for a more open, contemporary feel.

Did you say yes to any items on the list? Speak to your realtor and find out which changes will help you the most. Then budget and plan all your remodels so that you’re not putting in more money than you can recoup in the sale. We offer great financing options – contact us for a free quote!