5 Home Decor No-No’s That Scare Buyers Away


Everyone has their own tastes when it comes to decorating their home. But just because you love it, doesn’t mean everyone else does.

Unfortunately, many buyers can’t look past ugly paint or bad home decor. So it’s up to real estate agents to deliver the harsh news that your style specific tastes will translate into a tougher sell.

This spring market is going to be hot – and you want your home to sell fast. Here are five decor no-no’s from the ‘Property Brothers’ and Realtor.com that could hurt your chances to sell.


5 Home Decor No-No’s

Jonathan and Drew Scott have seen their share of sorry looking homes as Reality TV stars. But a house they visit in the latest episode of “Property Brothers: Buying & Selling” has it all! That is, all of the very worst home features under one roof!

In the episode “East vs. West,” the Scott brothers meet Chandra and Dan, who have made some “curious” design choices in their starter home.

Plus, with two young kids in the picture now, they desperately need a new house with more space. A situation that many first-time homeowners find themselves in. It doesn’t take too long before the need for more space pushes homeowners to move.

But before they can embark on their house hunt, they have to get their current place in selling shape. And that means purging all the no-no’s in their home that could seriously kill their sale.

So what, exactly, are this home’s most offending features? Check ’em out below, and make sure your own abode isn’t guilty as charged, too.

1. A Cluttered Foyer

When Drew and Jonathan meet the family for the first time, they walk into a narrow, cluttered entry hall full of bags, clothes, and kids’ stuff. Drew gently chastises them, explaining that homeowners say a lot about their house by what greets guests behind the front door.

“All you’re saying in this house is ‘There’s no storage, there’s no room,'” he tells them. It all makes the house appear much smaller than it really is.

2. Mirrored Walls

Dan and Chandra thought that a mirrored wall would make the small home look more spacious, but not so, according to Jonathan.

“It makes it feel like an ’80s dance hall,” he says, as he strikes a pose in the mirror. He usually likes full-length mirrors, he says, but “these mirrors have got to go!”

Using mirrors can make a space feel larger, but there are better on-trend ways of doing so. You can add framed mirrors that will accent and improve your home decor instead of detracting from it.

3. Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

In case you were wondering, wall-to-wall carpeting is really, really over. “Nobody today is looking for wall-to-wall carpet,” Jonathan states. “Especially wall-to-wall carpet that has a decade’s worth of mysteries in it.”

There are places where wall-to-wall carpeting works, but mostly it’s in bedrooms or away from the main living spaces. If you do have carpeting, make sure it’s immaculately cleaned or (preferably) updated.

Styles change, and so does a buyers expectations in their decor. A patterned or stained carpet is a serious no-no.

4. Popcorn Ceilings

OK, by now we all know that popcorn ceilings have been out for several decades and that their removal is tricky.

Were you aware that, as you take them down, they might reveal problems with the ceiling, or, god forbid, the roof?

For example, as Jonathan removes the molding along the ceiling, he finds that the nails holding it in place are rusted.

“Rust means moisture,” he says as he climbs into the attic to find out if there’s a leak. If there is, it could add thousands of dollars to the couple’s $50,000 renovation budget.

In this case, Jonathan crawls around in he attic and finds the solution. He’s relieved that the previous owners had simply piled great chunks of insulation up there, thinking that it would keep the heat from rising through the roof.

But the insulation also blocked the vents, so the warm, moist heat rose and had nowhere to go. Jonathan can easily remedy this problem by removing the insulation.

5. Loud Wallpaper… Or Just Wallpaper

There is some seriously loud wallpaper in the living room that practically makes the Scotts’ eyes water. “It looks like you have petri dishes sitting on doilies,” Jonathan says of the busy, blue circular pattern.

“It’s designer wallpaper,” Chandra says in protest.

“Just because you paid a lot of money for it doesn’t mean it’s the best for the space,” Jonathan responds. Then she confesses that she found it in overstock, but she really likes it.

“I don’t care what you like,” Jonathan replies. “I care what buyers like, because if buyers like it, it’s going to get you a higher dollar amount, and it’s going to sell faster.”

Jonathan might be right, but it certainly doesn’t win him many warm-and-fuzzies.


Alexander’s Note: I want to add onto the last point about delivering bad news. Don’t shoot the messenger.

Nobody likes to hear that something they love – or that they’ve spent lots of money one – is going to be universally disliked by buyers. In getting a home ready for the market we might bring in a stager or simply give you a list of home decor to-do’s. They are tactical suggestions, and not personal.

The professionals we use are as delicate as we are. They try to be sensitive in delivering what can be a hard to hear. As your agent, we are going to suggest interior styling that will cast the widest net to get your home sold as fast as possible.

We bring our experience in viewing hundreds, if not thousands, of homes over the years.


The professionals at Wissel Homes know the Central Maryland market because it’s our home too. We live and breathe the local neighborhoods in Howard County, Carroll County, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County and more. We understand what it takes to get the job done right. Contact us today to set up an appointment to list your home or to start the home buying process. Let our experience help move you into your dream home.