Australia Back to Real Estate News Homepage to RSS for this country

AU Property News

AU Home trends that send buyers packing

Property Here - Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Share to:

WE'VE all seen them - garish design trends that were once the height of high fashion, but are now the subject of amusement.

Remember the shag pile carpet and over the top patterns of the 1970’s? Chenille bedspreads and bathrooms with large floral motif tiles in a multitude of colours, mostly burnt oranges, browns and yellows? Then there was the brightly coloured linoleum flooring, vinyl upholstery and pastel enamel bat ware. The 1970’s was a treasure trove for loud design features, and it wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t only the 70’s either, most decades have had their fair share of whopping great style mistakes.

The interesting thing about trends is that they tend to run in cycles, and eventually they come back into fashion again. However that’s not always the case, and one thing is for certain, design fails of bygone eras have no place in a contemporary home on the market.

So what should be banished prior to selling your house? Details that scream their period and therefore date your home, or anything that is visually jarring, has to go. If any element of your home hits you in the eye it’s probably not going to attract many buyers. A home with a neutral colour palette and clean lines will win out every time as it’s more classic. Furniture and architectural features should be timeless to attract the largest group of interest purchasers.

Also anything that is out of style with the rest of your home should be remedied. If your house has been modernized, but your budget ran out before you got to the kitchen and as a result it’s still in its original state, it’s going to stick out like a sore thumb and deter buyers. A blue formica kitchen, for example, just isn’t going to cut it in today’s market.

I have heard vendors say, "I’m not paying for someone else’s renovation". But that’s not the right attitude. Vendors are competitive and your home has to look it’s best and possess the most desirable features for your target audience to attract the best price. You can’t get away with leaving an outdated bathroom or kitchen thinking that the vendor will fix it themselves. If you’re marketing your entire house as a ‘renovators dream’, then the purchaser is expecting the work ahead of them. But in a normal sale, the less the vendor has to do the better.

Some of the more common old fashioned design features that should be updated as a priority before you sell are listed below. Certain construction materials of yesteryear were unsightly and won’t do you any favours in your quest to sell your home. It’s best to rid your home of these elements and introduce a fresh new look.

Exposed brick

Both inside and out, exposed brick is an eyesore. If your home has exposed brick in nearly every room it can be costly to remedy (by painting or rendering) so you might want to consider just doing some of the walls to lessen the overwhelming effect of the brick. Brick can also seem very cold, so it would be worthwhile introducing some warm, textured fabrics in soft furnishings such as curtains and upholstery fabrics.



Exposed brick. Picture: File. Source: News Limited

Stucco ‘popcorn’ ceilings

Ah good old ‘popcorn’ ceilings. A leftover from the 50’s and 60’s they look awful, and are loathed by modern homebuyers as they not only look unattractive but they are difficult to remedy. However difficult to remove though, the effort to rid your home of this unsightly detail will be worth it. The best way to do this is to get an expert in.



'Popcorn' stucco ceiling. Picture: File. Source: News Limited

Shag pile carpet

There are so many affordable options in flooring now so there’s really no excuse for anything outdated. From floating timber or laminate, to hard wearing carpet, there are economical options that will improve your chances of selling for a good price. Deep neutrals like charcoal or dark beige are the most popular and practical choices in carpeting.

Wallpaper borders

Fashionable in a bygone era, wallpaper borders are only suitable for a retirement home. Either wallpaper an entire room, or one feature wall, behind a bed in a bedroom for example. Steer clear of anything too dramatic if you’re selling as your buyer may not share your taste for pattern or colour.



Heavy wall detail. Picture: File. Source: News Limited

Brightly coloured kitchen benches, or bathroom fixtures

Most buyers these days are looking for kitchens and bathrooms that are practical and attractive with modern, clean lines and a pleasing colour palette. An old avocado or apricot bathtub can easily be transformed by re-enameling or resurfacing with a professional spray, which can be more economical than replacing fixtures. Kitchen bench tops can also be renewed in this way.




Coloured laminex. Picture: File.

Read more: