custom features-do they help or hinder when it’s time to sell your home?

When you live in a house-whether it is for a few years or a few decades, you make it a home. You decorate, you paint, you hang curtains and put up shelves and paintings and make it your own in many ways.

What happens if your sense of style is different? What if your colors are bold, your fixtures are funky and you have added a few unique features and showcased your eclectic style? What will that mean when it comes time for you to sell your home?

There have been a few homes in my career that have fallen into this category and the advice I have given is as varied as the homes themselves.  

To start, if there is a special fixture such as custom  window treatments or your Aunts crystal chandelier that you want to take with you to your new home, we suggest replacing it before you have your home photographed and listed for sale. If you are not able to remove and replace, always make sure you have indicated which items do not remain with the home in the Sellers Disclosure. We will make sure it is written in the Agent Notes in the MLS so that it is not a surprise down the road. The fact of the matter is, if it is in the pictures or in the home when a buyer views it, they will have a hard time not wanting it later on when you are negotiating terms.  If you forget and remove the items prior to closing or fail to disclose they were not part of the home, you could find yourself in a dispute in the 11th hour and nobody wants that. 

Now what about paint colors and wild wallpapers?  Well that depends. 

If you have an accent wall that was painted a bright pop of color that creates a focal point in your home, it is likely there will be no issue with it and that the majority of buyers will appreciate the style that it brings.   While buyers can look past a custom border or a few rooms accentuated with wallpaper or paint, some will be turned off by completely custom painted rooms.  They are not looking at it with the same appreciation that you do. They are looking at it and adding up the time it is going to take and the cost of removing wallpaper or priming and painting.  If it is in your budget and time allows, it is always best to neutralize your home so that it appeals to the widest audience possible. 

What other ‘unique’ things have we seen over the years? Do they help or hinder the sale of a home?  Good questions! 

A friend of mine had a stained glass ceiling installed in the sunroom of her home. It was enormous and truly a stunning piece of art. It went well with the style of her decor, but even better with the overall style of the home so that when it was listed it was a focal point and a feature that drew people in. One for the help column for sure! 

We have seen a few homes lately that have urinals side by side with a traditional commode in the bathroom.  While we can understand the thought process and why one would choose to have both, it is not something that is going to appeal to every buyer. Some find it very off-putting and say it makes the bathroom feel more like a public restroom than the restful spa-like setting that people are used to. This is definitely a love/hate kind of  feature! 

Photo credit J Moore

I have shown a few houses built by a builder that favored the clean, modern and minimal design esthetic. Several have featured a floating staircase, some have had a large indoor garden feature in the foyer complete with a live tree. One showcased a slide-yes a slide-from the second floor bonus down to the first. There is nothing wrong with any of these features, but all of them are features that when it comes time to sell your home might reduce the number of prospective buyers that may actually want to purchase these particular homes. 

What features have we seen that are a pleasant surprise to potential buyers?

  • Smart home additions-bluetooth lightbulbs, programmable thermostats and WiFi-controlled lights, locks, and security systems  
  • Hidden outlets with USB ports-consider hiding outlets in drawers to keep clutter to a minimum.
  • Central vacuum systems-once a staple, these are making a comeback and we can understand why! 
  • A fully built out and designed laundry room-design your laundry room just like any other room in your house to maximize storage and functionality! 
Photo courtesy of

There are so many options, styles and ideas when it comes to turning your house into a home that works for you and there really is no hard and fast right or wrong. We are not suggesting that you surround yourself with beige and boring walls. Buyers gravitate to homes that feel, well, like home! So make it a comfortable and welcoming space that will draw in even the most finicky buyer!  

Questions about changes you have in mind? Let us know!