A model house on money

Photo: Creatas/Thinkstock

5 of 5



Mistake #5: Getting Too Personal
Your home is a reflection of your tastes, your values and your lifestyle choices—but keep in mind that if you want to sell this careful reflection of yourself, the more unique your choices, the more they might impact your home’s value.

Several years ago I was asked to inspect a home built by a Rutgers University professor. He loved the place, had clearly designed it with care and couldn’t figure out why it was sitting on the market. The answer was crystal clear: He’d built the home in as a geodesic dome. As a gifted academic, he likely found the bulbous layout to be inspiring; the average homebuyer, on the other hand, found it hard to imagine where the couch would go. 

We’ve learned a lot from relocation companies: Their experts are brought in to sell homes quickly, and the very first thing they do is paint everything eggshell white and put down neutral carpets. This isn’t to say you should live in a house of taupe, but you should consider your home improvement decisions—especially large ones that can’t easily be undone—with care. Choose things that will make you happy while you’re living in the house and that will appeal to future buyers who may not have your fantastic taste.

More Home Improvement Advice
Nate Berkus, Ty Pennington and more share their know-how
11 ways to refresh your home this weekend
Reasons to incorporate DIY into your life