Is Your Style Sabotaging Your Sale?

First impressions matter, and the effect of interior design decisions on potential buyers in North Cotswolds and North Oxfordshire cannot be overstated. Despite the temporary nature of styling, seemingly superficial details can be highly off-putting to buyers. The importance of presenting a home well is underscored by the fact that 90% of buyers start their property search online, spending a mere 20 seconds on each listing, according to the Home Staging Association. In this fast-paced market, those initial seconds can make or break a potential sale.


Outdated style

Styles from decades past, particularly from the 60s and 70s, can clash with modern preferences. Quirky colour schemes, swirly carpets, and outdated furniture may be a nostalgic treat for the sellers but can date the entire house, creating a mismatch for prospective buyers.


Feature Walls

Once a popular trend in the early 2000s, feature walls have firmly fallen out of fashion. Kirsty Allsopp recently declared on Twitter/X “If you want your room to feel shorter, paint or wallpaper one wall differently to the other walls.”  Inoffensive and tastefully neutral interiors are generally preferred by sellers. The broader the appeal, the faster a property is likely to sell.



This has had a slightly surprising revival but is still very divisive. Preserving animals as decor may be of interest to some, but for many potential buyers, it is an absolute turn-off.



Overpowering smells, like pet smells, damp, or cigarette smoke, can also be deal-breakers, emphasising the importance of ensuring that your property is clean and fresh-smelling before every viewing.



Too much clutter or too many personal items pose another challenge. While a lived-in space helps buyers imagine themselves in the home, excessive personal touches may distract and even deter them. Striking the right balance between a property feeling sterile and having too much personality is crucial.



The decline in the popularity of the Aga serves as a reminder that even once highly coveted features can become turn-offs, particularly for younger buyers concerned about energy costs. Sellers should consider updating or converting such features to appeal to a broader audience.


Home staging is a valuable tool in a property sellers toolkit. According to the 2023 Home Staging Report staged homes, on average, sell 58 days faster than non-staged properties. If you don’t feel that you are able to stage your home yourself then there are professional home staging companies that can help you. Home staging can range from filling an empty house with furniture to subtle tweaks that enhance a property’s appeal.


While style plays a significant role, buyers must strike a balance, ensuring they do not overlook a great home due to minor stylistic issues. Ultimately, the condition and location of the house remain the most critical considerations, with style acting as a powerful but secondary influence in the home-buying decision.


If you are considering selling your property in North Cotswolds and North Oxfordshire and would like some advice on how to get it market ready please give us a call on 01608 695252 or send an email to


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