Selling Your Home? Here’s What Not to Display in Your Home Office

With more people working from home than ever, the home office has become a major selling point to many potential buyers—and if you want to attract those potential buyers, you need to frame your office in a way that’s going to appeal to them.

And that includes getting rid of things that won’t appeal to them.

recent article from Apartment Therapy outlined the items real estate agents recommend not displaying in your home office if you’re preparing to sell, including:

  • College degrees and other references to your alma mater. You may have nothing but happy memories about your university—but potential buyers might not feel the same way. For example, a potential buyer might have applied to your alma mater, only to be rejected—and seeing a diploma or a banner with the University logo in your home office could bring up those not-so-fond memories and take focus away from the property. Before you list your home, make sure to remove your diplomas and any other references to your alma mater from your home office.
  • Disorganized cords, papers, or clutter. You may feel comfortable working in a slightly disorganized space—but potential buyers may not feel the same way. Make sure to bundle the cords for your computer, monitor, and other electronics and clear your desk of any loose paper or clutter before you show your home.
  • Company swag. You might be tempted to keep your company swag (like a coffee mug or monitor sticker in your office)—but it’s best to keep where you work private. While it’s unlikely, if a deal goes south—and a potential buyer knows where you work—they could place a call into your company and say something disparaging to your employer.

The Takeaway:

Bottom line? When you’re selling your home, you want potential buyers to be able to picture themselves working comfortably from your home office—and that means removing personal effects and making sure things look organized.

Insights Into The 2021 Housing Market

2021 is officially upon us. But how, exactly, is the new year shaping up through the lens of real estate?

HomeLight’s Top Agent Insights Q4 2020 Report surveyed over 1,000 real estate agents for their insights into the 2021 housing market, including:

  • Lack of inventory will continue to pose challenges in 2021. A lack of homes for sale presented one of the biggest challenges for buyers in 2020—and at 20.5 percent, a continued lack of inventory is the factor most agents cited as their pick for the biggest influence on the 2021 housing market.
  • Remote work will continue to influence the real estate market. Low inventory will have a big impact on the market—but so will remote work. 14.5 percent of agents surveyed said the shift to remote work will have the biggest influence on the housing market in the upcoming year.
  • Low mortgage rates will continue to drive demand. A whopping 94 percent of agents surveyed said that low interest rates were boosting buyer demand in Q4 2020—and with most experts expecting mortgage rates to stay low through the end of the year (according to the report, Fannie Mae is expecting interest rates to stay around 2.8 percent while the Mortgage Bankers Association is forecasting a slight increase in rates to 3.3 percent), that demand should continue through 2021.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? Real estate agents have their finger on the pulse of what’s happening in the market—so understanding their insights and predictions can help you better prepare to navigate the market in 2021, whether you’re planning to buy or sell.

2020 Decor Trends We Can’t Wait to Kick to the Curb

The pandemic has radically changed the way we live and work. It’s also had a significant impact on our home decor—and not necessarily for the better.

After spending months inside, you’re probably beyond sick of looking at some of the COVID-related adjustments you’ve made. With the new year rolling in, and the coronavirus, hopefully, on its way out, chances are you’re looking forward to taking back your home and your health before too long.

The following are some trends that started in 2020 that we’re betting you’d probably prefer to never see again, let alone in 2021!

Toilet Paper Towers


Toilet paper was more prized than shiplap was in its heyday! While you may have considered yourself very fortunate to have a towering supply, those toilet paper pyramids just bring back bad memories. We’re happy to see this trend of stacking and displaying TP go down the drain!

Mask Racks


Nothing says 2020 quite like the mask rack. Sure, you don’t want to leave home without face coverings, but they certainly don’t add much to your entryway’s aesthetic. Like underwear on a clothesline, this is something we’d prefer to not have to look at again any time soon!

Wall Art Reminders


Words as wall art has been a trend that’s been on the way out for a while now. But when it has a pandemic spin, it’s definitely time for it to go—and not return!


Joke-y Doormats


COVID-related doormats make you feel anything but welcome! If you’re trying to keep visitors at bay, this probably does the trick. Still, if you’re hoping 2021 is the year you expand your social circle, you’ll want to ditch these un-welcome mats.


Handwipe Displays…Everywhere


Who needs a centerpiece when you’ve got…handwipe displays? Sure, it’s convenient to have multiples stationed around the house but we’re definitely ready to let these slip into the background again.

Homeschool Classrooms


If you had to quickly convert to virtual learning, you know how fast your school supplies can take over the house. Not only is it hard to be both teacher and parent, but the sprawl of online learning takes its toll. Here’s hoping 2021 sees kids returning to the schoolhouse and your home returning to order.

Shared Office Spaces


Working from home meant setting up shop just about anywhere you could. But whether you have kids, pets, or both, it was often a struggle to keep your “office” tidy this year. If you’ll be working remotely for the foreseeable future, try to carve out a designated, quiet space in 2021.

Hand Sanitizers—Indoors & Out


Hand sanitizers took the place of aromatherapy candles in 2020. But seeing them everywhere felt like another reminder of the germs surrounding us. Sure, we want our hands clean, but having these bottles all over the place doesn’t enhance your home’s Feng Shui.

If we’re being honest, we probably won’t be getting rid of these decor trends as soon as we ring in 2021, but we can at least hope that these are all a distant memory by the end of it!

Moving From The City To The Suburbs? Avoid These Mistakes

COVID-19 has caused many urban dwellers to forgo their big city lifestyle for the suburbs, where there’s more space.

But not every city-to-suburbs move is a successful one—and if you’re thinking about trading in city living for a home in the suburbs, there are a few pitfalls you’ll need to watch out for.

recent article from outlined the most common mistakes people make moving from the city to the suburbs, including:

  • Only considering the house—and not the neighborhood. You might find the perfect home—but if it’s not in the perfect neighborhood, it might not be the best fit. Before you buy a home, spend time exploring the community and make sure it’s the right fit for you. For example, are the amenities you need nearby? Do the people seem friendly and welcoming? If you have children, are there other kids in the neighborhood? In the long-term, these neighborhood factors will be just as (if not more) important to your overall satisfaction than the house itself.
  • Factoring in commute time—but not commute quality. If you have to commute into the city for work, the commute time is important—but so is the quality of that commute. For example, spending 45 minutes commuting to work in bumper-to-bumper traffic on the freeway is probably going to feel a lot more stressful than an hour on an express train. Make sure that not only will your commute time be manageable, but the quality of that commute will be manageable as well.
  • Assuming there will be plenty of child care options. If you need child care, don’t just assume that your new suburb will have what you’re looking for. Before you commit to a home or neighborhood, make sure to vet the childcare options and make sure the kind of care you need is available and easily accessible given your daily schedule and travels.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re considering leaving the city behind and buying a home in the suburbs, it could be a fantastic move—just make sure to do your research and avoid these common city-to-suburb moving mistakes.

Buyers Make Their Four-Legged Friends a Priority When Shopping For A New Home

There are plenty of things to consider when buying a home, from the size of the property to the location to the backyard. But for many buyers, it’s not just about what they’re looking for in a home; what their pets are looking for is just as important.

According to data from the National Association of Realtors and (outlined in an article from REALTOR Magazine), a whopping 95% of pet-owning home buyers said their pet’s needs play into their home selection process. And if a home is otherwise perfect but doesn’t fit the needs of their four-legged friend? 68% of those buyers would pass on the property.

The Takeaway:

So, what does this mean for you? If you’re searching for a home and “perfect for my pet” is on the top of your must-have list? You’re not alone. Factoring your pet’s priorities into your home search will help ensure you find the perfect home for your entire family—human and animal alike.