You can spend a weekend on the couch watching HGTV and take notes on home trends. Chip and Joanna or those Property Brothers are a great resource, but unless you are a professional carpet-straightener with an all-in investment of $800,000, there's a good chance you won't ever achieve those levels of trend-greatness.
In better news, having a Realtor on your side will actually give you a tremendous advantage. Realtors are going in and out of houses all day every day. They're watching trends in real time. So while the following trend tips can help, your specific home might call for different trends. First and foremost, find a Realtor who can tell you if this list applies to your home...
Trend #1 - Backsplash
Take a chance on your backsplashes. These can be a relatively inexpensive addition to a kitchen or bathroom because you're typically buying less than 20 square feet of tile. Like painting the front door a bright color used to be, adding a bold backsplash might not be in line with some buyers' style but it won't make or break a sale because they figure they can easily and inexpensively replace it when they move in. A simple Youtube search will help you install (it's not hard unless there's demo to do first, and some are even peel-and-stick!). Backsplash typically costs between $3-$15 a square foot.
Trend #2 - Wood Everything
Wood on the floors, wood on the ceilings, wood on the walls - people are getting very creative with wood accents and they're not using reclaimed pallet wood anymore. Like backsplashes, wood accent walls now come in pre-stained kits, peel and stick pieces, as well as traditional raw wood. A single wall covered in wood planks lights up the eyes of buyers because it's different but not permanent. Of course, buying the kits makes application far easier but also far more expensive. A quick Pinterest search will give you ideas, but a project can be completed for anywhere from $300 to $1500.
Trend #3 - A Pop of Color
Everything is neutral. The walls, the floor, the window treatments... There is nothing wrong with neutral, but a pop of color will give a room personality that helps potential buyers see the possibilities in a space. A velvet blue couch, a pastel orange clock, a bright red accent wall are all simple ways to make a space feel personal without alienating buyers. Look around your rooms and think about where you might add some color!
Trend #4 - Farmhouse Kitchen Sinks
Buyers simply cannot walk into a kitchen with a farmhouse sink without touching it and whispering, "Ooooo. Farmhouse sink." This isn't a cheap upgrade, but it is one that people absolutely remember. It creates an image within their brains of doing dishes or wiping down the counters into their beautiful, bathtub-like sink. You can purchase these for as little as $400 and as much as $800 with installation from a qualified contractor or plumber.
Trend #5 - Combined Spaces
Gone are the days of a living room, a dining room, and a great room. People want to feel like transitioning from one room to the next is as easy as a few steps to the left. As much as you can in your own home, combine rooms together in a way that flows. An example would be to face the living room towards to sliding glass doors that lead to the back porch so that you can open up the two spaces into one big space. Turn the dining room table and chairs to face the great room. Remove everything from the kitchen bar or counters so seeing into the next room is easy. And consider removing doors that separate some rooms altogether!
As always, replace old light bulbs, refresh window treatments, and replace old fixtures before you put your house on the market. But also, ask your Realtor what trends you could apply to your home to make it pop during showings in 2019!