It's Not Graffiti ~ but Buyers May not Like that on the Bathroom Walls

Home Stager with Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR

When selling your home, it's important to remove your own personal "marks" on it ... things that you and your family members may love, but that may be seen as distracting by the majority of potential buyers.

In a Portland home that we staged recently, the homeowner walked me through the house and when we came to the hall bath with an extensive mural, she said "Please don't suggest that we repaint this bathroom ... although when we bought the house we hated it, we never got around to repainting it, and we've come to like it."

I smiled and reminded her that it took some time for them to "warm up" to it -- likely because their children thought it was a fun and colorful mural.

Presentation is one of most important factors factors that come into play when selling a house.  They include:

  • Location
  • Price
  • Condition (includes Staging/Presentation)

With a great Realtor guiding you, remember that it's best to appeal to your target buyer, and even if that's a family, you're not sure what age their kids may be.  Don't give buyers an excuse to overlook your home because there's "work to do" -- be proactive and fix, repair, or update those things that are easily changed to make your home more appealing.

Here's some Before & After photos of the bathroom "art" walls  home staging tips for sellers

Even the back of the door and the linen cupboard doors got the treatment!  Staging advice for sellers

*** What was the outcome?  There were multiple full-price offers on the house within hours of listing and the seller sent me this wonderful note:  

"I just wanted to thank you again for such a beautiful job staging our house; we had several full-price offers within hours and I am 100% positive that it was largely due to your gorgeous staging. Thanks again for your marvelous work!"  

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Room Solutions Staging offers expert home staging services in Portland, Oregon to homeowners, real estate agents, and builders. Our proven home staging techniques will help reduce your property's market time and maximize your equity. We'll prepare your property or listing to look appealing to your target buyer for the online photos as well as for in-person viewings. Our owner and principal stager Maureen Bray is a nationally-recognized home staging expert who enjoys sharing her passion for staging with others.  To schedule a Verbal Staging Consultation filled with our staging tips and advice, contact us @ 503-246-1800.

Room Solutions Staging

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Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Hey, Maureen!  I included this post in today’s Last Week’s Favorites.  Please drop by and check it out, and and enjoy the rest of your weekend!



May 12, 2013 08:59 AM #29
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Debbie R. ~ You're so right that most of the time, buyers won't appreciate the cost or value of a mural.

Debbie C. ~ Some primer and paint took care of it!

Jill ~ at least now a buyer could "see" the bathroom ... before, the mural was just too overwhelming.

Brad ~ The mural itself was pretty dramatic ... and distracting too.

Hi Pat ~ Thanks for including my post in your weekly favorites!

May 12, 2013 02:02 PM #30
Debbie Gartner
The Flooring Girl - White Plains, NY
The Flooring Girl & Blog Stylist -Dynamo Marketers

Maureen - Yes, as you as you said, it's much better to appaal to a wider audience.  The transformation all made the area look larger.

May 12, 2013 08:27 PM #31
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Debbie ~ Larger, and more like a  bathroom as well -- instead of an outdoor scene :-)

Valerie ~ Not sure how many coats of primer and paint, but likely you're right.  We love getting notes like that!

May 12, 2013 11:30 PM #33
Steven Cook
No Longer Processing Mortgages. - Tacoma, WA

Maureen - that was one overwhelming mural.  And as noted above, with the strange shape to the bathroom, having that there just made things seem smaller than they were.

May 13, 2013 04:52 AM #34
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Maureen, What a remarkable difference. I will definitely keep this in mind for myself, also,  when I am ready to sell. :)

May 13, 2013 09:45 AM #35
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Steven ~ Our goal is to make a small bathroom appear large enough for several family members to use it. Removing the big mural really helped!

Jane ~ When it's time for you to sell your home, I'm sure you know the drill about keeping it neutral for buyers so that they can "mentally move in"  :-)

May 13, 2013 12:06 PM #36
Lawrence "Larry" & Sheila Agranoff. Cell: 631-805-4400
The Top Team @ Charles Rutenberg Realty 255 Executive Dr, Plainview NY 11803 - Plainview, NY
Long Island Condo and Home Specialists

I agree, it's best to appeal to your target buyer. We were taking a listing where the homeowner had roosters on the kitchen, bathroom and hallway wall and she said she always wanted to live on a farm. This was a condo unit in a modern big city!

May 13, 2013 07:58 PM #37
Tessa Skeens
Hampton ReDesign, Home Staging and Redesign - Grand Junction, CO
Staging For Realtors, Builders & Investors

Maureen, it's not the first time I've heard "It was there when we bought the house and we never got around to changing it". Kudos to you for getting the sellers on board to repaint these walls. What a difference!

May 14, 2013 01:01 AM #38
Janice Ankrett
Janice Ankrett Home Staging - Burlington, ON
Staging Professional

Those walls would have driven me crazy! LOL. I had a client with a child's bedroom like that ... mural everywhere. There were even family members in it. Great for the child but not so much for selling.

May 14, 2013 03:53 AM #39
David Burrows
Classic Realty - Fairfax, VA
No Pressure, Just Seriously Devoted to Real Estate

Maureen, the before and after of the bathroom is incredible. Great post with very helpful information.

May 16, 2013 02:18 AM #40
Anna Dovger
Add Value Home Staging LLC, 281-704-6607 - The Woodlands, TX
Home Staging -The Woodlands, TX

Maureen, the pictures are day and night. Next time you should come up with the tutoring post on how to talk sellers who "spend lots of money for custom work" into changing it to "boring" LOL plain color. Look even brass door knobs look beautiful now ;-)

May 16, 2013 12:17 PM #41
Wayne Johnson
Coldwell Banker D'Ann Harper REALTORS® - San Antonio, TX
San Antonio REALTOR, San Antonio Homes For Sale

Maureen- I think you are so right. Some like quirky or maybe just a bit of flair when it comes to design, but to get is sold, just mellow out. Nothing too cutting edge for best results.

May 16, 2013 04:47 PM #42
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


I love how you handled the project.  The before and after pictures clearly illustrate the difference.  I also could see why the family loved it, and was delighted that let you have the reins.  Bravo on a successful outcome.  Happy Sunday, A

May 19, 2013 03:52 AM #43
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

Murals in a home that you live in are wonderful -- for the family living there :-)  When it comes time to sell, most buyers just won't appreciate a seller's "special" mural and would rather have a neutral palette when they move in.  I always advise my clients to take lots of photos of their mural from different angles, so that they can remember how much they liked itm ... when they're in their new home.

May 19, 2013 04:24 AM #44
1~Judi Barrett
Integrity Real Estate Services 118 SE AVE N, Idabel, OK 74745 - Idabel, OK
BS Ed, Integrity Real Estate Services -IDABEL OK

What a wonderful note from your seller.  You did an outstanding job and they appreciated it.  

May 30, 2013 10:43 AM #45
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

What a great job, Maureen.  It doesn't look like the same house.  I would imagine that bathroom mural, if left, would have caused the home to sit for a while.  It really grates.

Jun 02, 2013 08:20 AM #46
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Maureen, I think taking that muriel off the wall increased the size of the room, and much less distracting.   GREAT ADVICE.

Jun 02, 2013 12:16 PM #47
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging Consultations that Sell Portland Homes"

It's good to hear that my fellow AR members agreed that this mural was distracting :-)   I actually saw another one last week that I thought should stay ... it was a child's room, and very tastefully done;  the target buyer included a young family.  So there are cases where certain murals can enhance a room.

Jun 04, 2013 09:51 AM #48
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Maureen, another dramatic redo.  It is so hard for people to part with what they love.  It was worth it to get this home sold quickly!

Aug 14, 2013 03:40 PM #49
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