Wallpaper is a Serious Speed Bump When Selling Your House

Home Stager with Triangle Staging and Design / founder of Stunning Solutions


Buyers want to walk into a listed property and say “Wow, I could move right in to this house.”  These are magic words for agents who are anxiously waiting to hear if this is the house, or not.  So many things can be right about the property: location, price, curb appeal, layout, etc, BUT when the buyers get a view of the wall paper, the excitement hits a speed bump. 

 Don’t get me wrong, I like wall paper.  In fact I spent a whole sleepless 24 hours wallpapering my own bathroom.  I removed the toilet by myself, kept the toddlers from peeking down that funny hole in the floor, all-the-while listening to A Baby Story on TV and crying each time a baby was born.  I was delirious!  If anyone should be attached to their wall paper it should be me.  But, as a professional stager, I know that my precious black and white monkey toile paper has got to go if I put my house on the market.  My paper is for me; it isn’t for the general public.  It is a proven fact that neutral sells and having monkeys stare at you while you are on the potty is not neutral.

 Now, if my nearly-new, sort of hip, wallpaper is going to create a speed bump for potential buyers what do you think pink and aqua 1980’s wallpaper will do?  Yes, you’re right – slam on the breaks.  The majority of the wallpaper I see as a Stager needs to be removed.  This isn’t a fun project for sellers or cheap if they have to hire the help, but it is so important.  Real estate agents and Stagers alike talk themselves blue in the face trying to convince sellers to neutralize their walls.  Those sellers that do listen reap the benefits ($$$), those that don’t sit on the market with a “deer in the headlights look.”  And, they get run over by the competition that is speeding by on their way to the bank with the closing check.

 It would be fun for me to see some of your wallpaper disasters as well as some of the wallpapers that actually made the cut and survived the staging.  I do have a great analogy I tell sellers that explains the importance of neutralizing wallpaper.  Miraculously, it has been working for me recently – but I’ll save that for another post.

Comments (3)

Kirstyn Pearl
None - Newburyport, MA

That is too funny, I distinctly remember my mom having one of those moments wallpapering a bathroom as well, AND i do believe the TLC channel was on at the same moment too. Now, as someone new in the industry, how would you go about letting prospective buyers know that it is just cosmetic without making them think that it is going to be expensive to take down and paint. I know a big no-no is to paint over wallpaper but could you say this to someone who is acting like the world is going to end because of this wallpaper?

Jun 24, 2008 03:06 AM
Pam Joffe
Solaris Realty - Tampa, FL

Good morning Honey - You are so right about wallpaper, buyers don't want to deal with it. Welcome to Active Rain.

Jun 24, 2008 03:13 AM
Karolina Chrystaleva
B2b Marketing - Ellabell, GA

Your post is very helpful, and if you prepared your house there will be next problem - sell your house FSBO. There are lots of sites on the web that can help you with it. But nowhere I met good helpful services. And when I got at Fizber I was surprised. There were so many services like finding schools at http://schools.fizber.com/ or finding videographers at http://videographers.fizber.com/.

Jun 25, 2008 02:21 AM