When the “listing agent” of a home for sale in Oakton, VA gave me a call recently hoping to get some feedback, I told her that my clients were totally turned off by the floral wallpaper and had ruled out her IMPRESSIVE listing.
You are probably nodding your head in agreement right now because you have seen homes that were wallpapered in the 1990’s with floral prints or the 1970’s with a western theme. Today’s home buyers see a home with wallpaper (actually any wallpaper) negatively because it represents their first big project, and that realization often rules out a nice home on the spot.
There are 15 critical seconds when a home buyer walks into a home. Those immediate impressions of a house are long lasting and anything they see (not just wallpaper) is going to influence their decision to make an offer or not. My professional advice is to remove the wallpaper and paint before putting your home on the market.
How much will it cost to remove all that wallpaper?
Anyone planning to sell their home needs to remember that their selection of wallpaper took time, maybe involved an interior decorator and some major decision making. The wallpaper you selected appealed to your personal tastes at the time… and your tastes may have changed too.
Home Sellers, change hats for a minute…
If you change hats for a moment from home seller to home buyer, imagine walking into your next home and seeing Laura Ashley wallpaper everywhere. Yes, it was popular in the 1990’s but looks a little dated now and, even you are probably calculating how much a painter will cost to strip the wallpaper and paint the room(s) a Benjamin Moore color theme like you saw in Town & Country magazine last month.
In twenty years of helping home buyers, I have never heard one say, “Doug, we love this wallpaper!” If you have been shopping for a home then you probably know what the real reaction really is… “Doug, how much is going to cost to strip off all this ugly wallpaper?”
So, Oakton home sellers can not afford to squander that first 15 second impression with the incorrect assumption that home buyers won’t care about your old wallpaper and will deal with it later.