This post was originally blogged by Tammie White, a Realtor from Franklin TN. For the link to the original article please see the link below. We LOVE this article and its great to hear why sellers should remove potential buyer objections BEFORE they list their homes for sale. Basically, our message is – are you prepared to do what it takes to sell you home?
Why Sellers Should Remove Wallpaper
Today I received a call from a home seller in response to an expired letter. Her home had been on the market for over a year. It was easy to see from the photos why her home had not sold.
Several of the rooms were wallpapered. It looked like something my grandmother would have hung in the ’80s.
I advised the seller that in this current market, it is important for her home to appeal to the largest number of buyers. The best way to do that would be to remove the wallpaper and paint the walls with a neutral color.
Her response, “That is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. You’re telling me my home hasn’t sold because of the wallpaper?”
Through further questioning, I was able to determine that in a years time, she only had one showing. And that was almost a year ago, when the home first came on the market.
This home is a million dollar listing. Homes at this price point look like something out of a designer magazine. This home is definitely not up to that standard.
From a professional stager’s perspective, this realtor’s advice is spot on. Homes, especially in this price bracket, need to portray the luxury lifestyle that buyers are shopping for. Are they shopping for wallpaper? Not likely. In this price bracket, most buyers will walk away and find a home which has both the upgrades they want AND which models the upgraded lifestyle they want to have.
Here are the reasons she gave for not removing the wallpaper:
1. She paid a LOT of money for that beautiful wallpaper!
2. It’s too costly to remove it!
Here are the reasons why sellers SHOULD remove wallpaper:
Neutral paint colors have a broader appeal to buyers. Wallpaper is an extremely personal choice. That personal choice may not be the same as a buyers. Not everyone is a fan of wallpaper. By removing wallpaper, sellers increase their chances of selling.
The photos displayed in MLS (multiple listing service) have become your first showing. The National Association of REALTORS, reports that 90% of home buyers begin their search on the internet. Buyers determine the homes they want to see by the photos shown in the MLS. If the home doesn’t show well in comparison to other homes at the same price, the buyer will simply choose not to see that home. If a home isn’t being shown, it’s not likely that it will sell.
Removing wallpaper can be costly. That’s right. Removing wallpaper usually requires the aid of chemicals or steam. It can be a painstaking process and, in some cases, damage may occur to the walls. If that happens, the walls may require additional repair. Buyers don’t want to deal with the additional expense or hassle of removing wallpaper. Especially, in a market when so many homes are picture perfect.
My question to the seller was:
Do you want to limit your buyer pool to a buyer who loves your wallpaper? Her response, “Yes, I do.” Obviously, that hasn’t worked so far.
I wished her well and said, “If you’re not willing to take the advice of a trained professional who looks at homes everyday, then I’m sorry I can’t help you sell your home.”
Sellers, do you want to limit your buyer pool to a buyer who loves your wallpaper? Of course not. In order to sell your home, it must appeal to the largest number of buyers. The only way to do that is remove obstacles that will keep them from buying your home.
Additionally, from a pro stager’s perspective, we always tell our buyers that by waiting to remove things about your home which buyers might object to you narrow your buyer pool and risk developing a stigma for your home. Taking down wallpaper or changing out carpet might seem costly but buyers will ALWAYS overestimate how much it costs for them to make the necessary changes. Its always more than what it would cost the seller so rather than risking losing buyers, make the necessary changes first. Reality is, if you don’t, even if you make the changes later, you may NEVER get those buyers back in the door.
Why do I say this? Because I want the same thing you want…to SELL your home.