Why Sellers Should Remove Wallpaper Before Selling Their Home

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, only homes that showcase a highly marketable – and modern – design aesthetic will get the interest and offers. Removing wallpaper will absolutely improve the overall presentation and value of a property, regardless of the price point.

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.


Wallpaper is very taste specific. Waiting for that one buyer who will appreciate it, or be able to see past it, can mean a lengthly stay on the market IF the property sells at all.


margaret master bedroom

Removing the wallpaper and painting the room in a neutral palette broadens the appeal of the space and vastly improves the marketability & value of the home.


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.

Why do I say this? Because I want the same thing you want…to SELL your home.

Additionally, from a real estate marketing expert,  we always tell our clients that by waiting to remove things about your home which buyers might object to, you narrow your buyer pool and risk sitting on the market waiting for that one buyer who can either see past the wallpaper or who loves it.

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 because they are factoring in the cost to change it, the time it will take and the inconvenience of having to do it themselves.. Its always more than what it would cost the seller to make the improvements 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.

marg living room Collage 3

Removing wallpaper and updating key selling spaces is a vital part of the home staging process!


Great post by Tammie White, Realtor @ Benchmark Realty, LLC. in Franklin, TN.

Rooms in Bloom Home Staging & Design Inc. is Kitchener-Waterloo’s premier award winning home staging provider. We specialize in staging vacant properties and builder model homes. To see our extensive portfolio and learn more about the services we offer, visit our website. To keep up with our projects, become our fan on our Facebook Business Page. To contact us directly, call us at (519) 804-STAGE.

RIB Awards Collage 2


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