You’re a top-selling real estate agent and you’ve just secured a listing that could be very profitable. However, the place has wallpaper. This “sticky” situation makes you wonder,”How does a real estate agent deal with wallpaper?”
You don’t want to offend the homeowner by asking them to remove it. You also don’t want to take the costly chance that the task may not be as easy as you thought. Typical wallpaper applied with wallpaper glue is permanent. It’s not meant to come down easily. There will be drywall or plaster damage and wall repair needed, along with prepping and priming and repainting. This scenario depends on the type of wallpaper. If it is outdated or in bad shape, consider removal. But if it has timeless appeal, even though it might not appeal to all tastes, it is best to leave it alone. See why below. Read some back and forth recommendations on Zillow about this topic. Note that only standard wallpaper is discussed.
The Standard Advice
If you remove the wallpaper, chances are you’ll probably paint the walls a neutral color. Here’s the rub. The standard advice is to remove all personal effects when selling a home and make sure the spaces are neutral so that prospective buyers can envision moving in with their own decor.
This makes sense. However, if everyone selling a home stages it with this formula, what makes your property stand out?
The Situation Stats
Buyers pack in as many properties as they can during a short period each week, usually on the weekend. The average number that homes buyers will view before choosing can range between 10 – 150 in a 3 month period. This can be a larger number during a shorter time if one is renting, usually due to a deadline.
How do buyers remember what they saw with all the info also on the Internet? It’s hard to keep it all straight.
On average, buyers stay to view the property between 30 minutes to 1 hour. Some studies have shown that 45 minutes is a standard showing for a furnished listing as opposed to 10 minutes when not furnished. Why is this? We conjecture that if the place is too stark, it is actually harder than a furnished space to envision living in it because it seems cold and uninviting.
Against conventional wisdom, we suggest that actually adding accent with self-adhesive wallpaper that is removable and reusable can make your listing property memorable. It’s called leaving a lasting memory point with the buyer.
Here are two very good reasons why this marketing tactic works:
1. “Long-Term Memory lasts several hours, a day, maybe a week, and in a few instances, a lifetime. Once you achieve long-term memory, your odds of closing the deal are significantly enhanced.” — Target Marketing
2. Memory counts for Marketing. Substitute “property/listing” for “brand, ad, advertising,” etc. in the following quote. When consumers are shown quick or full version visuals of advertising, “key visuals helped consumers recall their own reactions to the ad. In particular, the cue prompted recall of many thoughts and feelings about the executional aspects of the ad, such as personal reactions about how well the brand claims were made. The improvement in memory produced by the presence of advertising retrieval cues led to more favorable evaluations of the advertised brands.” — MSI (Marketing Science Institute)
Wallpaper accent walls from Apartment Therapy below show that you do not need a lot of wallpaper to make a memorable difference. When an inquirer posted about whether or not to remove the wallpaper before selling her home, she received very positive comments to leave it in place.
Now, picture these rooms with plain white walls. Which do you prefer and which would you remember?
Just like homes for sale or places for rent, there are countless styles and tastes. You’ll never find just one style that appeals to everyone. However, you can always add interest to the interior with color or a mural, even in small doses.