The Hester Prynne of literature might have worn a scarlet A to mark her past transgressions, but the house with too much wallpaper might be marked by a giant W in the minds of buyers. Wallpapering every room with pattern-intense wallpaper is a trend that goes in and out of vogue and was last popular in the U.S. in the 70s. Now, potential buyers who spurn its scarlet letter treat a home with too much of it with disdain.
Why Buyers “Hate” Wallpaper
Too much wallpaper can impact the sales price of a house, especially for the new generation of buyers who want homes that are “move in ready.” Previous buyers expected to remove unsightly wallpaper, repaint, and make minor initial improvements when they first moved in. Many buyers now regard what they don’t like as a deal breaker or as license to make a lowball offer for the inconvenience of changing a home to reflect their personal tastes.
Modern tastes tend to be more minimalist. Rooms with florals, plaids, or other prints on the walls and even the ceilings can be overwhelming and make a house look outdated. Large amounts of big flowers remind many people of their great grandmother’s house. Mirrored foils remind people of the 70s and 80s. Why wallpaper is such a big impediment to people often comes down two main factors.
First of all, many buyers have no vision and have a hard time imagining what a room would like without the wallpaper or with different paint. Even more than paint color, wallpaper is a reflection of personal taste. Real estate agents suggest that sellers make their homes more neutral to help buyers in seeing themselves in the space; even then, the result does not appeal to everyone.
Second, the older the wallpaper is, the more likelihood there is that removing it will be difficult. Some dry, strippable wallpaper from 20 or 30 years ago may come right off, but this is not always true, especially if the built-in glue was reinforced with paste. Other types of wallpaper bond to the wall, which makes removal challenging.
Does Wallpaper Impact The Ability To Sell A Home?
Some Realtors® note that whatever wallpaper is in place seldom meets the taste of a new buyer. Based on this, paint is safer. As a seller, should you remove the wallpaper in your house before you put it on the market? As you refurbish rooms, should you add new paper? The common wisdom is that you should be careful in your use of wallpaper when your main purpose is to sell your home. If you can, take it down.
Wallpaper can add a dramatic look to a room when used in moderation. Adding an accent wall of wallpaper that is coordinated to the paint color can make a room pop. Many interior designers recommend this technique. In cases where walls are in less than perfect condition, wallpapering with solid or textured paper can enhance the appearance of the room. Just make sure to select strippable paper.
Even if you’re selling, you can take advantage of the benefits of wallpaper. You just have to remember that you are preparing your home for someone else, not exercising your taste to make your home how you want it. When you move into your new home, you will once again have the freedom to craft your space for you and your family.