If it's too much trouble for you, it's too much trouble for them – a lesson on home staging

A few days ago there was an interesting home staging discussion on Google Plus. Initiated by Karen Highland, from Frederick, MD, the question was asked, “What do you think of wallpaper on the ceiling? You can see in the pic that it is quite tasteful… But is it good advice to encourage the homeowner to remove it?” along with a photo of the room in question. This was followed by a series of discussion, and finally the one that caught my attention, ” …if it’s to much trouble to do entire ceiling just remove from wall.” by Las Vegas Real Estate Realtor Rudy Ramirez. (read the entire home staging wallpaper discussion here)

Should I remove the wallpaper from the ceiling?

If it is too much work for the seller, then it is too much work for the buyer.

This is a general rule for home staging. Wallpaper is a common area that we get this sentiment. There are many others, but the rule still applies to all of them. Unless you are looking for an investor (like a flipper), and are not hoping for market value, then you must do the work. As a matter of fact, I would up the ante on this and say that the more of a pain that it is for sellers to do, the more necessary it is to be done.

Today’s home buyer wants move in ready

Unless the buyer is looking for a unique fixer upper, and is looking for a property priced under market value, then you can count on the fact that they want move-in ready. Just as it is unimportant what a seller paid for a property, or how much they spent on home improvements, the value of the home is the value of the home. It will be determined based on size, location and condition. Condition isn’t just whether everything works it is also on the PERCEPTION the buyer has on the amount of improvements they need to do to make it ready for their family to live in. Consider the amount of work that you may have to do in your home and now decide if you would want to do that going into the deal. Would you want to know that the home you are buying, will need to have the additional time, expense, and hassle of removing wallpaper – in this case, from the ceiling?

Regardless of whether the stripes in this wallpaper are tasteful or not, very few buyers want wallpaper on the ceiling. Leaving it there will encourage lower offers, or very likely keep them from happening at all. Even if this is the only thing wrong with the home, it could be enough to keep buyers at bay. The rule of selling a home is always the same, if it is too much trouble for you, it is too much trouble for them.