To market, to market

To Market, To Market

Some Tips to Get Your House Ready for the Market

I am in the midst of selling my own home, and while I’m not seriously looking yet, I do check out what’s on the market. This is what I’m seeing a lot of, and my perspective as a potential buyer and a home stager are in agreement on these things:

• Red walls

~ They may give your dining room the dramatic look you were after, but a prospective buyer is seeing a lot of priming and painting going on here. Keep in mind that buyers are looking to the internet first. When I see a room with red walls, I pass and move on to the next one. Saying it’s “just paint” is one thing but many dark colored walls don’t fall into that category.

• Wallpaper

~ Wallpaper, and particularly outdated wallpaper, is a personal choice. Just like how you decorated your house with your pictures, artwork and accessories wallpaper is a personal choice. Unfortunately, unlike the other items, you’re not taking it with you! It needs to come down and the buyer is not the one who is going to want to take it down. As with the previous point, make the time and effort to remove wallpaper.
• Borders

~ Fall into the same category as wallpaper. Remove them. Borders are dated, especially if used alone on a painted wall. If you are looking to make the top or mid-portion of your wall interesting, put molding up. It adds to the value of your home, adds the interest, and everybody loves molding. Molding can be done fairly inexpensively and you can even ask your local lumber yard or Home Depot to make the cuts for you.

• Faux painting

~ If done properly by a professional, faux painting can add a nice touch to a room. If the faux painting in your home was done DIY and you “just wanted to try it” it should be painted over. This is another area where prospective buyers are going to think they have quite a bit of work ahead of them.

Some paint color suggestions:

Sherwin Williams: Sensational Sand, Latte, Hopsack, Dover White, Whole Wheat, Bagel and Interactive Cream.

Benjamin Moore: Blond Wood, Carlisle Cream, Everlasting, Lady Finger, Southern Comfort, and Antique Lace.

On a budget, you can get most colors made up at Home Depot or Lowe’s using their color match system, but you will need a sample of the original color.

If you do have subtle colors – a light yellow, a light green, leave it as is. If you have pink, blue, purple, brown, black, red, orange, bright yellow, dark green – you should prepare to paint.

Final Thought:

As much as you may not want to do these things to prepare your home, a buyer is not going to want to do them either. Nobody wants to have to tackle repainting over a dark color or removing rooms filled with wallpaper. Make the time and effort to do these things prior to listing your home – it will make it more appealing to a larger number of prospective buyers. That is the goal after all.

By Kathy Passarette, Buttoned Up’s Home Expert

Do you have a decorating question? Send your questions to Kathy Passarette at and put “Buttoned Up” in the subject line. Kathy will answer your questions right here on Buttoned Up.

Kathy Passarette is an Interior Decorator based on Long Island, New York. For more information please visit