Stick ‘em up (not!)


Gary Kelley, Realtor –
[email protected]

Gary Kelley, Realtor®


As professional full-time real estate professionals we are in and out of homes all day long. While we haven’t seen it all, we’ve seen a lot and can share some experiences to help you in your home buying/selling process. Today’s buyers often want move-in ready….and as a seller you need to think about how to make your home appeal broadly. This also comes to play as you live in the home.

Stickers were a recent discovery. You know the stickers, the ones on the walls with carious cartoon characters.  Kids love them!  Parents love them.

To maximize the value of your sale and appeal to the broadest audience, those stickers need to come down.  In one recent house, it took over an hour to remove stickers in the bath tub, and the process of removing stickers from the walls tore the sheet rock paper requiring a repair and full painting. What took minutes to put up took hours to take down.

Now I know parents are shaking their heads. Baystate Parent Magazine doesn’t need to boycott me! I’ve had kids. We all do things to make our kids’ homes fun and unique. Just think through the implications when preparing to sell!

One would think there would be more astronauts with the number of stars on bedroom ceilings.  Some of them easily pop off without damage. Some parents paint the ceilings and add constellations in light sensitive paint…and we would cover with ceiling white paint returning to neutral.

In one house the owner wanted a tile backsplash in the kitchen. She used something like contact paper to put up a backsplash. From a distance it looked good; close it looked rather hideous.  Another removal and repair. In this case, a real tile backsplash would have looked far better and while it might be a weekend project for a homeowner the result would add value!

Frankly, the same thing is true of wallpaper. A lot of homes have wallpaper either as a design element or covering up wall imperfections. Most buyers today shy away from wallpaper, and it is often best to remove and paint rather than lead with a negative

Living in New England, adhesive pads are often used to determine bug or mice activity. When showing a house, the sight of dead mice on an adhesive rarely motivates are buyer. Put the pads away during showings. If you have mice, first remove the food source and then have treated as necessary.

My personal sense is it is easier to maintain a house well during ownership thinking through what damages or detracts from the home. Think about what is popular and make good choices!  Tile backsplashes are popular, contact paper is not. If you do contact paper, just leave time to remove and repair.

If you need advice on selling your home or buying a new one, give us a call.


Kelley is a member of the Rotary Club of Westborough and is an award-winning Realtor. He invites you to follow him on Facebook at


Gary Kelley, Realtor®

[email protected]