"Should I Paint My House Before I Put It on the Market?" If you want to sell, and you want a respectable offer from a buyer, take a long hard look at the paint colors on your walls.
Home Stagers and Real Estate Agents will tell you to neutralize your decor before putting your home on the market. Start preparing your home to sell, by painting your walls a neutral color!
Should I Paint My House Before I Put it on the Market?
Painting seems to be a hot button issue among sellers, real estate agents and home stagers. Before putting your home on the market and exposing it to the public, you want it to be in tip top shape. A freshly painted home gives off the appearance of a well maintained home. And potential buyers love that. So the answer to "Should I paint my house before I put it on the market"? If you want the short answer, yes. If you want the long answer, keep on reading.
At the very least, you should do some touch up painting. Odds are chairs, kids, pets and even you have scuffed up a wall or two. Maybe those baseboards have seen better days. Just walking into a room with scuff marks on the walls and chipped paint on doors can give off a "run down" impression, which is the last impression you want to leave a buyer with. Do a check of all the walls, ceilings, baseboards, molding, doors and trim work. If it's scuffed, chipped or peeling, touch it up.
So what if your walls are in perfect condition? First off, kudos to you for keeping them that way. But now take a look at your color choices. Home stagers and real estate agents across the country will tell you to neutralize your decor before putting your home on the market. That starts with the biggest part of decor, the color on your walls.
I often come across homes where the color choices are unique to that home owner; purple bedrooms, orange bathrooms, marble faux finishes in the foyer and dining room. These are great choices when decorating for you to live in a house because it's your taste. But when you're decorating to sell, the goal is to get a large number of potential buyers through your door so you can increase traffic and your odds of getting an offer. I often hear "The next person that buys my house will just paint anyway" or "They'll see how great this living room is, they won't look at the paint". And months later, after endless showings, these houses are still on the market. Buyers have a hard time looking past the cosmetic issues. There are some people out there who see a house for what it can be, but the majority of people can't do that. If your primary listing picture is of the living room that you painted mauve using the sponge work technique, you're immediately cutting out a large percentage of buyers.
What about another large color choice in your home, like your kitchen or bathroom cabinets? I was in a home recently that had dark green cabinets with a light green stripe down the middle of every door. Buyers see that and then they see $$ for the new cabinets they have to buy. Neutralizing your cabinet color isn't as costly as you may think. If you want to try it yourself or hire a professional; sanding, priming and painting is all it takes. Add some new hardware and you've got yourself a brand new looking kitchen. Even if it's the not exact kitchen your potential buyer may want, they're more likely to live with your refinished cabinets than the cabinets that remind them of string beans.
"Should I Paint My House Before I Put it on the Market?" It all comes down to how serious you are about selling your home. If you don't mind the inconvenience of endless showings, sitting on the market for months and not being able to move on with your life, then don't paint. But if you want to sell, and you want a respectable offer from a buyer, take a long hard look at your walls and color choices. Why make buyers work to fall in love with your home when with proper paint choices and home staging, it can just happen?
Disclaimer: Nothing in this blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice. For legal advice see an attorney. For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.
Frederick Griffin, Licensed Real Estate Broker Tallahassee, Florida