Fred Griffin: Should I Paint My House Before I Put It on the Market?

Should I Paint My House Before I Put It on the Market?

      "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!

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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. Should I Paint My House Before I Put it on the Market?

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?

Should I Paint My House Before I Put it on the Market?

 

If you need a home stager and live in Pennsylvania in the Montgomery, Bucks, Chester or Philadelphia Counties, contact Suzanne at Six Twenty Designs.

 

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

 

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Comment balloon 7 commentsFred Griffin • June 24 2013 10:33AM

Comments

Thank you for re-blogging this one Fred.  Yes, the home should be painted before it is put on the market.  If the Sellers don't paint prior to the home being listed, they will never get around to it, I'm STILL trying to get my Seller to stain his log home, six months later. 

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOMESERVICES HOMESALE REALTY) about 4 years ago

I've always thought that this "knee-jerk" opinion to paint the exterior of a home or the interior is often just tossed out without a though about the expense

What they never cover is whether their advice considers "price, terms and condition".  

Depending on how fast a seller needs to sell, it may pay for them to price for condition

Posted by Lenn Harley, Real Estate Broker - Virginia & Maryland (Lenn Harley, Homefinders.com, MD & VA Homes and Real Estate) about 4 years ago

Fred,

I so agree that neutral paint in a home is a definit plus and so helpful to a sale. Paint is one of the best low cost improvements owners can make to their home. De-cluttering is also very important.

Posted by Trisha Bush-LeFore, Providing Realtor Services in the Walla Walla Area (Preferred Properties Land & Homes) about 4 years ago

I think this is always a common sense issue.  Put your home in the best possible condition ... with colors that will appeal to the widest audience and you will attract more offers.  Only makes sense.  Should you NOT want to put that effort or monies into doing that, adjust your expectations regarding offers and the numbers that your home will appeal to.  Again, common sense.  Just doesn't always seem to makes sense to some though.

Great reminder, Fred ... with a very helpful message ...

Gene

Posted by Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience (NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656) about 4 years ago

Bet, stain is often more important than paint!

 

Lenn- your point is good.  The Blog is a bit generic, "one size fits all".

 

Trisha - always go neutral.  I Listed a house that had very, very colorful walls.  After months and months, the Seller finally relented.  It took a coat of Kilz Primer to hide the colors, then off-white paint.  It sold!

 

Gene - thanks for your comment!

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Frederick Griffin, Exclusive Buyer's Broker) about 4 years ago

Fred ~ You are right on with this blog.  A freshly painted home with neutral wall colors shows a seller serious about how the home presents.  I shows buyers a well maintained property.  It offers Realtors a property with fewer buyer objections.

 
Posted by Barb Hutson, Phoenix Home Stager, Redesign Expert 480-216-7182 (Sonoran Accents Home Staging & Redesign, Phoenix Metro, AZ.) about 4 years ago

Hi, Barb!  

     "Fewer Buyer Objections".   That is so true!  I don't ever recall a Buyer saying, "I wish these walls were painted red or green".

Posted by Fred Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Frederick Griffin, Exclusive Buyer's Broker) about 4 years ago

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