Paint Is Your Best Friend

Thinking about listing your home and wondering what you can do in your budget to make it sell quickly and for top dollar?

Paint is the answer. Start with an honest evaluation of your property.

First, what is the condition of the paint inside and out? When was it last painted?

On average, a paint job on the outside of your house can last about 7 years before you start to notice fading and chalking. This is a rule of thumb though. Preparation and quality of the paint make all the difference when getting a good paint job on your house. For now, let’s not dwell on the past and the many issues surrounding getting a good paint job.

Curb appeal is your goal here so stand back and put a buyer hat on and look with fresh eyes at the front of your house. For an average 2,000 sq ft home, a full-on paint job by professionals is going to cost in the neighborhood of $3-5,000.

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This home was faded and splotchy before (pictured on the left). The roof color fought the house color with green shingles and orange/red paint. The new grey/brown color joined together well with the green on the roof shingles.

Now, evaluate the condition of the paint inside. When was it last painted? Does the paint show wear, scuffs and dings? There is really no average timeline for interior paint; it’s all dependent on the wear and tear.

Condition isn’t everything here though. There are some subjective questions that you may not be able to answer for yourself.

As a Broker and a Stager, I am looking with a critical eye towards color. I am not suggesting painting everything cream or white to avoid mistaking a paint color choice mistake. Lots of times I can work with existing colors or suggest smaller sections that may need attention. Truly, this is where a real professional is needed to advise you.

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The walls were painted, a new sink, mirror and lighting fixture was installed. Peel and stick flooring squares covered the old gold vinyl flooring. A shoestring budget with very high impact!

Sometimes, it’s painting trim or cabinets to create impact.

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The walls were painted but note the pine cabinet paint and the mirror above the sink was painted to create a more harmonious look.

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Here are two bedrooms at two different listings. I worked with the color to stage it instead of painting because the rest of the house was neutral and the paint itself was in good shape and in the case of the right hand listing photo, we didn’t have time or budget to remove the wallpaper also in good condition.

Main living areas of the house are more important when it comes to color and condition. Living room, dining room and kitchen are your show pieces so make sure those rooms are sparkling.

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It took just a couple of hours to remove the blue wallpaper, a quart of paint, a new curtain rod and curtain and a new light fixture. This particular house had been on the market for 6 months with another broker and after a low budget overhaul, it was sold within days.

It’s possible to paint wallpaper too and some wallpaper is just begging for a good paint job.

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Subtle, but important change was made by painting the trim white. The cabinets were a dark cherry color and the trim was a light oak. Once I had it painted, the owners were amazed by the impact.

Another area that can be transformative is the garage floor. There are specialty paints for this and preparation of the floor with acid etching is imperative.

Remember, paint is your friend when it comes to home preparation.