What a Realtor will tell you about Painting Your House

Here are some great tips from Realtors and Real Estate industry experts regarding house painting and it’s brought to you by the Pros at CertaPro of La Jolla and Central San Diego.

First, let’s start by saying that the term “curb appeal” was invented by realtors. Realtors know a thing or two about the psychology of buying a house and the power of first impressions.

Selling or buying a home is a game of first impressions, there is only so much looking and comparing you can do when buying a house and generally there is no such thing as a “test drive”, where you get to live in a house for a month to see if you really like it.

Because selling a house is about trying to make a great first impression that will hopefully lead to an offer, realtors definitely have opinions about what aids in that first impression, what makes financial sense, and what’s a waste of time.

Here we have boiled down a whole set of opinions and feedback from realtors into some food for thought about your own home as you get ready to sell or buy one.

#1 Overall interior and exterior painting are considered great bang-for-the-buck when it comes to selling. Not as a way to profit above your home’s market value necessarily but to speed up the sale of a house and keep it from languishing on the market as well as help ensure you get offers closer to your asking price.

#2 It removes an issue from the discussions, a freshly painted interior or exterior, if the colors are right, adding it to the “non-issue” column. Oftentimes buyers are looking to justify a lower price and being able to point to peeling paint, or rotten wood on the exterior or interior wall damage (or just a too personalized color choice) is a way to do that.

#3 You might break even on the cost – estimated run in the 1-3% increase in the overall estimated value of your home if it’s freshly painted. Comparing your home’s potential value increase to the cost of the work will give you a range at least in terms of break-even.

#4 The right kind of paint colors let people see themselves in “their new home” easier than other colors. Painting to change colors to something neutral and with more universal appeal will keep the pool of potential buyers from narrowing either on first sight for exteriors or on a walk-through for interiors.

So, in a nutshell, painting offers a potentially speedier sale, fewer issues to use as price wiggle room, at a roughly break-even price, without narrowing the pool of potential buyers due to existing color choices.

That’s a lot of benefit from a coat of paint!

So, what do realtors mean by “neutral colors”? Well, the shades that people refer to as a neutral today are slightly different than 20 years ago as they include monochromes along with very light natural colors and the perennial “off-white” So here are the realtor’s picks:

For the ceiling – Flat white, this seldom changes but what you may not realize if you’re planning an interior repainting before a sale is that over time your ceilings very slowly get dull and faded. Between your HVAC system, cooking, and other factors, your ceilings are likely not as white as you think they are. You want them to really brighten the room and pop and since ceiling painting is relatively simple and inexpensive you should include it. When that roller hits your ceiling with fresh new white paint you will know instantly it was the right move.

For interior walls – In common areas like the living room, entry, and hallways a neutral color like ivory, light tan, beige, very light gray. For bedrooms, light tan or light blue as well as any of the previous colors. You want enough contrast to separate the ceiling from the walls but not so much that the paint is trying to make a statement on its own. For trim, you ant beat white. Keep it simple right?

For exteriors – Take a look at the colors in the neighborhood and colors for the style of house you have in your area. You don’t want to clone your neighbor’s house but you do want to fit into the scene. Stick with nature-inspired colors or a simple white. Light tan’s, greens, and grays. Resist picking a color just because you would like it yourself and try to focus on a color that is the one missing shade in the immediate vicinity of your house that meets the criteria for a sellable shade.

When it comes to a final color selection do not be afraid to take the advice of your realtor over your own. It’s hard to get out of the mindset of picking colors that you personally prefer, the goal is to pick colors the local buyers gravitate towards and the realtor is going to know more about that than you will because they deal with buyers all day, every day.

If you are on a tight budget, you can always limit the scope of the work to just a few rooms in the interior or at the very least, repaint your front door. The entrance to your house is important and having a freshly painted front door sets the stage for the rest of the house. It’s also a project you could do yourself. As for the rest of it, you are much better off getting a professional painting contractor to do the work.

The last thing you want is to “take a crack at it” with a DIY project that comes out badly and makes the results worse than when you started. For the exterior, professionals are simply going to be far better equipped to do the prep work right, replace rotten wood and get a uniform result.

When you should not bother to paint – If your house is really a future rental or a fixer-upper in need of so much other work it makes more sense to sell it as is. You also might not need to bother if the market you are selling in is simply on fire with demand or if you just very recently painted it.

See a Painting Project in your future? Even if you aren’t planning to sell why not give CertaPro of La Jolla and Central San Diego a call at 800-462-3782 or schedule a free estimate online today!