Deciding whether or not to paint your house before selling is a difficult choice to make. Not only does it add more work to your growing list of things to do before you sell, but it's also an added expense. This expense isn't even one you'll have the benefit of enjoying personally! In this guide, we'll go over the pros and cons of painting your house, and also dive into some painting tips and suggestions to get you started.
Pros to Painting Your House Before Selling
Appeals to More Buyers
Have you ever walked into a motel room and thought, “Is this really where I have to sleep tonight? I could sleep in my car and save the money-- and still be more comfortable!” You don't want potential buyers to feel similarly when they walk through your house. Painting your home instantly updates it, and makes it feel fresh and clean for the new buyers.
Buyers Can Picture Themselves in the Home
Painting the home provides a clean slate for the buyers to make it their own. Rather than clashing with your Broncos-themed man cave, they'll be shown an inviting room where they can picture their kids playing, crafts coming together, or guests staying. Once a buyer can see themselves living there, they'll be more inclined to purchase the space due to the emotional attachment they've created.
Adds to the Value of Your Home
On top of adding an appeal that can't be beaten, painting your home also adds to the value. Have you ever noticed the difference a coat of paint can do on a peeling fence? That appeal is compounded when you paint the interior and exterior of your home. In fact, houses that were painted specific colors made an extra $5,000 more than expected.
Cons to Painting Your House Before Selling
Cost of Paint
A nice gallon of paint will probably cost you between $20 and $40. You'll probably need a little less than a gallon per room (depending on the size of the room). You'll also need to patch any holes and purchase paint supplies. Or you could hire a company to do it for you. That's not cheap, especially when you haven't made money on the house yet.
It Takes Time to Paint
On top of all the other things you have to do while selling your house, it takes some time to paint. From prepping to waiting for the paint to dry, you have at least a solid week of painting to do. And that's just for the exterior! If you choose to paint the interior as well as the exterior, you could be looking at more time than you have available. You've got to decide if it's worth spending the time painting your house or even having your home painted.
More Than Just Painting
Painting your house also pushes out your timeframe for listing the home. You want to make sure you list the house with the right paint colors in the pictures and may need to add as much as a month onto the timeframe. Beyond that, it's an added inconvenience if you are still living in the house. You have to make sure all the furniture is away from the walls. You also have to be very careful not to touch the walls before they dry, which is difficult if you have children running around.
If You Decide To Paint
Deciding to paint isn't even half the battle. You now need to decide what colors to paint your house. We've made an excellent guide here on the best colors to paint your house before selling.
Once you decide on colors for your house, all you've got to do is paint it! Sounds easy, right?
After moving all the furniture and covering all the flooring, you may decide that this job is better left up to a professional. And that's ok! Do the math and make sure it is worth calling in someone to do the work, and go forward. If you do decide to paint the house yourself, it's a good idea to abide by these tips:
1. Tape off the area: You may think you have steady hands, but is it worth scraping paint off the windows or carpet if you're wrong? Spending the few hours it will take to tape off the area you paint will be so worth it. Especially when you pull off the tape and see crisp, clean lines. Ahhh!
2. Choose high-quality paint: Yes, it is a bit more money, but it is worth it! Better quality of paint means fewer coats to paint, which means you save time AND money. Cha-ching!
Follow the directions: Don't disregard the painting directions because of something you saw on YouTube. Make sure you allow the right amount of time for the paint to dry before you touch it or allow anything to rest against it. Failure to follow the directions may result in you needing to re-paint!
A Quick Recap
Is it a good idea to paint your house before selling?
The answer: Yes! It will add value to your house and help you sell it for more money. For most people, that value is worth it. It may take some time and money on the front end, but the ROI will make up for it.
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