Does a Fresh Coat of Paint Increase Resale Value?

10 May 2017

The answer to this question is a little trickly. Presenting a freshly painted home is important when you are selling it, but the colors you choose have an important part in whether it will help to increase your home’s resale value. So the answer to the question is “Yes, but you have to do it right.”

Why Should I Paint My Home Before I Sell It?

A few years ago, an Athens, Georgia realtor published a helpful article. She gives us humorously helpful insight into what a home buyer typically says when they are walking through a home. According to the realtor, people are looking for a freshly painted, clean house. Both interior and exterior. Anything other than a like-new appearance indicates that the home wasn’t taken care of, has problems, or will cost a lot to repair.

Nationally-known experts agree. According to HGTV, “one of the simplest, most cost-effective improvements of all is paint! Freshly painted rooms look clean and updated — and that spells value”. And Consumer Reports states, “Sixteen percent of real estate professionals said interior painting is an important element in fostering the sale of a home.”

You want to sell your home quickly in order to get the highest dollar. Statistically you get the best price for your home when it is newly listed. So, it is important to present your house as attractively as possible. Fortunately, the most important things you should do before you list your home are inexpensive: declutter, clean, and paint.

  • Fresh paint helps to eliminate objectionable odors.
  • Your home will look well-cared for.
  • The faint (not over-powering) smell of new paint gives the house a new home smell and is actually attractive to buyers!

Ask your realtor to help you determine what rooms of your home need to be painted. Realtors are the ones that work with buyers and are the most likely to recognize what the buyers are looking for and what will make them run out the door screaming! Don’t be offended — this will help you sell your home for top dollar. Some of the things that your realtor may find are:

  • Outdated or unpopular paint colors. Maybe your wall color was in style when you painted it 30 years ago. Believe it or not, the taste for interior paint colors has changed since then.
  • Chipped paint, faded or yellowed paint, peeling paint, small nicks or dents in your wall, or that big hole your fist made when you were arguing about what color to paint the wall 30 years ago.
  • Walls that look dirty. You’ve washed that wall repeatedly and it still looks dirty. If it’s frustrating to you, it’s going to be frustrating to the new owner. Or maybe they will decide not to buy your house because it looks dirty.
  • Wallpaper. Everyone knows what a pain it is to remove it! This one could definitely make buyer’s reconsider. Just remove it and paint the walls. And, what’s worse than wallpaper? Paint over wallpaper!
  • Trim, woodwork, and ceilings. We often overlook them but your potential buyer won’t!

In addition to the realtor and the buyer, keep in mind that there are other very important people that will be looking at your home and judging it by it’s appearance — the home inspector and the appraiser. They are going to notice how well you take care of your home. Two important things to note here is that they will notice: 1) The quality of the paint on the home, and 2) the quality of the paint job. These two things could increase your home’s appraised value and the perception of the home inspector. So, it is important not to just slap a coat of $10/gallon paint on the walls and call it a day. Invest in quality paint and have your home professionally painted. Statistically you can’t go wrong.

  • Both interior painting and exterior painting will give a homeowner a 50-100% return on the investment.
  • Freshly painted homes can raise your selling price by anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000.
  • Peeling exterior or interior paint is a red flag and could delay or cancel a sale by the FHA or some banks.

What Colors Actually Help Increase My Home’s Resale Value?

So, now that you’re committed to painting your home, you need to make sure that you paint it the correct colors. Generally, you need to choose neutrals. The reason why, is you want to appeal to more buyers. Does this mean to paint everything white or off-white? No! Use warm and soothing earth tones, appealing happy colors, etc.

And there are some great sources online that can help you determine what colors to paint your house. For example, Realtor Mag published a helpful article on how to use paint psychology when choosing your interior paint colors. They even include tips on using the color-wheel. And Zillow recently published an article on paint color analysis. The folks at Zillow looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes nationwide to see how certain paint colors impacted their sale price on average when compared to similar homes with white walls.

The Zillow article is full of valuable information, but it is using national statistics. It is also common knowledge, among professionals, that paint colors differ depending on what region you live in. A house in Miami with it’s pastel colored exterior could be popular and sell quickly, but in Manhatten (or almost anywhere else in the country) it would not fly. You need to target the sale of your home to the taste of your local market.

In summary, a freshly painted home is important if you are going to sell it, but keep these things in mind:

  • Use Quality Paints
  • Hire a Qualified Professional
  • Use Colors That Will Appeal to Your Local Buyers
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