Some of our clients are “house-flippers” who sell homes on a regular basis. Others are property managers who deal with dozens or even hundreds of homes and condos that have to be made-ready on a constant basis. These homes always need paint, and we’ve learned quite a few painting tips from them about selling a home.
People Buy On Emotion
Buyers need to fall in love with everything about your home! Unless you’re in a financial situation that doesn’t allow for sprucing up, you need to do everything you can to make your home pristine. The cleaner and newer your home looks, the higher price and faster contract you’ll fetch.
What people see when they view your home is what they think they get. Some folks think that you should leave old paint and carpet behind so that the buyers can spend their money choosing their own colors. We see the merit in this thinking, but in all honesty, buyers will gladly and unwittingly spend that money twice. The extra they fork over (via a bank loan which doesn’t hurt too much) for the freshly painted home makes it feel good when they buy it, and they can still change the colors or rip out that new carpet if they really want to. The fresh paint and carpet is what sells a home.
Put It In Neutral
One of our most common painting tips when selling your house is to paint the rooms in a neutral color. Some people have an aversion to certain colors. Neutral colors help avoid these aversions and make your home more appealing to a wider audience. Our favorite neutral interior color (and the most popular) is Sherwin-Williams’ Antique White, which is elegant and easy for people to like. Antique White has sold many a home. And if the client wants bolder colors, the walls are basically already primed and ready to go.
Same goes for the carpet. If you have carpeted areas, find a discount carpet dealer and have them give you whatever close-out color they have that is neutral – beige, tan etc. The quality doesn’t matter. The newness is what matters. If someone wants to dump some serious cash on wool carpet, they will anyway, but they have to buy your house first – and fresh paint and carpet will cause that to happen.
Staging Can Help Sell Your House
Staging is almost cheating when it comes to selling your home. It can help define rooms and spaces while keeping the clutter away. If you’ve ever seen a home decorating magazine, the picture are mostly of staged houses. Let’s face it… nobody keeps their home that clean, organized, and clutter-free!
Our realtor friends suggest…
If your home is furnished with your personal belongings:
Literally get rid of half of the items in your home. People love minimalism even if they don’t know it. Make sure everything left behind looks like a million bucks. Always leave it spotless for a showing. Homes show much better when the personal items are out of sight.
If your home is empty (or not):
Definitely paint the interior, clean it meticulously and then stage it with items that people will wish were theirs. If you have an item in each room that draws the eye, the buyer has the subconscious feeling that they are going to live in this house just as it’s furnished. A really fancy chair in the living room, an awesome painting or sculpture in a different room, these will help sell your house.
Professional staging companies are expensive and for higher end homes, and are worth their expense in multiples. One of our associates had a brand new empty home for sale for 8 months. Three weeks after he had it professionally staged, the house was under contract!
This infographic from the National Association of Realtors shows the difference that home-staging can make when selling your house.
Kitchens and Bathrooms Need “Sizzle” Features
Consider replacing older kitchen and bathroom fixtures with newer, more modern ones. Changes like faucets and shower-heads can make a big psychological difference for prospective homebuyers. It goes without saying that another of our painting tips is to paint the kitchen and bathrooms.
These areas can show the most wear, especially on cabinets and trim. If the bath or kitchen cabinets are worn out or have old, outdated stained finishes, consider painting them for a fresh look or re-staining them. While neutral colors still are a good choice, a little bit of color in the kitchen and bathrooms can also give you some good results.
Paint: check. Carpet: check. Sizzle features: check. House staged: check.
Consider it sold! Whatever rooms in your house need work, always try to look as if you were a buyer and make decisions accordingly. We’d love to paint the house you’re selling and give you any painting tips you’d like to hear. 😉