As you lived life in your home—bought new furniture, decorated for holidays, tried not to step on toys underfoot—your paint may have receded into the background. But as you prepare to sell your house, remember that paint will be something prospective buyers notice. People buy from their sense of emotional connection to a house, and that connection comes through the eyes. Paint is a major source of visual appeal: It can welcome, dazzle, and delight, or it can make a house look neglected and ugly.
Paint can even increase your home’s value. A Consumer Reports survey shows that fresh paint in key indoor places can up value 1-3%, and that a newly painted exterior can increase value 2-5%. Fresh neutral shades add to a home’s look of well-being and cleanliness, and they are the right backdrop for effective home staging. Plus, it can be harder to sell a home whose walls boast a full palette of colors or unusual colors, like that purple bedroom the kids loved so dearly.
Savvy sellers will research the best time to sell a house, and this time will vary due to location, climate, business shifts, etc. But the national trend data show that the autumn months ahead are a good time to close on a home sale. Although homes usually sell quickest in June and July, the fall months do see homes sell after spending fewer than average days on the market. And fall closings often come with the highest sale prices.
Depending on your area and its seasons, selling a house in the fall may mean paint becomes even more important. As brilliant leaves fade and colorful gardens shrivel to brown stalks, a beautiful paint job will take center stage, becoming more noticeable and providing most of the home’s vital first impression.
It’s important to hire a licensed painter with stellar recommendations. The best source to find house painters is your real estate agent, who is sure to know a trusted professional you can rely on. If you’re not currently working with a realtor, ask friends and neighbors for referrals, check the neighborhood for good painters at work, or check online. Sites such as Houzz, Angie’s List, NextDoor, and others can match you with the right person or team for the job. Look for plentiful and mostly positive reviews, and note those painters whose clients have taken the time to tell a flattering story or post an “After” photo.
The painters you choose should gladly give you an estimate, a contract with costs, time frame, materials listed, and a guarantee of their work. Whether they help you outside, inside, or both, repainting can take you a long way towards a quicker home sale.