When Should Sellers Repaint Their Home’s Interior?
Most real estate agents report that buyers are as impressed by “sparkling” interiors as they are by attractive landscaping and curb appeal. The visual triggers that prompt that sort of excitement, however, may have less to do with trendy countertop materials or big name appliances than with the quality of light, the views out of clean windows and the appeal of freshly painted rooms.
Running a close second with most buyers, who tend to visualize their personal belongings in any potential new home, is the way the rooms flow, and a coordinated neutral color scheme adds to a sense of spaciousness and style.
Professional home stagers regularly recommend that sellers “declutter and depersonalize,” but many homeowners resist taking the next step to freshen up interior spaces with a new coat of paint, fearing that prospective buyers might not like their choices. While not every home on the market needs a fresh coat of paint, there are at least five good reasons for considering repainting before listing your home for sale.
Lack of a Cohesive Color Plan
People who love color tend to make bold choices for their homes when selecting internal paint colors. If you have some rooms with intense tones, or if every bedroom is painted a different color (especially a bright or saturated hue), it is wise to repaint at least those rooms with an overall decor scheme in mind. That doesn’t mean painting all the walls white or even beige. Work with a painting consultant to choose a soothing hue: shades of grey are very popular today and are a good starting point for decor that varies from traditional to Euro-tech.
Damaged and Stained Walls
Normal wear and tear cannot be avoided, but if a child’s room has stains and scuffs, or if kitchen and bathroom walls look dull and dingy, they will benefit from fresh paint in a satin finish to resist future smudges.
Lack of Light and Small Spaces
Buyers look for spacious dimensions and bright rooms. You can sometimes create an illusion of expansive space and capture natural light from even average size windows by choosing the right paint color. For a room with northern exposure, particularly in an area that has cold winters, try a sunny cream tone or a pink-tinged off-white to enliven the space, warm it up and make it live as large as possible. If you have the opposite problem, perhaps a room with an overly high ceiling or a space that seems disproportionately large, try improving the scale by painting the ceiling a shade darker than the walls, or painting a single wall in a coordinated accent shade.
No Place to Relax
Try to create pockets of peace and quiet, especially in bedrooms and baths. While red is said to encourage conversation and create a healthy appetite, making it a great accent color for the dining room, it is too bold and energetic a hue for most bedroom spaces. Blue in all its variations is a universal favorite, but newer colors drawn from nature — greens and golds, shades reminiscent of sun, sand and sky, or even the moody blue and violet tones of distant mountains — are smart and trendy. They also blend beautiful with neutral colors used in other parts of the home, and will set your home apart from the pack.
Dingy Utility Spaces
You might not view the garage as a priority, but a fresh, clean garage conveys the impression that you have maintained the entire house in excellent condition. Look as the laundry room, the kitchen pantry and all your closets with the same critical eye. If they’re in less than pristine shape, take the time to move everything out and repaint walls at the same time you resolve to dispose of the items you no longer use.
When prospective buyers exclaim over the abundance of storage space in your home, just smile knowingly and nod!