The U.S. real estate market has been on a steady uptick since its devastating crash in 2008. Some segments of the market have even made a full recovery. Even though the Real estate market is good, many people still ask themselves the question, “Do I want to spend additional money on my home prior to listing it for sale?” Most Realtors will suggest painting your home, or at least partially painting, prior to listing. Of all the possible home improvements, painting generally will provide the best value for your dollar.

A paint brush isn’t a magic wand, however in a competitive market, making your house as appealing as possible to the widest range of potential buyers is the best way to sell fastest and get the highest sale price.  As we mentioned, the value of a good paint job can typically be recouped with a higher sale price. There are two types of painting to consider, interior and exterior.

Interior painting is all about aesthetics. Homes are lived in. Which means walls get scuffed, dinged, and smudged. Your burgundy dining room may now be several decades out of fashion. The most important thing a seller can do is create a clean, neutral, and presentable space for a new owner to feel comfortable in.  By choosing a neutral color most prospective buyers will find it agreeable. Even if your choice is not their favorite, they should feel comfortable with the clean palette until they decide to paint at some point in the future. Buyers need to envision themselves in the house as its owner before they will buy. A professionally applied fresh coat is the best way to make this happen.

Exterior paint provides two critical elements to your home’s marketability, maintenance and curb appeal. Exterior paint is designed to protect your home against the elements. Most buyers are unwilling to have to tackle major maintenance projects and pay full list price. Making sure your paint is in good condition will lead to a higher sale price. If your paint is failing a smart seller will use it as leverage to negotiate a lower price.  Perhaps most important is curb appeal. How does your home look compared to other homes in the area?  As a prospective buyer approaches your home what first impression do you want to give them?  A professionally, freshly painted house can make your house stand out as the best among the competition. Again, use caution with color selection. Find a color that fits the neighborhood and can be enjoyed by the largest number of buyers as possible. Spend the money. Paint the house. Making the investment to maximize your houses value is always a good choice and it will greatly increase your odds of a fast, successful sale.