Ever had a moment when you realized, “Hey, I’m one of those people!”?
That happened to me when I was showing “newer” homes to a client and kept pointing out how the homes would show much better properly painted. After 3 to 5 years they were still “builder’s white” and looked dirty.
As I walked into my own house at the end of the day, I realized that, yikes, I was one “of those people” too.
Pick a color that will appeal to home buyers
Painting is probably the easiest thing to fix when you are planning to put your home on the market. It is essential to think strategically, which is Realtor Code for painting a color that will appeal to today’s home buyers. Finding an “in-color” is tough, but easily enough achieved thanks to countless Pottery Barn catalogues, Google, HGTV, a home stager/designer or a plugged-in real estate guy.
I have seen paint totally transform a 1950’s Vienna Virginia rambler, and shock the owner of a five year-old colonial in Clifton. After seeing the photos online of the finished job the homes looked totally different, and that is essential since your first showing is now taking place online from the comfort of the home buyer’s kitchen counter (you buyers know where you are, Panera?).
For the rambler in Vienna, it was easily painted by my trusty handyman John Blizard ( firstname.lastname@example.org ), but for the bigger jobs I suggest calling in a painting crew. Recently some clients have used William Gonzalez’s (email@example.com) company, My Painter which is licensed and insured to get the house prepped and painted (takes 3 to 4 days). The speed and quality of a professional crew makes is well worth the expense.
Some recent paint selections:
- Hawthorne Yellow – Benjamin Moore, flat/matte finish
- Sandy Hook Gray – Benjamin Moore, flat/matte finish
- (to see more photos of a home with Sandy Hook Gray, click here)
Take a look at the exterior of your house close up to see if there is paint chipping or fading. Some people wind up with black spots all over their nice white trim boards. That actually comes from all the wood mulch you spread around your house (at least here in Northern Virginia) and is a natural mold. With so many homes here built with vinyl or HardiePlank siding, often a good power wash solves the trick… but your trim work still needs some painting.
Home buyers will be staring at your front door
Last, but not least, one of your most important “first impressions” is your front door. From my experience, often a full minute is spent at the front door as the Realtor is opening the lock box, fiddling with the keys or ringing the bell waiting for you to get your arse to the door. So make their wait special with a freshly painted door, and, by the way, that old door handle and knocker may need replacing too.
After I painted my own house, it was amazing how much more comfortable it was. So don’t wait until you plan to move to make it look like you live in an episode of Divine Design.