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Can Paint Sell Your Home?

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Profit from painting your home before you list it

The profitability of home ownership is a product of many factors, and there are many ways you can increase the bottom line. Home buyers spend a significant amount of time viewing countless homes; securing the best price possible; and negotiating mortgages, prices and closing costs. Profit depends equally on sale price, however, so be sure not to neglect the selling process. After all, buying low and selling low produces the same result as buying high and selling high.

Home buyers gain confidence from knowing that with many other homes on the market, they can walk away from a sale if a satisfactory deal cannot be made. They may not have the same sense of control during the selling process, however, because it's not possible to know exactly when potential buyers will come knocking.

Fortunately, sellers are able to impact many aspects of the process to attract buyers and get the best offer. Realtor magazine's Styled Staged Sold blog examined a recent survey of 450 Realtors and over 1,600 home owners to determine which areas of home improvement really sell homes.

The results of the survey suggest that home owners no longer need their Realtors to convince them of the importance of home improvements. The survey also analyzed the types of improvements seen as most profitable when considering time and budget.
The importance of these projects is underscored by the large budget devoted to them.

"According to the survey, about 24 percent of sellers plan to budget $2,000 to $5,000 on home improvement projects; 22 percent budget $5,000 to $10,000; and about 17 percent budget $10,000 to $20,000," says Melissa Tracey, blog contributor.

The home's exterior ranked as one of the three most important areas, along with the kitchen and bathrooms. The survey also suggested that painting is one of the most important low-cost projects to focus on prior to the sale. Painting, either interior or exterior, is a simpler task than renovating a kitchen or a bathroom, and it can add thousands of dollars to the value of your home, making it a great choice for people looking to choose one project prior to the sale.

Time of year can affect the viability of repainting your home's exterior. If you are selling during the summer months, painting may be made difficult by the fact that hot weather can cause paint to dry too quickly, resulting in an inferior look. Tracey recommends painting in the shade, as surfaces in the sun can be around 10 or 20 degrees hotter than the air.

A simple color palette of neutrals that are harmonious with the exteriors of your neighbors' homes is your best bet. Aim for two colors—one for the paint and one for the trim—and possibly a third color for the door.

"The exterior paint colors you choose should also be appropriate for your market. Some colors work better in certain regions of the country, whether they be historical, classical, colorful, etc.," says Carrie N. Culpepper, AOL Real Estate contributor.

Neutrals are also a good option when repainting the interior of your home; however, white should be avoided because it can be perceived as sterile and maximize the appearance of imperfections in older walls. Benjamin Moore offers a webinar about staging a home for sale with color, which can be found here.

No matter how much time and money you devote to improving your home before you list, there is no substitute for the guidance of financial and real estate professionals. Please give us a call if you have any questions about this important process.

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