The current sluggish economy is causing a lot of sleepless nights for those who want to sell their home. But there are some low-cost ways to get a competitive edge, and many revolve around paint.
Real estate agents agree that a good first impression is critically important when selling a home. And that impression starts curb-side. You know the house-hunting drill: Prospective buyers drive by homes before they go inside. If a house looks poorly maintained, or even uninteresting, they simply drive on.
Take a hard look at your home exterior. Do you see peeling paint or boring colors (or both)? Then think about making some quick fixes.
To add visual interest to your home, picture the front door and shutters painted in an attractive color that contrasts nicely with the exterior walls. Sometimes, painting just a few architectural features can greatly enhance a home's "curb appeal". Total cost of this upgrade, assuming that you do the work yourself? Very likely, less than $100.
If your visual inspection reveals that the paint on your walls and trim is in generally good shape, but shows some peeling here and there, take the time to remedy the situation. Even a few neglected spots can signal that a home is not well-maintained.
Again, this is an easy fix. Just scrape and sand the areas, prime any bare wood that shows, and apply some touch-up paint. This repair may cost nothing at all if you have some leftover paint from your last paint job. But even if have to buy new paint, the cost should again be less than $100.
So much for the outside of your home. Now turn a critical eye to your home's interior.
Are any of your rooms painted a garish color? Now, be honest. What about the condition of the walls and woodwork? Are they beat up or marred in any way? Color and condition can both factor into a buyer's assessment of a house.
Unless your home has really been neglected, these problems are easy to remedy. Again, if it,s the condition of the paint that is sub-par, you might still have some leftover paint in your garage or closet, so the touch-up will cost nothing at all.
On the other hand, if the color of your paint is too avant-garde, you'll have to purchase some new paint. If that describes your situation, the best course of action is to choose white, off-white, or another neutral color. "Safe" colors like this will appeal to most people, increasing the odds that your home will sell. Cost of repainting a room: Typically, well under $100.
Even assuming a worst-case scenario, the total cost of these simple do-it-yourself paint projects would be only a few hundred dollars. Yet they have the potential to help sell your home more quickly, and very possibly, at a higher price. As a result, you should look at them as more of an investment than an expense.