Should I paint my house before selling it?

Should I paint my house before selling it?

Selling your house goes from a romantic idea to an overwhelmingly long list of "to-do's" the moment you decide you're "really going to do this." Before I tell you about painting the exterior and interior of house house, I want to give you a small piece of advice.

Visualize. Whether you write it down on a notecard, cut out photos of where you'll be living when you move, or envision the space that the larger home will allow you and your newly expanded family to spread out in, you will need SOMETHING reminding you why you chose to sell your house. Stay positive, and keep your eye on the prize.

I would like to preface the remainder of this post with: I am not a painter. I'm a professional that walks into over 100 houses per month. I listen to hundreds of buyers a year scrutinize the homes they are walking through. I'm here to give you an insight into that conversation. Why? So you know how buyers think. I mean, you want one... right? A buyer? Exactly. So what I'm going to teach you is how to avoid the scrutiny, and to make those buyers fall in love with your house.

Here we go.

Exterior Painting 

Condition your house is in - It was painted 20 years ago, and nothing has been done since.

What buyers say when they see it - "This house is too old" "I'm worried about wood rot on the windows" "I just don't LOVE it" "Well, we would have to pain immediately, and that would cost us $20,000"

What to do about it - Spend the $2,000 it costs to freshen up the paint with professionals. Pick colors that not only match the neighborhood, but POP. Fresh colors, but don't go crazy. Do NOT paint your house purple unless that's normal for your neighborhood.


Condition your house is in -  It was painted 5 years ago. Or it's brick/Vinyl or another material that doesn't need frequent painting.

What buyers say when they see it - "It's nice, but let's see some other houses too." "It doesn't have great curb appeal"

What to do about it - Either rent a pressure washer & DIY, or call a local business to have them pressure wash for you (about $300-400 in my area). If necessary, touch up the exterior trim yourself.


Condition your house is in -  It was just painted, just pressure washed, and it SHINES from the street (not literally... please don't paint your house with glitter)

What buyers say when they see it - "Oh, honey!!! Isn't it pretty!?" "It has great curb appeal, doesn't it?"

What to do about it - Nothing. You've done great.

Interior Paint

Condition your house is in -  If you have any of the following: Scuffs on the walls, water spots on the ceilings, scuffs or discoloration on the baseboards, COLORS other than soft beige and neutral colors.

What buyers say when they see it - "Oh my GAWD, who paints their house this color?!?!" "Geez, they must love sports!" "It's going to take 6 coats of paint to cover up that green/yellow/blue/red/purple in those rooms" "IF we write an offer, we should offer about $10,000 off for all the repairs (they mean paint) we are going to have to do"

What to do about it - Get help. Come to terms with the fact that YOU and only YOU love those paint colors. That's ok. Your buyers will end up painting things later on that you would have NEVER painted that color. Who cares? The goal is to sell your house, and they will never put in an offer on your house if they can't see the house past the colors.

Do the right thing. Paint it the most boring colors you've ever seen. Touch up all the baseboards & trim. Make your house ready for them to move in.


Condition your house is in -  It's not bad, there's just a few scuffs but overall it's in great condition.

What buyers say when they see it - They won't say much, but they will often "down sell" your house against homes that are new construction and perfect.

What to do about it - Touch up, repaint the trim. Making the trim POP with a glossy white may be all you need to make the rooms really stand out to those buyers.


Condition your house is in -  Just freshly painted with neutral colors, clean lines, and it looks FRESH!

What buyers say when they see it - "Honey, where would you put the TV? Would you put the couch over here on this side of the living room?" (once they start placing furniture, you're golden)

What to do about it - Nothing. Great Job!

I hope this article helped you get a glimpse into the conversations I have with buyers daily, and that maybe it has helped give you a plan for getting your house sold. Painting your house has one of the best returns you can possibly make, simply because out-of-date or distracting paint jobs can keep you from getting an offer at all.

Keep us in mind for your Athens and Northeast Georgia Real Estate Needs!

Thank you, 

Brittany Purcell

CEO, Realtor, Associate Broker, Free-Spirited Southerner 

Brittany Purcell & Associates    team: 706.389.0907     

 e-fax: 706.403.1901 

Office Hours: Monday-Friday 9am-6pm and Saturday by Appointment

Keller Williams Realty, Lanier Partners  

3730 Village Way Suite 160 Braselton, GA 30517

         "The Service You Deserve, The Results You Expect"


Brittany@BrittanySells.com              www.BrittanyPurcell.com

Short Sale Resource: www.StartOverAthens.Com

Your Referral is the greatest compliment I can receive. 

Our vision is to be the #1 referred real estate team for Athens & Northeast Georgia, by providing our clients with the service they deserve and the results they expect. Who do you know that deserves this level of service?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »