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Should You Paint Your Home Before Selling It?

Friday, November 22, 2019   /   by Keri McCombs

Should You Paint Your Home Before Selling It?

The question comes up often in the Spokane area real estate market about whether or not to paint your home prior to listing it for sale. So I'm going to share some different advice about when it's good to paint, and when it may be better to hold off on painting.


Before you decide whether or not you should paint your home, first determine why you have a need to paint... is it due to cosmetic and aesthetic reasons, or is it due to condition (chipping and peeling paint is present)? Once you've identified that, then you want to look at what homes that compare to yours are like. A couple of things to consider:
-How are comparable homes painted cosmetically, and what is the expectation for the average buyer for those comparable homes?
-What is the expectation of the interior and/or exterior condition for homes that are in your home's price range?
-If there is a question about needing paint on the exterior of the home, what time of year do you intend to list your home? Is exterior painting feasible during that time, if it becomes a requirement?


Now that I've given you some things to consider, let's explore the different scenarios and find out what will be best for you.

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Painting For Condition Purposes
If your home has chipping and peeling paint, either on the interior or exterior, this could be a concern for the loan type on the offer you accept. FHA and VA both have concerns about paint issues, especially on the exterior of the home, because there is the chance that the elements can get underneath the paint and compromise the integrity of the structure. I know for SO many people, buyers, sellers, and agents alike, chipping and peeling paint is a sore topic because it seems like such a nuisance. But when you realize why it's such a big deal, it makes it a little more understandable. 

So if you're painting for condition issues, also consider the price your home will be listed at. If you're listing your home under $200,000 in our area, the chances of getting lots of FHA and VA offers on your home are very high. So it may be best to address the chipping and peeling paint, especially if we are headed into the winter, or even if you intend to list your home in February or March. You never know how unpredictable the weather can be and you don't want to have to deal with an alternative to fix the issue. 

Besides the $200,000 price range, if your home is going to be priced higher than that, especially above our average home price of $300,000, you definitely want to address the paint issues. Buyers will expect it. The only solution is being willing to reduce the price enough to make up the difference in the condition issue.

One point to make: it is possible that chipping and peeling paint be so significant on a home that it's even a condition issue for a conventional loan appraiser, even though the condition requirements of a home for a conventional loan are the most relaxed. Last summer, a buyer of mine wanted to purchase an adorable 1900s home that had wood siding. Although he was a conventional loan buyer, the siding would've been an issue... the exterior paint was flaking off in sheets, and you could see large sections of the siding exposed. It was tempting not to peel off (which I didn't by the way), but I could've literally peeling it off easily in large sheets. So if your home is in that shape, you'll definitely want to address the exterior paint.


Painting For Cosmetic Reasons
If your home doesn't have issues with chipping or peeling paint, but the colors are a bit unique or off the wall, you might want to consider painting to a more neutral palate. The reason? Well, some buyers are able to see past a colorful paint selection, but not all buyers. You don't want to turn off the perfect buyer on your home because one room is bright pink, one room is neon green, and one room is orange. 

You might think it's silly that buyers can't see past colors on a wall, and you want to think about what the average buyer would like to see in a home. You want to change most, if not all, of your rooms to a more trendy neutral color. Greys and whites are on trend right now, and other more neutral colors can be used as accent walls sporadically, like navy blue. 
Even if your home doesn't have any wild and crazy colors, your home might need a fresh coat of paint to make it look fresh and crisp. And if you're not sure what the best color options are for you, contact an expert agent and find out for sure.


If you have any questions about whether or not you should paint, or anything else real estate related, contact me! Call or text 509-844-5843 or email keri@spokanehaven.com. Thanks for checking out my blog!
Keri McCombs
Spokane Realtor


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Cambria Henry
304 W Pacific Ave; Suite 360
Spokane, WA 99201
509-590-4701

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