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  • Writer's pictureJamie Koehler

Paint : A Worthwhile Investment

“What extra steps are worth doing before I list my home, to drive the most interest?” I’m posed with this question frequently. In my personal life, I’m very money-conscious. This carries over to my professional workplace. I’m not going to ask you to spend your money in a way that I wouldn’t spend my own. Last week I went to a listing appointment for a home that was built in 1989. It has the original light fixtures throughout. The seller had just met with another realtor and told me that she had recommended changing the light fixtures in the kitchen. I walked around the house and told the seller I didn’t agree – changing one light fixture that matched the others would disrupt the cohesiveness that already existed. Furthermore, the light fixtures were simple, not overtly outdated. I told the seller to save his money.

Now, onto a change that does make an impact. Paint. Prior to specializing in helping Baltimore-area sellers achieve the highest net number possible, I worked with buyers on occasion. Generally, there are two myths that sellers have about buyers when it comes to the topic of paint :

· Buyers are not put off by a colorful array of paint colors

· Buyers will realize that paint is inexpensive and that they can paint the house any color they want after they move in

Every buyer has his or her own style and corresponding furniture and decor. The more unique your paint colors are, the less likely they will easily go with the furniture and possessions the buyer already has. A neutral and/or on-trend paint scheme will speak to the masses. And you want to speak to the masses – the more prospective buyers that can envision themselves in your home, the greater the likelihood that someone falls in love with your home, and the more likely it is that you will receive a strong offer.

Many buyers that I represented in the past were HGTV fanatics. Initially they told me that they “didn’t mind projects” or “wanted to make a house their own.” But when I showed them homes that did need work, most realized that they really wanted a home that was move-in ready (or “show-off” ready as I like to call it – ready to show off to their friends and families), where changes weren’t immediately needed, but could be done later if and when they wanted.

Now you might think “Maybe we can leave the house the way that it is and if we get feedback from buyers that they don’t like the paint scheme, then we can consider repainting at that time.” This is a huge mistake. You only get one shot to make a first impression when we list your property. We need to come out of the gates strong with appropriate paint colors, a decluttered house, staging if necessary, and professional pictures. Professional pictures of a clean home with a neutral or on-trend paint scheme leads buyers to click on your listing, which leads them to request a showing or attend an open house, which leads them to make an offer. If the paint in the pictures is as colorful as the paint deck pictured on this post, or is extremely unique, the buyer is never going to click on the listing in the first place. You’ll get less traffic and it may take longer to get an offer. If a house starts to sit on the market, new prospective buyers start to wonder “what’s wrong with it?” Get it right the first time.

So, what paint color should you choose? Firstly, if your home is already painted in a neutral or on-trend color and the walls aren’t terribly scuffed and marked, you don’t have to repaint. If only a few rooms have unique colors, let’s just address those rooms. For a few years now, the color gray was all the rage. People went wild with it. Gray walls, gray LVP flooring, gray carpet, gray cabinets – we wore ourselves out. Gray is currently falling out of style. For 2022, a neutral green is consistently taking center stage as a color trend. Check out the “2022 Paint Color of the Year” from these popular paint manufacturers – all hues of green :

Benjamin Moore : October Mist 1495

Behr : Breezeway

Sherwin Williams : Evergreen Fog

Gliden : Guacamole

I am always happy to help my sellers assess if paint is needed and if so, what shades will work best. I can even help you get a painter lined up to do the painting for you, if you don’t want to do it yourself. Just agree to do it, it will pay off in the end!

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