How much is a new coat of paint worth?

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From time to time I see articles that talk about the ROI of different home upgrades. Hardwood floors give you a 110% return, a new back porch will give you 100%… new landscaping in the spring… priceless {not really, but close, lol}. While I always think it’s interesting to see what improvements people {statistically} think are more important, the reality is that just because you put in hard wood floors it doesn’t mean you can increase the price of your house by that exact amount of money… it doesn’t quite work like that.

However, without a doubt, some improvements pack more of a punch as far as transforming a space, and some are far more important to buyers than others. But one that many people overlook is paint.

Few people start looking for a new place thinking ‘wouldn’t it be great to find a place that’s been freshly painted?!’… no {I’m pretty sure zero people ever say that}. But this is one thing {and probably one of the least expensive things} you can do that can totally transform your space and the overall feel and look of everything.

I actually just noticed that a property some of our clients almost bought last year finally sold, and out of curiosity I looked it up. When our clients saw it, the entire space was all painted different colors. You could tell that it hadn’t been painted in a long time, and the colors didn’t really look amazing, they were all kind of mid-tone, didn’t complement any of the other finishes in the space or even each other, and actually made things look more dated than they might have looked otherwise.

This property was on the market for a whopping eleven months before it sold. That’s over 300 days {or in real estate ~ an e t e r n i t y} in a great location in a market that is hard to do poorly in. Part of the reason that this one took so long to sell is definitely that it was overpriced at first, but even when the price was adjusted down {again… and again…}, still no movement…. for e l e v e n months.

Then, after 309 days, the sellers repainted. And after that? It was under contract in three days.

Not a coincidence.

Here is the space pre-paint job. What do you think.. would you get excited about going to see this space?

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I mean, it’s fine… it just looks kind of… okay. Not updated, not great paint colors, not a lot to get excited about. That mid-tone pea green color isn’t flattering to anything, and it makes the kitchen look even more dated than it is. It also makes the space look darker overall.

Here is the same exact space, post-paint job {and I will say, better staging which also makes a big difference}.

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Which space looks more appealing to you? When you see the original photos, there just isn’t much to get excited about. When you see the photos with fresh paint, much lighter colors, it looks brighter, larger, and more current. I wouldn’t have gotten excited about the first one, I would definitely want to see the second one… and they are exactly the same!

Even the kitchen {and bathroom} finishes look better just with different paint colors on the walls… crazy how that works. Here is a look at them side by side… am I right or am I right?!

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The color of the paint on your walls really goes a long way toward setting a certain tone in a space. And it affects how the space looks and feels… big time. And the truth is, most people can’t see past paint, even thought it’s the easiest thing to change! If you have bad paint, it can be an instant turn off to potential buyers. Maybe you love that shade of green, or that bright pink, but when you sell, it’s not about you anymore, and while you don’t want your space to be too vanilla, you do need it to look it’s absolute best, and to appeal to as many people as possible… and that might just mean that it needs some new paint!

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