The Complete Guide to Painting a Home to Sell

After necessary repairs, the second most common pre-listing project—and one we almost always recommend—is painting a house to sell. Painting a home to sell is common, which is why in this blog post we’ll discuss why painting before selling is so important and which colors are best for painting a house to sell. We’ll end by showing you the transformative power of a fresh coat of paint and the value it can add to a home sale.

Why is painting before selling a home so common?

Over the years you spend in a home, walls inevitably show signs of wear and tear in the form of scuff marks, stains, and chips in the paint. Sometimes walls even fall victim to the artistic expression of toddlers. In most cases, the damage to your walls is only paint-deep, meaning if you apply a new coat of paint, no one will ever know the difference. Pair the commonness of wall marks with the fairly affordable cost of hiring painters, and a fresh coat of paint is a simple fix to help your home appear like-new to home buyers.

So, why is painting a home before selling so important?

Today’s home buyers are looking for move-in ready homes and specifically want to avoid properties that need repairs or that could turn into projects. When you paint the interior of a home to sell, you not only cover up any scratches, chips, or scuffs that may have appeared over the years—you also make the entire home look fresher and less lived-in. You’re essentially creating a blank slate for the next homeowners to start from.

Applying a fresh coat of paint to a home can help it sell faster, and for more money. But what are the best paint colors to sell a home?

What are the best paint colors for selling a house?

While painting can have a powerful effect on a property’s appearance, we wouldn’t recommend you go with any color you like. At the end of the day, you aren’t painting the home for you. You’re painting to sell, which means you want to choose a color that has broad appeal within the market.

We use light, neutral tones in our projects because not only do they help make spaces appear large and open, they also make it easy for buyers to imagine their unique belongings blending into the space. Furthermore, light neutral trends are least likely to be offensive, and are still very much on-trend in home design. Our team has found that applying a fresh coat of the following paint colors can help increase the value of a home.

These colors are delicate and unobtrusive, allowing potential buyers to focus on the house without being distracted. How should you determine which of these colors to use? We’ll help you out during our listing assessment process, but you should also keep these two tips in mind:

  • Consider the permanent fixtures – Unless they are also going to be updated, consider the existing floors, tile, and finishes (i.e. doorknobs, faucets, etc.) when selecting the best paint color for selling a house.
  • Don’t ignore lighting – The shade you select may look different depending on whether it is being lit by sunlight, florescent bulbs, or incandescent lighting.

We used Agreeable Gray in a recent project in Northern Virginia. This color makes rooms feel cool and contemporary, without seeming too trendy.

We often use Penthouse in basement remodels like the one we recently completed that you can see here. This color helps make the space feel as big and bright as possible.


The transformative power of paint

Everyone loves good before and after photos. You’ll be surprised just how effective paint can be in transforming the visual appearance of a home.

before

For this pre-listing project we removed the wallpaper, then painted the walls a neutral, grey color. The room not only looks so much brighter—it also looks larger.

after

For this pre-listing project we removed the wallpaper, then painted the walls a neutral, grey color. The room not only looks so much brighter—it also looks larger.

before

Here you can see how painting the wood paneling in this home lightened up the space and helped it instantly feel more modern and welcoming. Also, take a look at that fireplace!

after

Here you can see how painting the wood paneling in this home lightened up the space and helped it instantly feel more modern and welcoming. Also, take a look at that fireplace!

While the primary focus of this post is how a fresh coat of paint inside of the home can affect the appearance and value of a home, we want to touch on a couple of other small painting projects that can also add value to a home before selling.

Painting kitchen cabinets to sell

Depending on the condition of cabinets, we will opt to save money on the home improvement project by painting them—ultimately, helping home sellers profit more. You can see below how effective this can be in transforming the visual appearance of a kitchen.

before
after

Painting the exterior of a home to sell

The exterior of your home is tied to your curb appeal, and improving curb appeal can have a huge, positive effect on your home sale. We power wash homes all the time. Sometimes the exterior of the home needs a little more TLC to avoid scaring off buyers. For this home, the siding was in such poor condition that the home screamed, “buyers beware.” In actuality, the interior of the home was in great condition, but most buyers wouldn’t go far enough to see.

before
after

Painting a house to sell and other home improvements that add value

When selling a home, we recommend making necessary repairs every single time. Just after repairs, we suggest painting your home to sell. While many pre-listing home improvement projects stop there, they shouldn’t.

When you work with Curbio, you get the benefits of a pre-listing consult from an expert team. You also get unparalleled service from Project Managers who are full-time Curbio employees. As Curbio employees, they’re dedicated to managing and executing the entire project from proposal to punch list—all while maintaining the trust we’ve built with 500+ agents nationwide. The best part? You don’t have to worry about helping sellers find the cash to update their home for sale because we defer payment until closing—without any interest, fees, time limits, minimums, or maximums.

Find out what the best home improvements to take on before selling are in this blog or get started by submitting a free, same-day listing assessment for your listing.