Fresh Paint Can Help You Stage Your Home for Sale
Years ago, the word staging was a theatrical term rarely heard outside of Broadway. But today, with the real estate market in the doldrums, “staging” has come to Main Street, where it is often a key ingredient in selling a home.
Staging is realtor shorthand for the “theatre” needed to put the best possible face on your home. It means de-cluttering, keeping things well-maintained, and often, doing some painting.
If you’re about to put your home on the market, consider where you might paint to create a better first impression of your home. In doing so, pay particular attention to the first things potential buyers will see.
The starting point for your staging should be the front door. Everyone who checks out your home will come face to face with the door and will likely be standing there for a minute or two while your realtor fumbles with the key.
Does your door bespeak a home that’s well-maintained? If not, you should repaint it pronto. The project can be completed in just a few hours, and it will greatly enhance the first impression of your home.
What about your foyer? Don’t have one? Then evaluate the condition of the first room prospective buyers will see when they walk in. Whether it’s an entrance hall or some other room, the initial glimpse of the interior is critically important when showing a home, so the space should be inviting, not off-putting.
If these rooms are painted in an unconventional color, if they have loud or grimy wallpaper, or even if they’re just in need of freshening up, it will be well worth the effort to paint these areas. Choose a neutral-colored paint that would appeal to virtually anyone, an off-white or light taupe, for example. The idea is to show off the rooms and allow would-be buyers to imagine their own furnishings in the space.
Speaking of space, white or light-colored paint can work magic by creating the illusion that your home is bigger than its physical dimensions. This is true for your walls, and for ceilings, too. Small rooms and low ceilings “open up” visually when painted white or another very light color. And nearly everyone wants as much space as possible.
Although semi-gloss and gloss paints have a lot going for them, it’s best to avoid reflective finishes when painting walls and ceilings just prior to sale. A flat finish will do a better job of concealing imperfections in these surfaces. (Read: Less fix-up required.)
Assuming that your house is one of the special ones that feature interesting architectural elements, you can use contrasting paint color to showcase these details so that no one misses them. Let’s say the walls of your den are painted dark green – you could show off a stylish fireplace surround by painting it white. You could likewise highlight built-in cabinets, bookshelves, or elaborate crown molding.
If you’re about to put your home on the market, you’ll need every edge you can muster in order to get the “Sold” sign placed on your front lawn, rather than your neighbor’s. One of the best ways to do that is with a fresh coat of paint!
About The Author: Debbie Zimmer is editor-in-chief of the Paint Quality Institute blog. She’s a widely cited authority on color, use of paints in interior and exterior design, and decorative painting techniques. She can be found on Twitter as @PaintQualityIns.