Boost your home’s value with paint!

Want to boost your home’s value? Have the interior and exterior of your home painted.

If you are planning on selling your home soon, you’re probably laser-focused on completing quick projects that boost its market value. After all, you want to maximize your return on investment and get the best possible offers from buyers.

As it turns out, there is new data to suggest that painting the interior and exterior of your home can increase its value and curb appeal. In this article, we’ll review why and what homeowners should do to prepare their home for listing.

You only get one chance at a good first impression

Why is paint so important? After all, won’t the next homeowner just paint over the walls if they don’t care for them? 

While it’s true that interior paint is one of the easiest aspects of a home for a new homeowner to change, it’s also true that bad paint makes it that much harder to sell your home. On the exterior, a home with peeling or faded paint comes across as old and dirty to the prospective buyer. Within seconds of seeing your home for the first time, they have already drawn inferences about how well it has been kept up—and they haven’t even seen the inside yet!

If they do get around to seeing the inside, remember that the buyer needs to be able to picture themselves and their life in the space. Even if, deep down, they know that they’re going to end up repainting anyway, they will still react emotionally to the color choices in the home. All of this could influence how they feel about the house as a whole.

When you talk with your agent before listing your home, be sure to ask for their thoughts on the exterior and interior paint. According to a survey from the National Association of Realtors, 66% of realtors recommend that the homeowner repaint the interior and exterior prior to listing. If your realtor suggests doing so, they probably have a good reason.

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Prioritize conformity when it comes to your home’s exterior paint

Most HOAs have rules in place that govern the exterior painting conformity of all the homes in the neighborhood. In other words, regulations to keep your neighbor from painting her home fuschia may also restrict the color palette available to you. While this can be a limitation, it does have a silver lining: many homeowners find a narrowed-down list of choices helps them reach a decision more quickly.

Even if your neighborhood doesn’t have an HOA, you should still avoid exterior color options that are an obvious mismatch from the rest of the neighborhood or area. An off-kilter exterior paint color can make your home stand out from the rest of the neighboring properties in a very bad, “geez, look at that eyesore” kind of way. It may be boring, but you can’t go wrong with following the general aesthetic of the neighborhood if you want to get the best possible value out of your exterior painting project.

For the interior, set the mood (but don’t go too crazy!)

Different paint colors set different moods. The list below goes into more detail on how each color can be used.

  • Whites, Off Whites, & Grays – Use them in many contexts in your home as they are neutral
  • Light Purples – Use these in the bedrooms as the color is said to relieve stress and add calmness to the space
  • Blue, Green & Red – Use these in the kitchen since they add a sense of energy to the room and the kitchen is the central part of the home with a lot of activity

Always keep in mind that interior paint colors are best used in moderation. If you are considering adding specific colors to rooms, make sure you match bold colors with natural hues. This will eliminate the issue of guests feeling uncomfortable or you feeling that your home is overwhelming. If you are unsure where to start, we recommend talking to an interior designer who can help pair furniture with paint colors.

From the kitchen to the outdoor shed, quality matters

Here’s an important caveat about ROI: you’ll only see those positive returns if the interior or exterior paint has been applied correctly. In other words, shoddy work is going to undercut what you hoped to gain from the project in the first place. This is one of the reasons we recommend doing the following:

  • Using high-quality paint: Homeowners who try to cut corners and costs by watering down paint or buying cheaper brands tend to pay for it down the road as the paint fades faster and generally is not as vibrant.
  • Hiring a professional: Especially when it comes to the exterior of your home, a professional painter can ensure that the right type of paint is being applied the right way to your home. Plus, this saves you a fair amount of work.

If you’re planning on painting either the interior or exterior of your home soon, be sure to check out this great infographic. It includes a breakdown of what interior colors you should consider and some general estimates for what homeowners can expect to pay for professional painting.

Originally Published in Nov. 2019. Updated in Sept. 2021.