I am planning to list my home at the end of February and I am preparing my home for sale by de-cluttering. My sister has suggested that I should paint over the bright colours and change a few things around the home and she says I should get rid of even more stuff than I planned. My home is about 25 years old and some things (like the kitchen) are dated but clean. I’m not sure that painting will be worth it. I think people will be able to imagine what other colours will look like and I figure they would rather choose their own paint. I have enclosed are a few photographs of my home. Do I really need to change the paint? I don’t mind doing a few things that would help to sell the house but I don’t want to have major renovations. I would appreciate your input and suggestions for recommended changes. Thanks Paula
I often tell clients that when you list your house it is a bit like applying for a job. You want to present a good resume – the listing description and the photographs of your home are like the resume that gets the interview and in the case of a home listing – good pictures can get you showing. When I look at the pictures that you have sent, I can tell you that your sister is giving you good advice. When a room has all the wall space filled with décor and the entire perimeter of the room filled with furniture it makes a home look smaller. Sometimes a room with many knick-knacks and unique furniture pieces will look nice and cozy when you are in the room however, the camera will see this differently. The camera takes your 3-dimensional room and converts it into a 2-dimensional picture and in doing so, overlaps items in the room, making it look cluttered. I suggest you select a few pieces to remove from each room and place them into storage.
As you mentioned, and as I can see by the kitchen picture, your cabinetry is oak. Oak was very popular several years ago however, most buyers are looking for a more updated look. Obviously, it would not be cost effective to change the entire kitchen however by updating the kitchen hardware to steel or brushed nickel and changing out the dark green kitchen countertop, you would give your kitchen a more updated look.
The other item in your dining room that I would recommend to update is the light fixtures. A more updated fixture can give your room a face-lift.
YES paint- if you only take one of my suggestions take this one- and unless you are a professional painter or paint and prep like one then hire one!!! I can usually tell when the owner has painted a home. A good painter does more than just have a steady hand he/she knows to fill cracks, holes, and sand bumps. A professional paint job can take years off a home. If you not good with choosing neutral colours, then get a colour consult from a home decorator or consult the staff at a specialized paint store. I have found most staff at the specialized paint stores have a great eye for colour and some will do colour consults. If you are not sure what to choose, ask a salesperson what are the current popular paint colours. Popular colours can help steer you in the direction to a mass appeal. Remember you want to appeal the masses this is not going to be your home any longer and the broader the appeal the more buyers there will be that will like your home. Finally in regards to your comment about buyers using their imagination- well most people can’t imagine – they want to see it and even need to see it- Again as in my analogy, you wouldn’t go to a job interview wearing sweatpants and ask your future boss to imagine what you would look like in a suit. Put your best foot forward from day one with your listing -clean, de-clutter, and paint.
Good luck selling