Gene Mullen's Blog
Preparing to put your home on the market almost invariably involves three things: painting, cleaning, and organizing. Since you might also need to do some repairs and updating, it's crucial that you prioritize your tasks and make sure you're not spending more money, time, and energy than necessary.
Consulting with your real estate agent about what projects are the most important will help you make the most of your available resources.
All home sellers have a different timetable in which they need to get their home ready for potential buyers. Few people, however, have the luxury of tackling those projects slowly or sporadically. When you factor in your busy schedule with everything that typically needs to be done before a house goes on the market, time management and self motivation become crucial elements in the process.
Wall painting often tops the list
In spite of your best intentions, walls and doors are going to get scuffed, scratched, and marred. Small, but noticeable holes from nails and thumbtacks also have a way of increasing with every passing year. Regardless of how careful you think you've been, it's virtually impossible to keep your walls looking fresh, clean, and well maintained. Bathrooms pose even more of a challenge because moisture and steam from showers will gradually cause paint to crack, peel, and lose its original smooth quality. Bedroom walls, especially those of children and teenagers, will also be subjected to a lot of wear and tear.
Fortunately the cost of a couple gallons of paint, along with brushes, rollers, and other basic supplies, is an affordable solution for most home sellers. It's one of the most cost-effective methods of freshening up your house, and it significantly enhances your home's eye appeal and marketability.
One of the pitfalls of repainting your walls, however, is the possibility of choosing colors that may turn off some potential buyers. Colors which you may describe as vibrant, splashy, or cool, might be viewed by others as garish, tacky, or "over the tip." That's why it's often best to play it safe by choosing colors that are considered neutral, such as grey, beige, tan, eggshell, and ivory.
By veering away from colors that might be considered too bold and strident, you're increasing the likelihood that your décor will appeal to the widest range of potential buyers. While there may be exceptions to just about every rule -- especially as it pertains to decorating -- your objective as a house seller is to increase the probability that your home will appeal to as many people as possible!
"Immaculate" is a good goal
Another thing prospective buyers will frequently notice is the level of cleanliness in your home. While it's difficult (at best) to keep your home absolutely spotless all the time, it does pay to establish a few family rules and expectations to help you maintain a semblance of order until your house is sold!