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Should I Paint Before Selling My Home?

To Paint or Not to Paint

Selling a home is a complex process that involves a lot of decision-making. One question that often arises is whether or not to invest in a fresh coat of paint before putting the property on the market. You may be wondering: "Will painting increase my home's value? If so, by how much? Should I DIY it, or hire a professional painter?". In this article, we'll answer these questions and delve into the reasons why painting before selling might be a strategic move that pays off in the long run. We are going to cover:

A freshly painted house for sale.

The Power of First Impressions

First impressions matter, especially in the real estate market. This holds particularly true in the ever-competitive market where potential buyers quickly form opinions that can sway their home-buying decision-making process. Curb appeal, the initial visual appeal of the outside of a property, becomes the focal point for these critical first impressions.

Potential buyers, often navigating a multitude of listings, are inclined to make rapid judgments based on what they observe from the curb (as I'm sure you know if you've ever looked at homes for sale online). It's at this moment, where the exterior of your home steps into the spotlight, that a well-maintained and aesthetically pleasing exterior becomes a major component to getting your potential buyer to stop scrolling and view your listing. As the saying goes, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

Increasing the Sale Price of Your Home

Investing in painting your home before selling can yield a substantial return on investment. For example, articles by and First State Community Bank (among many others) show that homes with freshly painted interiors or exteriors can sell for a higher price than their not-painted counterparts. Some studies suggest it can increase your home's list price by 5%. Others mention that painting before selling has a 55% ROI for the interior and 107% ROI for the exterior. Therefore, it's not just a cosmetic improvement; it's a strategic move that can add significant value to your property.

Neutral Colours vs. Solid Colours

Choosing the right colour palette is another crucial aspect to consider when preparing your home for sale. While personal preferences play a role, opting for neutral colours can broaden the appeal to potential buyers. This is because neutral tones create a blank canvas that allows buyers to envision their own style, making it easier for them to picture themselves living in the space. When choosing neutral colours, we recommend opting for clean, off-white, light grey, and beige tones. These are considered pretty universal when it comes to painting the interior of your home before selling.

DIY vs. Professional Painting

To DIY or not to DIY, that is the question. On one hand, the DIY route may seem cost-effective, but it comes with its own set of challenges. For example, if you're new to painting, painting yourself could be a timely endeavour that likely will not result in a professional-looking ready-to-sell interior home paint job. Likewise, you should consider the size and complexity of the space you will be painting. Is it just a standard 12x12 room with basic trim and maybe a window or two? Go for it! But if it's a high-ceiling, many-windowed, intricately-trimmed room? You might want to opt for a professional painter. Professional painters bring expertise and efficiency to the table, ensuring a polished finish that DIY projects might struggle to achieve. Investing in professional painting can be a wise decision to make your home stand out in a competitive market.

Does Timing Matter?

Timing is everything, even when it comes to painting your home before selling. Consider the season and weather conditions when planning your paint job. Spring and summer are often ideal, allowing for quicker drying and showcasing your property in the best light.

Addressing Minor Repairs

A fresh coat of paint isn't just about aesthetics; it's an opportunity to address minor repairs. Patching up small imperfections and cracks before painting can contribute to an overall well-maintained and professional appearance. If you are living in a market that is not filled with first-time home buyers, repairs are something to consider. Many people moving into their 3rd, 4th, or 5th home often don't have the desire to do the grunt work of addressing many minor repairs.

Marketing Your Painted Home

The visual appeal of a painted home extends beyond the property itself. High-quality photos of your freshly painted home can significantly enhance your online listings and marketing materials, attracting more potential buyers. If you opted to paint for bright and neutral colours, be sure to update your listing showcasing these painting changes. Getting professional real estate photos with the correct equipment at the most optimal time of day can make a major difference in the amount of online impressions your listing gets. What's more, strategic painting can emphasize your home's unique features. Accentuating architectural details or focusing on standout areas can create visual interest and leave a lasting impression on potential buyers.

Consult with Real Estate Professionals

When in doubt, consult with real estate professionals. Experienced agents can provide valuable insights into market trends and buyer preferences. They understand the local market dynamics and can guide you on the most strategic painting decisions for your specific situation.


Is painting before selling really worth the investment?

Absolutely. Studies show that a freshly painted home can sell faster and at a higher price.

Can I paint my home myself to save money?

While DIY is an option, professional painting can offer a polished finish and save time in the long run.

What are the best neutral colours for selling a home?

Colours like beige, light grey, and off-white are popular choices for broad buyer appeal.

When is the best time to paint before selling?

Spring and summer are ideal seasons, allowing for quicker drying


In conclusion, painting before selling your home is a strategic investment that can enhance its appeal, increase market value, and expedite the selling process. While it requires thoughtful planning and consideration, the benefits often outweigh the costs. A well-painted home not only attracts potential buyers but also allows them to envision a future in the space. For more expert tips and personalized assistance, contact us at Shades & Stain —your trusted interior and exterior painters in Hamilton, Ontario. Reach out to us at our website or give us a call at (905) 517-9241.

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