Paint or Offer an Allotment

etr2002August 13, 2012

My husband and I are trying to prepare our home to be placed on the market within the next year. We live in a farmhouse that was built in 1940, and we gutted it about 10 years ago and have continued to make improvements over the years. We have a list of repairs that we know we need to do before it goes on the market, so we are trying to do them a little bit at a time. We have sunk a lot of money into the house and at this time, we do not plan to do anymore "projects" other than typical maintenance and upkeep because we know we will never recoup any more than what we have already spent (and probably not even some of that due to the local market). We have met with an appraiser and were quite happy to find-out that the value of our home has increased so much, however she did provide us with some tips for how to increase the value even more while not out-pricing us for the area. The realtors we have met with have been pretty much in-line with what the appraisor has stated, but there are differing opinions as to what we should do about painting.

My thought on painting is that we should go ahead and paint the interior before it goes on the market. My husband despises painting and the headaches that go with it. The professionals gave mixed advice, so what do you think...should we paint or provide an allotment? Our walls have very little markings but there are a few scuff marks here and there. I know some people will want to be able to pick their own colors while others want a move-in ready, freshly painted home. I just want to do all that we can to get the best price possible so we can put that money towards building our dream home.

I don't know if this makes any difference, but we have a small hobby farm (just under 4 acres) with a small barn and attached chicken house and another separate chicken house. We are in a rural setting, so whoever buys our home will likely do so because they want a country setting and possibly even looking for land as acreage around here starts at a minimum of $10,000 an acre for raw land.

Thanks for any input!

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nancylouise_gw

Painting is one of easiest fixes you can do to a home. I would go ahead and do it. It doesn't have to cost a fortune to paint in nice neutral colors. I absolutely would not give an allowance up front for painting if you choose not to. I don't give allowances for buyers "redecorating". Any negotiating is done if and when they make a written offer, not before. NancyLouise

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:39AM
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graywings123

It depends what colors are on the walls now.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:59AM
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nottina

I agree that it depends on what the colors are now. If they are neutral, leave them as is. If your walls are bold or have faux finishes or stencils, I would paint.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:20AM
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chibimimi

If your colors are neutral, do you have any of the original paint leftover for touch-ups? If so, it should be a quick and easy fix.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:32AM
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cearbhaill

I would absolutely paint.
It makes an enormous difference in the first impression and despite your husbands dislike of painting it is easy to do.
You could do it alone, for that matter.

No matter what incentives or allotments you offer that first impression is still something 90% of all buyers fall back on and IMO to disregard the importance of it is lunacy in this market.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 10:48AM
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etr2002

Thanks for the input. The colors are neutral and unfortunately, the paint was gunky (for lack of a better word) when I opened what leftover cans we still have. My fear was that by offering an allowance that potential buyers would immediately try to offer low-ball offers because they would think that we are already admitting that the house is less than perfect. It is an old house, but it has been well maintained over the years. I have decided that I am going to paint anyway. My husband works nights, so I can do it after he leaves at night and then he won't even be involved at all. Thanks!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:28AM
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Texas-Patriot

Common sense says to offer an allowance so the new owner can paint it whatever colors they prefer. But 95% of potential buyers cannot think beyond what they see. That means it's better to paint a neutral color, and eliminate that as an obstacle to selling.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 11:59AM
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adellabedella_usa

I wouldn't offer an allotment. If someone wants different colors than your nuetral, they can do it with their own time and money. I would put a new coat of paint on all the walls.

If you still have the lid to the paint, you might be able to get the old paint matched. If not, I'd find paint close to the original colors and repaint the entire room with that. Repainting close to the old colors would possibly save you from having to do a primer coat. Then you would probably only need to paint two coats.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 1:12PM
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kats_meow

I would probably paint although if the condition of the paint is good and the neutral color is attractive you could probably skip it. Usually though I paint before selling. Get more than one quote as I've had painting quotes vary widely.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:14PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

The OP told us: " I have decided that I am going to paint anyway. My husband works nights, so I can do it after he leaves at night and then he won't even be involved at all. Thanks!"

So no quotes necessary.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 6:44PM
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Happyladi

Since you know what the paint colors are try getting some new paint that is the same and try touching the paint up. I did this with my moms house and the paint matched perfectly! I have also done this in my own home with excellent results.

It doesn't always work but often does and will save you the trouble of completely repainting. .

If you do repaint do a nice neutral like Sherwin Williams Kilm Beige, don't do white.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:21PM
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Happyladi

Since you know what the paint colors are try getting some new paint that is the same and try touching the paint up. I did this with my moms house and the paint matched perfectly! I have also done this in my own home with excellent results.

It doesn't always work but often does and will save you the trouble of completely repainting. .

If you do repaint do a nice neutral like Sherwin Williams Kilm Beige, don't do white.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 7:22PM
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kats_meow

Kilim Beige is a great color. That is the main color we painted our house when we sold.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2012 at 9:53PM
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greenthumbfish

Seriously, it depends on who is taking the pictures!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 12:45AM
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kashka_kat

You can get the colors professionally matched - at Sherwin Williams (I think- I seem to remember going there once to match some siding colors) or a local specialist can do it.

That way - no taping, priming required - just go over it with a roller and get a fresh clean surface.

I beg to differ with some of ya'll - and think I agree with the hubby - painting is NOT the quick easy thing people seem to think it is. If it was, then why would the professional painters be charging so much. Maybe the roller part is quick, but certainly not all the prep!

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 2:17PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

Pros charge because people are unwilling - for whatever reason - to take on the job themselves.

I personally LOVE to paint and think it VERY easy.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 3:43PM
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dreamgarden

I am grateful that we didn't have to paint before we moved in.

Our seller painted the entire house a nice neutral light beige.

One less thing to do.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 1:36AM
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cearbhaill

"I personally LOVE to paint and think it VERY easy."

This is me.
I have done the complete interiors of both my homes 100% by myself on more than one occasion and that has included ceilings, stairwells, and garages. The only times my husband has ever picked up a paint brush was the two times we painted our home exterior, and that was only because he did the pressure washing and spraying of primer and got into it.

Painting can get tedious towards the end of a very big job but is nothing any able bodied adult isn't capable of given sufficient motivation.
And money is not my primary motivator here- it is because I am the one that is going to be lying in bed looking at the delineation between walls and ceilings and I know I will do a better job than anyone else.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 6:21AM
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brickeyee

What market are you selling into?

Buyers that want 'turn key'?

Buyers looking for bargains?

Fresh paint may help with a faster sale, unless it is taken as being used to conceal things.

If you have a 'non-standard' pallet on the walls neutral may help a lot.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:35AM
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kirkhall

For those who love to paint and do it often...

Any tips? How do you keep paint off flooring/carpets (esp when rolling (mine always seems to platter) and painting ceilings?

I'm all about tips.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 7:54PM
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LuAnn_in_PA

"How do you keep paint off flooring/carpets (esp when rolling (mine always seems to platter) and painting ceilings? "

Plastic dropcloths are your friend!
I use Benjamin Moore paint, which I have never had splatter.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:46PM
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noellabelle

we use old sheets as dropcloths. I'm sure there are some you tube videos that show the basics. We are currently repainting our hallway, and my 6 yr old is my main assistant (she LOVES to paint!)

I had never painted before we moved here 8 years ago. The entire house was covered in bad 80's (shimmery pinks and dusty blues). I was 6 months pg with my first, but I learned fast and my dh and I have painted every inch of our home at least once. You get the hang of it pretty quickly.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2012 at 12:40PM
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terrene

If the walls are in overall good shape, I would just do some touch up. House buyers are unlikely to notice the difference while viewing a house.

I beg to differ with some of ya'll - and think I agree with the hubby - painting is NOT the quick easy thing people seem to think it is

I agree with this. I am a landlord and property manager, and rarely see a good amateur paint job (and even seen some bad "professional" ones). People don't prep properly; they slop paint all over the edges, ceiling, fixtures, and trim; they even paint around the outline of the furniture and bookcases! Etc. I made the mistake of letting tenants paint once because "our brother in law is a painter and he's going to help us" and am still fixing their mistakes. I even paid for the paint!! Ugh.

As a buddy (former painter, wall paper hanger and home inspector) says: "Everybody thinks they're a painter" but few can actually do a professional job.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 10:45AM
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word_doc

Painting tips:
1. Good paint makes a big difference. We use Benjamin Moore or Sherwin Williams.
2. Learn how to paint an edge. I think you might be able to see some youtube videos that give you an idea. I have my own method and unfortunately that has made me the trim painter. Blech.
3. Keep a damp (almost wet) rag on you. This was taught to me by a professional painter lady. She would fix any "oops" right away with it and it worked great.
4. Excellent brushes are a must. I have a bunch in different widths, angled tip and not.
5. If you are not sure of yourself and you have some detailed stuff to do, you can always try an art paintbrush for tiny areas. I have had to do this several times for touch-ups. Works great. I just use the cheapie kind that are meant for small areas. A kids' art paintbrush (or a set) would probably be fine.
6. Drop cloths are important. Lately we have been rolling out paper from this big old roll of heavy-duty kraft paper I bought for gift wrapping last Christmas. It holds up well and takes pretty well to taping.
7. Prep work will quite often take as long, nearly as long, or sometimes even longer than the actual painting. Once you realize that, it sort of puts the job in perspective somehow.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2012 at 11:36AM
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ncrealestateguy

Buyers buy a particualar home because they think it offers the best value for them compared to the competition. They do not buy a particular home because the seller is offering a home owner warranty or a paint allowance or seller paid closing costs.
IMO, don't give up anything before you have even started the negotiations! Save that leverage for the real deal and use these concessions to get you a little of what you want.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2012 at 7:34AM
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