Should I Paint My House Before Selling?

Are you thinking about selling your house and wondering whether it should have a splash of new paint before you put it on the market? You’re not alone. It’s a question any seller with a home that’s looking a little less than perfect on the outside asks themselves. But is it really worth it?

Unfortunately, there’s no one size fits all answer to this question; whether or not it’s worth painting your house depends on a number of factors. Fortunately, you’re in the right place to learn about what those factors are and decide whether or not painting your house is the right next step for you. Let’s dive into the pros and cons of painting your house before selling it.

Pros of Painting Your House Before Selling

First Impressions

Let’s start with first impressions. You’ve probably heard the saying about never getting a second chance to make a first impression. This couldn’t be truer when selling your house, especially since your house needs to strike all the right chords twice – in the listing photos and when potential buyers pull up to the curb. That’s why we say a house has good “curb” appeal – because it looks great when people pass by.

It Can Make Your Home Look Loved and Looked After

A fresh coat of paint gives a house a clean, updated, and well-maintained look, which will help buyers perceive that the house has been looked after, even if some aspects of the home need some work. While a fresh coat of paint won’t win over every buyer, it will help buyers be more forgiving about a few things inside the house that are showing their age.

May Increase Perceived Value

A new paint job can also increase the perceived value of your home. Buyers will be comparing your home with others on the market, and a newly painted house can stand out from the crowd.

Remember, the outside of your home is like the cover of a book – it sets the tone for what visitors can expect – and it also shows the world how the people that live there want to be perceived. Since most people are at least a little concerned about what neighbors and passersby think of them, a house that looks fresh and cared for on the outside will increase the perceived value for potential buyers.

The Cons of Painting Your House Before Selling


Depending on the size of your house, the type of paint you choose, and whether you hire professionals or do it yourself, painting can be a significant expense. Don’t forget the cost of your time and energy if you choose to DIY – you’ll still need to take a weekend (or more) to clean the house, prepare it for a new coat of paint, and then paint it – potentially 2-3 times before it covers the home’s former color.

It Won’t Hide Major Issues

We talked about the increased perceived value in the pros section, but it’s important to keep in mind that it won’t hide all ills. Imagine trying to sell a beautiful Ferrari that had no engine or wheels – this is what it can be like if you’re selling a home that’s beautifully presented on the outside but has some major issues on the inside. You’ll still have a house with a higher perceived value, but the pool of buyers interested in the home will still be relatively small.

Potential to Choose the Wrong Color

There’s always a risk when it comes to color selection. It’s important to choose a color that will appeal to a broad range of buyers. While you may love the look of brown, the current trend may lean white, or vice versa.

So, Is Painting Your House Before Selling a Good Idea for You?

So how do you decide if painting is right for you? Generally speaking, it is a good idea to give your home a fresh coat of paint, so here are some considerations that may mean it’s not going to be the best idea for you:

  • The current exterior of the home is fine – Be honest with yourself; are you hoping that a fresh coat of paint will make up for other issues in the home? If the paint is fine – perhaps a little faded or simply a little grubby in places, then in all likelihood, all you need to do is do a little landscaping and give the exterior of your home a good clean.
  • The paint is peeling – If the paint is peeling and especially if that peeling paint will be visible in photos, then it will be worth having that paint stripped off and repainted, provided the inside of your home has more to offer. By that, we mean that the interior is in good condition and will appeal to a wide range of buyers. If the house is a fixer-upper from top to bottom, you’ll probably not see a return on investment from painting the home.
  • The market is hot – If every house in your neighborhood is selling within a few weeks of going onto the market, you may not need to paint the exterior for it to sell. Will it help? Of course, but if the market is hot it may not make much of a difference in how quickly you find a buyer.
  • You can’t really afford it – If getting the home painted is going to be a financial stretch for you (or is out of reach right now), then it’s not going to be worth finding the money to have the home painted. Yes, a fresh coat of paint will increase the perceived value and help it sell faster, but you may not get your money back.

How much does it cost to paint the exterior of your house?

You’ll need to contact a local contractor to know for sure how much it will cost, but here’s a general guide: Home Guide reports the average cost as being $1,900 – $6,900, with the minimum for DIY starting at $400. Of course, the bigger the home, the bigger the cost, and homes over 3,000 square feet will cost $3,500 – $10,000 or more. A house painter in Massachusetts sets the average cost for a colonial home at about $7,200, with the average of large homes in that style at $12,500.

Can’t Afford to Paint Your Home? Don’t Panic

We hope this guide has provided some helpful insights into the pros and cons of painting your home before selling. But remember, if a fresh paint job isn’t within your budget right now, don’t panic. Many buyers are looking for a house they can make their own, and they might even prefer to choose their own colors.

Sometimes, it’s the bigger issues – like a leaky roof or outdated electrical wiring – that might make your home tougher to sell. If you find yourself with a property that needs more work than you can handle, or you’re in a rush to sell, we have good news for you.

We buy homes in Massachusetts in any condition, as-is, for cash. There’s no need for you to invest in repairs or improvements. We simplify the selling process, making it possible for you to sell your home in just a matter of weeks. You don’t have to worry about the typical hassles of home selling – simply sell to us and move on with your life. To find out more about how we buy properties, or to get a no-obligation cash offer for your home, click here.

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