Selling Your Home: You Might Want to Start With a Paint Brush
Getting your home ready to sell for the best price often starts with painting the perfect sale.
"Oftentimes people are selling a home that they've lived in for 30 or 40 years and they're madly in love with the wallpaper but it is extremely dated," says John Peek, president and owner of Peek Brothers Painting Contractors.
Things like wallpaper and color can significantly influence buyers. So it is worth carefully looking over your home before you put it on the market to see what areas need touching up - or perhaps an entire re-do. If you find the wallpaper has to go, then knowing how to make the change is equally important so that you don't end up with an even bigger mess.
"To strip wallpaper can be very time-consuming, expensive, and damaging to the underlying surface - making it difficult to paint," Peek says. He adds, "You can paint over wallpaper if you prime it first with an oil-based primer such as Kilz. If you do that, it seals the surface well and then you can go over it with water-based paint. But if you go directly over wallpaper with water-based paint, without priming it with an oil-based undercoat, it will peel up at the edges. So the critical first step is to prime it with an oil-based undercoat," Peek explains.
To paint the perfect sale, Peek suggests carefully looking around your home for the holes that frequently don't get filled after you've taken down family photos and artwork. "I'll oftentimes go into homes and homeowners have put spackle up, and they've just smeared a big chunk on the wall and then let it dry," Peek says.
He offers this little trick to get a better outcome. "Take the spackle and put it in the hole and then take a wet sponge and lightly wipe the surface. It removes all excess spackle from around the hole and it just fills the hole itself. Oftentimes you can get by without having to touch it up."
Many sellers wonder how to get rid of a stain in the ceiling. Peek says you don't always have to re-paint the entire ceiling. "Say you've had all the leaks fixed in the roof and you still have some stains. Sometimes you can get by without painting by putting a solution of half-bleach and half-water in a squirt bottle and lightly spritzing the surface until it's wet," Peek says. A second spray of the area will often diminish or completely remove the stain and you might not even need to paint.
If you do need to paint the interior or exterior of your home, says Mike Chism, president and owner of Chism Brothers Painting, you can avoid doing the whole house by touching up critical areas such as the front door, trim and fascia board.
Chism also recommends cleaning the exterior of your home to give it a new and brighter look.
A little tender loving care for your home before you list it is a warm, welcoming sign for potential buyers.
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