Ask Esther: A fresh coat of neutral paint offers blank canvas for home buyers

Esther Prosser

Dear Esther – We are getting our home ready to sell. The last time we painted it was about 10 years ago. Our agent told us we should repaint and gave us some neutral paint choices. Wouldn’t it be better to offer money to the new buyers so they can choose their own colors instead of painting it a boring neutral, since they may not like neutral?

Esther: Your objection to painting makes sense. Why spend money doing something that your buyer may not like? Instead, offer them a credit to do it their way.

It sounds good, but unfortunately, homes sales do not support it. Buying a home is an emotional decision. Buyers need to love your place. This love affair begins at the front door. A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest, most dramatic and most inexpensive ways to enhance their first impression. Freshly painted doors, walls and trim give the message that your home is clean, bright and well cared for. If you do not have experience in painting, hire a painter as a sloppy paint job can be worse than no paint job.

Why neutral, you ask? Buyers want to imagine your home as a blank canvas for their own vision. Neutral colors will help amplify the experience of light and space and will keep them focused on the essentials. As they leave, you don’t want them referring to your place as “the house with the blue den.” Instead, you’re hoping for “the house with the large kitchen” or “the home with the magnificent fireplace.”

Buyers need to love your home as soon as they step into it. Without a doubt, a fresh coat of paint of a neutral color is one of the best ways to begin that love affair.

If you have real estate questions, please send them to Esther Prosser, Stoltzfus Realtors, 484.269.7153, esther@stoltzfus.com, PO Box 20, Elverson, PA 19520.