To Paint or Not to Paint, That is the question

Thu. July 14, 2005 12:00 AM
by Greg Jarvis

The topic of painting may seem like a no-brainer, but as a real estate broker, I find this is an issue that needs to be addressed, especially when it involves gay men.

You buy the perfect home, move in, and of course paint the entire home in your favorite colors (and gay men tend to have quite a bit of imagination when it comes to colors). You are of course trying to create a comfortable, sexy atmosphere where you can entertain guests, relax and create a certain mood... reds, purples, mauve, dark brown, textures, maybe even a trompe l'oeil or mural. Then, two years later, you list your home for sale.

Chances are, the colors you painted aren't going to be in anymore or aren't going to appeal to a general audience. Many of the color choices I run into out there are quite interesting... and 9 out of 10 gay homes have really strong paint choices... and I'm as guilty as any of you.

There are many factors involved in marketing and selling your home. You can't control most of them. The esthetics of your home play a huge role in the sales process, and it's one of the things you can have direct control over, especially painting.

Putting fresh paint on your home, both on the outside and the inside, is usually the one thing you can do that pays off the fastest. You'll get more buyers looking, and they'll like what they see more, translating into a better chance for a quick offer at a higher price.

I hate to recommend that you depersonalize your home, but try to stick with light, neutral colors. These seem to resonate best with buyers. A fresh coat of light beige on interior walls will freshen up your home and make it more marketable. Many buyers can't picture their furnishing in a home with too much color. Colors also tend to create different emotions for different people.

If you don't plan on being there long, you might want to think twice about getting too wild with your colors. Some colors aren't that easy to cover up.

Simply put, new, neutral colored paint is usually the most profitable improvement you can make when getting your home ready for sale. So unless your paint is already in like new condition, you probably should paint.