One of the most frequent questions I get is: “Should I repaint my house before selling it?” Despite painting being among the less intensive home improvement tasks, it demands both time and financial investment. In the most recent robust seller’s market, properties were often sold “as-is,” with buyers relying solely on virtual images for decision-making. There were times I would advise sellers that painting wasn’t necessary if the home was in good condition in a desirable location.

However, when sellers want to maximize the amount of offers and the sale price, I frequently do advise painting if budget and time allows. An example is a home we have coming on the market in Kirkwood this month. After the estate sale, I took a second in-depth look at the home. It is in one of the most popular suburbs in St. Louis, sits on a beautiful lot, has a fantastic layout, and has been in the same family since it was built. Without furniture, I could see the walls better and based on several factors, I advised the sellers to paint. The home will be truly move-in ready if painted, and buyers will be able to make any other updates on their own timetable.

In any market, details matter when it comes to selling your home. Below we explore the pros and cons of painting your home before selling, and what you can expect in terms of ROI.

neutral whites for homes
Most common advice states to keep your interior colors neutral so your home is easy to sell. White and cream neutrals allow prospective buyers to envision their own belongings and personality in a home rather than seeing your sense of style. Warm tones tend to have more versatility for room size and shape, while cool neutrals may only work better with smaller, darker rooms. Pure white can be stark, especially if the home is empty.


1. Enhanced Aesthetic Appeal:

A fresh coat of paint can instantly transform the look and feel of a home. Neutral, modern colors can make spaces appear larger, brighter, and more inviting, appealing to a wider range of potential buyers. A well-painted home gives the impression of being well-maintained and move-in ready.

2. Increased Perceived Value:

Buyers are often willing to pay more for a home that appears well-cared for and aesthetically pleasing. By investing in painting, you can potentially increase the perceived value of your property, leading to higher offers and a faster sale.

3. Competitive Edge:

In a crowded real estate market, standing out is key. A freshly painted home can differentiate your property from similar listings, attracting more attention from prospective buyers and potentially sparking a bidding war. This is especially true regarding your photos. A freshly painted home will photograph better and online photos are what get buyers in the door. The more people who see your home, the better.

4. Addressing Maintenance Issues:

Painting your home provides an opportunity to address any underlying maintenance issues such as cracks, stains, or mildew. By tackling these issues upfront, you can alleviate buyer concerns and avoid negotiations over repair costs during the closing process.


1. Cost:

While painting can yield a high ROI, it does come with upfront costs. Depending on the size of your home and the extent of the painting project, expenses can add up quickly. However, it’s essential to weigh these costs against the potential increase in selling price and reduced time on the market.

2. Time Investment:

Painting a home can be time-consuming, especially if you’re doing it yourself. Coordinating with painters or tackling the project on weekends can delay your timeline for listing your home. It’s crucial to factor in the time required for preparation, painting, and drying when planning your selling strategy.

3. Personal Taste vs. Market Preferences:

While you may love bold colors or unique design choices, it’s essential to consider the preferences of potential buyers. Opting for neutral, universally appealing colors increases the likelihood of broad buyer appeal and a faster sale. Straying too far from market preferences may limit your pool of interested buyers.

What to Expect:

1. Increased Home Value:

Studies have shown that painting your home before selling can provide a significant return on investment. According to the National Association of Realtors, painting the interior of your home can result in a 1-3% increase in sale price, while exterior painting can yield a 2-5% increase.

2. Faster Sale:

A well-painted home is often more attractive to buyers, leading to quicker offers and a shorter time on the market. In a competitive real estate environment, time is of the essence, and painting can help expedite the selling process.

3. Positive First Impression:

First impressions matter in real estate. A freshly painted home creates a positive initial impact on potential buyers, setting the tone for their overall perception of the property. This can lead to increased interest and a higher likelihood of offers.

In conclusion, while painting your home before selling requires an initial investment of time and money, the potential ROI makes it a worthwhile endeavor for most sellers. By enhancing the aesthetic appeal, perceived value, and marketability of your property, painting can help you maximize your profits and expedite the selling process. Ultimately, it’s essential for us to meet and weigh the pros and cons and to determine the best strategy for achieving your selling goals. Contact me with any questions or when you’re ready to get started.