Improve Home Resale Value

Simple Ways To Improve Home Resale Value Using Paint & Restored Finishes

Choosing which home improvements to make in order to sell a home for maximum gain can be a tricky task. “What’s the ROI on this or that?” are common questions. In the world of painting and finishing, here’s some no-nonsense wisdom on ways to improve home resale value and reap maximum gain.

To begin, keep in mind that buyers aren’t going to look as closely at your home as you’d imagine.  It’s intimate to you, but they’re getting an impression. That said, we recommend walking into your home the way most buyers will and analyze it from a buyer’s point of view.  So start at your front door and walk in. What do you see? Does it look right? Proceed in a natural flow through the living spaces, then to the private bedrooms and baths. Glance in from a doorframe, maybe walk in a couple feet, but don’t over complicate things by walking a room’s perimeter edges and staring up and down with concern. Find the obvious, and fix it.

Realtors will advise that it’s important to neutralize any medium to dark tones in the home. A basic two coat repaint should suffice to bring these back to a more neutral tone. Don’t try to only do one coat: thin and insufficient coverage will be a move in the wrong direction. And while it may hurt you to erase an accent color you loved, remember this is for the new buyer, and it’s time to move on.

For painted trim, washing it can be highly effective rather than painting it. So start there. Some mild dish soap on a soft, lint free rag is a fantastic start. Paint the trim only if you must. Do not invest in painting items that are stained and finished: While everyone does love white woodwork, the ROI just isn’t there, so it’s not a cost-effective way to improve home resale value.

Now on to stained and finished woodwork. There’s a lot of it in the Milwaukee area, from New Berlin to Glendale, and from Kenosha to Menominee Falls. You’ve got to make sure it looks fresh! Sometimes a simple washing will do. Door edges, around the handles, and windowsills are common areas of dirt build up. Murphy’s oil soap can really make things look clean and nice. If that doesn’t do it, there are several finish restoration products available. A quick application of Howard Restor-A-Finish, for example, will add a touch of color back into your woodwork, and add some luster. Just like with washing, you should focus on the doors, door frames, and window trim, ledges, and then any obvious stretches of baseboard. You’ll be amazed how effective and easy this product is to use.

One final word of advice: Don’t make the mistake of thinking touching up your paint with those cans from the basement will work. It usually won’t, unless it was very recently painted. You’re more likely going to get a patchwork quilt effect, rather than a perfectly blended surface. So with that in mind, plan on painting walls at least from a corner to a corner. This minimizes the need to repaint a whole room.

At the end of the day, remember it’s about that overall impression. While painting and restoring some luster to woodwork are low cost, valuable updates, there are other important things to do. Make sure floors are clean, lighting is great, windows are washed, counters are clean, spaces are decluttered, and the home smells nice. Altogether, these actions will help you sell your home at a great price without pouring a bunch of money into it before listing.

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