Hello again !

This week I'm writing to talk to you about paint and flooring, and how to make it work in your favor when selling a home.

Every time I visit a house I get the questions "Do I need to paint?" and "Do I need to re-carpet?" There's always a bit of an uncomfortable silence while I work up the nerve to tell my client the God's Honest Truth. My client looks at me with the expectation of pain, and I say in no uncertain terms ....."that depends". :-)

The reality is that we can sell "Any" home in "Any" condition, in "Any" market climate if price isn't a factor. However if you're going for top dollar then yes, you're going to have to address carpet and paint. You see, the reality of the situation is that every buyer walks into your front door with the "hope" that they'll discover their dream home in a condition that needs little or no work, and that they can move right in to without effort. The irony is that regardless of the condition, or color scheme, EVERYONE paints, no matter what. So you'd think that paint would be overlooked in all cases. Painting is part of the process of 'making a home your own'. But there's a difference between painting because you 'want' to, and painting because you 'need' to. The reason we paint homes to a neutral color is to eliminate the urgency. By eliminating the urgency of the painting, you flip an emotional switch in the buyers head changing something that might have been a grudging, grueling necessity to a bit of Saturday afternoon fun.

Remember that a buyer always...ALWAYS... purchases based on emotion, and then justifies the purchase (and the offer price) logically. If they love the layout, the location, and the amenities, and the paint is a neutral color that doesn't clash with their furnishing, you end up with an emotional positive, and a logical positive. If everything is great but there are sections of the home that are scuffed, or painted a color that looks great with your stuff, but terrible with theirs, suddenly you create the emotional baggage that goes along with the need to leave their stuff in boxes while they attempt to move in and then immediately paint the entire house while they shuffle boxes around to keep them out of the way. They imagine mess, hassle, frustration, and time...lots and lots of time. This immediately brings to mind the use of a professional...which drives up the cost of the job, and suddenly, something that might have only cost you an few hours of work and a couple hundred dollars, suddenly costs you $10k off your asking price for the 'hassle' factor.

The other irony is that when dealing with worn or stained flooring, all buyers will swear on their mothers grave that they won't buy the house unless they first re-carpet. Statistically this only ever happens about 30% of the time. Typically they run out of disposable income during the purchase, and then are years getting around to it. Maybe they 'never' get around to it. BUT that doesn't help you, because when they're negotiating for the home, they're daydreaming about high end, stain resistant, hoity toity carpet with upgraded padding . And do they price it? OH NOOOO...that's too hard. They just guess. And then pad the guess to be sure, And they don't want to break even either. If they're going to deal with dirty carpet they're going to penalize you for pain and suffering.

On the other hand, if you were to rip out the carpet and replace it with new, on the low end of the mid-range carpet with 'ok' padding ( like the builders do) they'll be thrilled and will never touch it. They may daydream about it but it won't impact the negotiation because what you've got in place will last them past their stay in the home.

So...carpet and paint...do ya have to? YES!!!

Now for one last comment on color selection; stick with soft neutrals but go dark enough that any trim work (that should be painted glossy white) will stand out clearly in photographs but not so dark that primer will be required to cover it. Also..and this is important....It does you NO good whatsoever to paint your whole house white. White is not a 'neutral color scheme'. It's the complete absence of color. You might as well sell the inside of a milk carton. Don't get fancy with accent walls either. Remember the color has to match their stuff to stay, and you don't know what direction their tastes run. Khakis were invented to go with everything. Use the same logic in your color selection. Think business casual. ;-)

If you're looking for help with these things, give us a call or reply to this email. We're happy to send over a marketing professional to get you going in the right direction. It's all part of the service!