“Love at first sight." • Yes, this adage even applies to the potential home buyers who look at your home for sale. First impressions count. How a buyer feels when he or she walks into your home will determine how long they stay and if they will ultimately put in an offer to buy. One of the most economical and high-impact ways to enhance that first impression is paint. • The right interior paint colors can exude a sense of calm and inviting warmth, while also making your home look clean, bright and open. Your goal is for buyers to want to linger, while allowing them time to envision their own personal furnishings in your home. Colors that are too dark or harsh will cause the buyers to react by leaving, which means no sale. So, you must think like a buyer. What colors will appeal to the most people? • Here are some tips in using paint to give you a big advantage in selling your home:
Entry door: Giving your front door a fresh coat of paint will give it a shiny new look to stand out from your neighbors' homes, and it will also speak volumes about how well you've maintained and cared for your home.
Interior wall colors: With thousands of choices, selecting paint colors to help attract a buyer can overwhelming. You'll find that neutral colors are best for properly staging your home, but that doesn't mean just white or beige. Quite the contrary. Look for natural earth tones, such as muted greens, blues, yellows, grays and creams. These hues are soothing and work with most fabrics and furniture you might have.
For walls, flat or eggshell sheens present best, while satin or semigloss are great for baseboards and other trim.
Another important point to remember is that these lighter colors will make your interiors look better in online photographs, which most Realtors use to market your home.
Top Benjamin Moore paint picks:
1. Benjamin Moore 1563 Quiet Moments: This light blue gray oozes tranquility. (In a recent survey on housebeautiful.com, blue was called out as the favorite paint color by 29 percent of readers, interior designers and design bloggers.)
2. Benjamin Moore OC-11 Clay Beige: This linen-colored beige works great in traditional or contemporary interiors.
3. Benjamin Moore HC 172 Revere Pewter: This warm pale gray is a classic color that has transcended time.
4. Benjamin Moore 1501 Paris Rain: This luxe green gray was derived from a fall Paris sky.
5. Benjamin Moore OC -36 Niveous: This pale cream with just a hint of color is wonderfully soft and elegant.
6. Benjamin Moore Decorators White: This snowy white gives trim a new, crisp look.
Wallpaper and specialty finishes: As gorgeous as these treatments can be, bright wallpaper patterns or faux finishes are typically too specific to the home's current interiors. Potential buyers may just see dollar signs — in the form of the costs they will have to pay to remove and install something they like. When possible, wall coverings, stencils, murals and specialty finishes should be removed and replaced with neutral wall paints.
Bathroom tile: If your house has outdated pink tile from the 1950s, or even ugly faux marble tile from the '90s, you might want to consider painting over the tile. A neutral such as white paint can provide a low-cost alternative to re-tiling the bathroom, but give the appearance of new tile.
Wood paneling and moldings: Ancient wood-stained paneling might be dating your house, or it just may be in really bad condition. Instead of removing it, apply some fresh paint in any of the colors that you would consider for drywall, but paint it in a satin or semigloss finish like the trim. In addition, freshly painted chair railings, crown moldings, baseboards, doors and window casings will give a pop to any room.
Hardwood floors: If your hardwood floors are already painted, make sure these, too, have a fresh coat of paint. Nothing is worse than dirty painted wood floors.
Michelle Jennings Wiebe, ASID, is president and principal designer of Studio M in Tampa. You can reach her at (813) 221-5260 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Studio M, go to interiorsbystudiom.com.