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The paint job of a home’s interior walls is one of its most important features when selling. But how can you tell when it’s time for a new coat?

Did you know that 94% of real estate agents recommend a fresh coat of paint on a property you’re trying to sell? Or that a fresh paint job can increase the price of that property by as much as two thousand dollars? Crazy, right?

That’s why even if your investment property doesn’t have peeling walls or terrible wallpaper, you should seriously consider a new interior paint job.

Maybe the walls in one room are faded from sun exposure. Maybe one of the home’s former occupants was a smoker, or had a thing for scented candles. Maybe the person you purchased the property from had terrible taste in colors.

If one of the above applies, your property could probably use a touchup. But what paint job should you go for, exactly? Here are a few pointers:

  • Neutral colors are your best option. Always remember that you are trying to sell this property – not live in it. Keep your personal tastes out of your paint job, and stick to neutral or earth-toned colors throughout. And avoid an all-white palette, while you’re at it. White is a bright color, not a neutral one. Stick to off-white.

  • The finish matters too.  The type of paint you use is important, too – and don’t try doing anything too outlandish here, either. Stick to gloss-finish paint for wood, and trim, and satin or eggshell for walls. Ceilings should almost always have a flat finish.

  • Different rooms go better with different paint jobs. While there is something to be said for using the same paint job throughout your property, it may also be worth your time to consider going room-by-room. A bathroom, for example, favors lighter colors, while kitchens tend to look best with a soft, appealing palette and bedrooms are better painted very neutral.

  • Quality is essential. Even if you put in a fresh coat of paint, people will notice even small faults. Hire a professional painter to do the job for you. It might cost a little more, but the potential return on your investment is worth the extra cash.

  • Don’t forget about the garage. Don’t neglect the interior walls of the garage. It might not be as noticeable as the living room or kitchen, but it’s still important. In fact, for homebuyers 55+, a garage ranked among the top 3 most important spaces in a home according to a recent survey

A home’s paint job is one of the first thing a prospective buyer sees when they step through the door. Make sure yours is easy on the eyes and looks good. You’ll get a lot more value out of your investment that way – and at minimal cost, too.

This guest post is written by Armando Montelongo, Jr., a real estate mogul, mentor, philanthropist, and speaker in the San Antonio area.