Saturday, August 11, 2007

"What improvements will make the biggest difference in attracting buyers to the home I'm going to flip?"

One of the questions I get most is, "What improvements will make the biggest difference in attracting buyers to the home I'm going to flip?"

I answer that question in one word: paint. Then I go on to explain that a carefully chosen painting scheme can make the difference between a looker and a buyer as people walk through your house.

One of the most profitable places you can spend time on is in the kitchen. The kitchen truly is the heart of a home, so it needs special attention when you begin remodeling a house with flipping in mind.

The first thing you always want to do is bring in lots of light to a kitchen. Begin by using a light-colored paint, although it’s not quite as easy as just finding the brightest white you can find and slapping it on the walls and ceiling. Choosing the perfect paint color also has to do with what season of the year your home will be on the market, the price you're going to be asking, who your target buyers are going be, the area your house in, and how it’s situated on the lot.

To give you an idea of how a well-chosen paint scheme can work, let’s look at my own house. I live in Southern California and our home has wood shingles on the outside, but we've painted the exterior trim of the house green with brick red accents. That means that our front door has been painted red. It looks great from the outside, and we love it.

However, when you walk into the house, you'll find that the interior walls have been painted a lighter shade of green. Using a slightly lighter shade of green in the entryway to the house makes for a nice, smooth transition from the outside to the inside. By carefully choosing our colors, we've made sure that it all flows together.

So when you paint the inside of a flip, make sure that you bring some of the outside colors into the entryway. That will reinforce the exterior theme, which is important, because the potential buyers probably liked that theme. After all, it was inviting enough to prompt them to take a look at the inside. Taking a lighter version of the main color scheme and using it inside makes a house feel harmonious, and will go a long way toward making people comfortable.

About the chicken: Jennifer West, Caricature Artist, painted a "Chicken Soup" theme in the Faux Flip featured on TLC's Flip That House scheduled to air September 29.

Mural Artist Kim Schaffer and Decorative Painter Evan Dahlke helped me finish the kitchen paint with a tea glaze after my friend Imelda and I painted it three times.

Copyright © 2007 Jeanette Fisher

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