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Want to sell your home fast? Paint it.

Is there a golden ticket to raising the value of your home before putting it on the market and quickly finding a buyer? Yes, in fact, there is.

A fresh coat of paint is an inexpensive and highly effective selling feature that can take your home to the top of a buyer’s list in a hurry. A gallon of paint usually runs about $25, leaving plenty of room in your budget to purchase rollers, tape and drop cloths.

Painting is the cost-effective answer to the home-improvement dilemma. A fresh layer of paint brightens, cleans and updates rooms – looks that sell. Target the main rooms in your house like the kitchen, living room and master bathroom.

Keep in mind that most people are drawn toward neutral colors. The less busy the room looks the better, so shy away from using bold accent colors on walls and intricate patterns that ruin the feel of the space. Avoid dark shades; lighter colors make rooms feel bigger.

Exterior painting is just as important. Unless you live in a neighborhood that invites certain colors, like blue trim in tropical areas or fiery shades in the Southwest, stick with your neutrals. Earth tones sell. There is no need to experiment with borders or use multiple color themes throughout the house. If you are trying to get your home to market quickly and cost effectively, then a simple paint job should be a top priority.

(Source: Linda Lee, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors. Union Tribune)

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