Painting the exterior of your house prior to selling is one of the most cost effective ways to increase the value of your home. Think about it, would you want to purchase a car that had chipping, pealing or fading paint and if you did you would most likely want a discount? Painting may seem like a relatively easy thing to do so you may even contemplate painting your house yourself to save money and that may not be a bad idea, but there are several things to consider before taking on the challenge. First do you have the time, second do you have the skill and finally are you willing to pay for all of the supplies that you may not have anticipated? Before you ever pick up a paint brush, you’ll need to gather surface preparation tools.   Drop cloths or other materials to protect surrounding areas, caulking gun and caulk, scraper, putty knife and putty, steel wool, wire brush, painter’s tape, goggles, dust mask, and extension ladder are on the list of things just to get you underway. Moving on and you’ll need primer, paint, brushes, rollers, paddles, roller trays, and mineral spirits if using oil paint. Time is money so imagine committing a few weeks or valuable weekends to complete a paint project. Fifty percent of your time will be spent on prep work alone. Intricate or decorative trim details will require special attention, and tools, as will any gutters, soffits, or window trim.  Size and shape of your house are considerable features.  Multi-story homes not only necessitate extra time, but involve specialized equipment to reach those levels, dormers, or turrets.  In addition to your time, you must now consider the safety implications, and stress, of your project. Scraping old paint should be handled by professionals if your house was built before 1978.  The presence of lead-based paint may be a possibility and you don’t want to be responsible for releasing pollutants. Quantitative measurements such as time and money are easy to compare but one element is not so simple but equally important-the quality of the job done.  Our best efforts may not match those of professionals. When you weigh the value of your time, costs, and quality of the results, hiring a professional company may be worth the investment.