Painting the rooms of your house before putting it up for sale should be considered if you can not clean and repair the walls adequately.
Many well meaning people will tell you to go ahead and paint no matter what. The problem is that you do not know what color schemes your buyer wants or needs. In fact, they may paint and recarpet the house as soon as they move in. If that happens, then you will have just wasted money painting it yourself.
The cost of painting is dependent on what you buy and what you deem satisfactory. A typical 12×12 room gives approximately 380 (12wide x 8high x 4walls) square feet of wall to be painted. Since a gallon of paint covers about 400 square feet that means that you will need a gallon of paint for one coat in each room. Interior paint can range from $10 to $40 a gallon. That means that a standard 3 bedroom home with about 7 rooms can cost between $70 and $280 for just the paint. That does not include the trim or the second coat that may be needed. It also does not include preparation to paint which is the biggest headache and the most time-consuming task in painting. And that is just the cost of doing it yourself. A painting contractor incurs just about the same cost and will charge for their labor as well. Those costs reduce the profit from the sale of your house just as surely as the commission for a selling agent.
Instead of that cost, see if you can repair any holes or chips in the walls and trim and just touch up those areas with paint to cover the patches.
In addition, clean the walls, especially around the furniture. Pull the beds, sofas, chairs, and tables away from the wall. Don’t be surprised if you see outlines of the furniture. Try cleaning those outlines or touching them up with spot painting if the cleaning does not work well.
If the house still looks dumpy or unclean, painting may be all you can do to make it look acceptable. Remember that while a buyer may be planning to paint the interior anyway, they still want the feeling that they are moving into a clean, well-kept house.