When it comes to selling a home, first impressions matter. While the right color choices can have a potential buyer falling in love, a wrong color can leave them shaking their head and running for the door.
According to Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, “A fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to improve a home’s appearance before listing. But if you want to sell a home faster and for more money, you have to do more than just paint a room. You need to choose the right colors and apply them across the whole home.”
CONNECTING THROUGH COLOR
Michael Verderosa, a realtor with Latter & Blum Realtors, Inc. in New Orleans, agrees that the right palette choice can help sell a home.
“A cohesive paint palette and décor theme is key to telling a home’s story,” he says. “You want the prospective buyer to feel comfortable moving through the space. That means avoiding jarring discrepancies in the presentation of paint color or decoration from one room to the next. Those kinds of shifts can lead potential buyers to focus on what they like or hate about the paint color, instead of focusing on the fundamental components and amenities of the house itself.”
THE DOWNSIDES OF EXTREMES
When prepping a house for sale, Gudell says there are two color no-nos to avoid: going too dark and going too white.
“Dark colors, especially when used throughout a house, can make it feel small and confined,” she says. “It can be very off-putting to the potential buyer.”
But, she says, playing it safe with all white can be just as bad. “White is hard on the eyes. Even if you have a small bathroom, it will help to paint it a light gray or soft blue. The slightest tint will make the space feel more finished, inviting and fresh.”
EMERGING COLOR PREFERENCES
As pro painters can attest, beige and eggshell hues have long been the go-to neutral choice for wall colors. But according to Zillow researchers, change is afoot.
“There’s a definite shift away from beige and toward hues of blues and grays,” says Gudell. “Both colors lend a modern and contemporary feel that today’s buyers like.”
Another big color shift taking place is the move from yellow to blue in kitchens. Blue hues are showing up on both walls and cabinets, says Gudell. “Tuxedo kitchens with light cabinets up top and darker ones below are really making a comeback. Blue is a great choice, as it provides a nice contrast with quartz and subway tiles, which are also very popular right now.”
TALKING COLOR WITH CLIENTS
Understanding the importance of paint and color to a home sale can be key to winning the job of getting the property ready for market. Pros can leverage the fact that most online views of homes take place during the first week of its listing to help drive customers to make a decision sooner than later. Plus, it never hurts to remind homeowners that a well-painted house sends a signal to potential buyers that a home is well cared for—and that translates into confidence in the overall condition of the property.