First impressions are everything when selling your home. Painting is a quick and inexpensive way to give an older home a makeover, or to make your house more sellable if you are putting it on the market. “It’s the least expensive investment for the biggest return,” says professional home stager Jennie Norris, chairwoman of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals.
According to an analysis of over 135,000 photos from U.S. homes, online real estate database Zillow identified which paint colors were associated with a home selling for more or less than its estimate when compared to similar homes with white walls. The results varied depending on room type and city. One notable result of the study confirmed that, on average, houses with black or charcoal gray front doors sold for as much as $6,271 more than expected.
Other findings from the study:
Paint colors that increase home sale prices
- A living room painted warm tan with pink undertones could send a home price up 1.3 percent, more than any other color.
- Your periwinkle blue bathroom could increase your home price by 1.3 percent.
- A tuxedo kitchen—dark cabinets and islands with light wall colors—can make a $1,547 difference in sale price.
- Burnt orange in a San Francisco living room can send the price up 5.2 percent.
- In Tampa, “greige” (a mix of gray and beige) in a dining room can send your home price up by 11.8 percent.
Paint colors that decrease home sale prices
- A typical U.S. home could dip by $2,310 with a brick or barn red color in the kitchen.
- A yellow-painted exterior home reportedly sells for $3,408 less than expected.
- In dining rooms, homes that feature oat brown to medium sandy brown walls, with yellow undertones, typically sell for $1,684 less.
For advice on how to sell your house faster by applying some painting/ home staging ideas, your questions are best left to your home selling agent. Over the years, the standard advice from most real estate professionals was to keep colors neutral with shades of white. Homeowners were told to paint everything beige, eggshell, or off-white.
But many agents are now recommending that you take a more stylish approach to color. So don’t be offended if your future real estate agent suggests a new paint job when doing an initial evaluation of your home for sale.
Word of warning: Absolutely DO NOT do any last minute painting just prior to closing. If the transaction falls apart, you’ll be on the hook for what you paid to change the colors, and then you might need to pay to change it back.
Resources: Zillow, Money Talks News, Consumer Reports, CountryLiving.com.