Painting a Home Before Selling: Does it Have to be White?

Want to sell quickly at a good price? Picking the right colours for your home can make all the difference.

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Painting a Home Before Selling: Does it Have to be White?

Fresh Coat of Paint for ListingThe common wisdom is that you should go for neutral colours everywhere when trying to sell your home. Interior walls should be white to avoid putting someone off with a disagreeable colour. Rentals are painted white for this reason, right? However, Consumer Reports research on house colours and selling prices show that the common wisdom may just be wrong.

Exterior Colours and Curb Appeal

Buyers can come to a conclusion about a house in less than a minute. The curb appeal of an exterior paint colour can make up more than half of that first impression. This is why a fresh coat of paint in a colour that appeals to them can make all the difference in the chance at a quick sale. 

An exterior painted in shades of tan, gray or white can communicate safety and shelter, increasing the appeal of the home. Sandy colours can lend feelings of warmth and welcome. A brown exterior telegraphs security. Blue is a universally appealing exterior colour for homes and can help set a home apart from those in neutral tones. Red can even be a highly appealing colour in small doses or specific circumstances.

However, colours that are too far outside the norm can be off-putting to potential buyers. Unless you are in a market like Key West where pastel hues are the norm, houses that are pink, purple or yellow are typically harder to sell. In one instance, a builder went with mustard yellow for a number of houses, which made them far harder to sell.

Sticking with an appealing colour can help your house sell more quickly and for a better price. If you currently have an unusual colour on your home, you may have to decide between preserving its current quirky character and finding a buyer quickly.

Colour in the Kitchen

The colour of the kitchen plays a huge role in the appeal of the home as a whole. Research showed that white and eggshell kitchens were less appealing than other colours. The top performing kitchen colours in their research were wheat yellow and other creamy colours. These resulted in an increase of $1,360 over the expected sales price.

The key is to make the kitchen feel warm and inviting. Stark white can appear clinical and overly bright. Hues that are warm without being aggressive showed better results.

Should You Go Gray?

Gray is considered one of the top trending colours for home interiors. With the right lighting, gray can look clean, modern, and stylish. However, gray doesn't fit every house and every room. In parts of the home that are less bright, gray can look brooding and uninviting. It is also not a great choice for rooms like nurseries, which should be painted in warm and comforting tones.

The Appeal of Earthy Tones

Some of the top colours are those that bring to mind natural settings. Mossy or sage greens, taupe colours and other warm but muted hues were all associated with quicker sales and better prices. These colours have both personality and wide appeal. Neutral colors like these also go well with a wide variety of furniture and can help buyers envision themselves living in the home with their own belongings during home showings, making them some of the best interior paint colors. 

Which Colours Are Universal No-Gos?

While ranges of colours have general appeal, a few specific colours tend to be off-putting to buyers. Dark colours are typically not popular; while they can be dramatic and interesting, they can also be unappealing for a wide swath of the population.

Slate gray and terra cotta were both associated with lower selling prices. These colours can show the downside of following a hot housing trend. While terra cotta was trendy several years ago, it can now make a home look dated, and homeowners who see this color on their own home should consider updating it before taking any photos for online listings to sell. 

Keep the Neighbourhood Colours in Mind

It's best not to just think of your own home when choosing colours for both the exterior and interiors. An otherwise highly desirable colour like blue may look out of place if yours is the only blue house in a sea of sand and brown homes. The contrast can be jarring and can hurt your home's appeal. You want your potential buyer to feel that the home is harmonious, which includes fitting with the neighbourhood as a whole.

No matter what colours you choose, a fresh coat of paint can provide more improvement per dollar spent than many other home improvements. New paint gives the home a clean, fresh look and lets buyers see the place as their own. By investing in the paint in the right colours for your neighbourhood and the home itself, you can increase your appeal to buyers and speed up the sale of your home.

Popular Paint Colours and Trends For Selling In 2018

As with any sort of fad, paint colours go in and out the times, and it’s no exception for 2018. Which colours a homeowner picks for their home and walls can have an effect on a home’s chances of selling. Here are some of the most popular paint colours to keep in mind when painting a home to sell:

  • Soft blue-gray for kitchens
  • Light blue or periwinkle for bathrooms
  • Slate blue or pale blue-gray for dining rooms
  • Cadet blue or cerulean for bedrooms
  • Light beige, light taupe, or oatmeal for living rooms

What colours homeowners choose to paint their walls can also affect the price of a home, which can be the motivation homeowners need to get the job done. For instance, homes with powder blue or periwinkle bathrooms may see up to $5,000 more than they would if another wall colour was chosen. Homeowners should keep an eye out for changes in paint colors that sell homes and act accordingly when preparing to sell.

Posted by Justin Havre on
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