Buyers have a hard time imagining what a house would look like in a different color. So, you’re not doing yourself any favors by painting your living room neon pink (or neon anything for that matter). You might like the color of your house, but it could be scaring potential buyers away.
According to a recent paint color analysis by Zillow, you could increase the sale price of your home for the cost of a can of paint. The online real estate database analyzed more than 135,000 photos from listings across the country that sold since 2010 to find out how homes with certain colors compared to similar homes that were painted white.
Painting your front door a charcoal color, specifically a smoky black to a rich jet black, can boost the sale price of a home by 2.9 percent. That means the average house with a black door sold for a staggering $6,271 more than expected.
“For a seller, painting a front door is one of the least expensive home prep projects, but also one that can have a powerful impact on a home’s sale price,” Kerrie Kelly, Zillow home design expert, said.
Home buyers want their new living room to have a warm, comfortable feeling. That’s why painting your living room a light taupe, specifically a warm tan with pink or peach undertones, could increase the sale price by up to 1.3 percent. On average, light taupe living rooms netted $2,793 more than homes with white or other color walls.
Homeowners who used neutral colors in the bathroom, like a light blue, specifically a periwinkle blue, increased the sale price of their home by 1.3 percent, which comes out to $2,786 on average. That’s a lot more than the cost of a can of paint!
On the other hand, a study conducted by Zillow last year found that homes with bathrooms that were totally painted white sold for $4,035 less than expected.
According to the research, homebuyers are willing to spend more for homes that had a tuxedo kitchen, a style that has light-colored upper cabinets and walls with dark-colored lower cabinets and islands, sold for $1,547 more than expected.
“Contrasting colors, especially in kitchens and home exteriors add interest and dimension to a room that plays very well in listing photos and videos,” Kerrie Kelly said.
However, when buyers saw red in the kitchen, they paid $2,310 less than expected. This includes everything from brick red to a lighter shade of raspberry red.
They used to say “If you want to sell her, paint her yellow,” but they would be wrong today. In fact, Zillow’s study showed that all kinds of yellow, from a creamy bright yellow to a warm yellow with brown undertones, can drop the price of the average US home by $3,408. Now that’s an expensive paint job!
It seems like the average buyer doesn’t find brown to be an appetizing color. Homes with brown dining rooms sold for an average of $1,684 less. Buyers didn’t want to eat in dining rooms that were an oat brown or a medium sandy brown or a brown with yellowish undertones.
But homebuyers in Tampa, Florida, were willing to spend an extra 11.8 percent for a dining room that was painted “greige,” or a mix of gray and blue.
“Greige is a non-offensive color, a very natural look, and that’s a key word today,” Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute, told the Los Angeles Times.
Interior design trends change every year, so don’t expect these colors to remain in fashion. However, year after year, homes that are painted in neutral colors tend to command higher prices. So, when in doubt, pick a boring color.
In the end, you want buyers to focus on the space, not the color. If they don’t like it, they can paint it whatever color they want – after they buy it.