When you’re decorating your home, you’re likely going to follow your own ideas of what looks good and what you like. But what about when you’re going to sell your house? Are buyers, who are searching for homes for sale necessarily going to like the colors you picked out? Maybe you went with a more eccentric color palette, or maybe you got a good deal on that blue color and painted the entire house with it. But it’s not just about what paint color you have—it’s about how all the colors come together, including the furniture and décor you’ve chosen to go with your wall color.
When selling your house, there are certain colors that are good and help your house to sell more quickly; and of course, there are plenty of colors that are bad and can steer buyer’s away, making sale harder.
Let’s face it—the easiest (and probably cheapest) quick update to any home is a fresh coat of paint. Buyers can see how new it looks, but it’s important to choose the right colors.
Exterior Home Colors
Start with the outside. Neutral is going to appeal to the most people for the exterior of the home. If you want to add a pop, you can paint the front door or the mailbox. A white house with dark blue or grey shutters is classic; and you can paint the door red if you want that bold pop of color. It’s okay to go bold, but it’s better as an accent than a statement. And don’t forget that certain trees, bushes, and flowers can do wonders in bringing color to your home, and serve a dual purpose in creating excellent curb appeal.
Interior Home Colors
As for the interior of your home, its best to stick with neutrals or low-saturation. “Greige” (a grey-beige color) is very popular now, and beige is always a safe route, especially if your furniture is more brightly colored. Now, this is not to say you can’t have color. But you want that color to appeal to the widest range of potential home buyers—so it’s best not to get a bright blue, but rather a softer, more toned down blue. Neutrals can work great in any space, as do many earthy tones, like greens and browns.
It is also important to note that you probably shouldn’t paint each room/wall a different color. You want your house to flow nicely, so it’s best to stick to a very similar palette—for example, light blue in the living room and foyer, pale yellow for the kitchen and dining, a soft green for the bathrooms. This way, you can still have your color without overwhelming a potential buyer.
Colors to Avoid When Selling
Although an aggressive color pallet can be great for shoes….avoid those when marketing your home for sale. Other than the aforementioned bright colors on every wall, there are some specific colors that most people tend to shy away from. These include orange (hard to decorate with), black (very hard to paint over; can make things very dark if your house isn’t extremely well-lit), and stark white (hard to keep clean). Remember, too, that you can also choose all of the “right” colors and yet it still be overwhelming if you pick too many colors. Accent walls can be nice, but not every wall can be an accent wall. Don’t choose a different color for the ceiling, the wall below the chair rail, the wall above the chair rail, the chair rail itself, the door, the moldings… you get my point?
Decorating Your Home
If you aren’t planning on staging your home with all new furniture, you have to take into consideration your current décor. Do you have a neutral couch, wood furniture, and a neutral floor color? Then you probably don’t want to go neutral on the walls, but rather chose something to bring a bit more life into the space. On the other hand, if your couches are navy blue and your furniture is dark stained wood, you should pick a lighter neutral color. The key is moderation. You’re allowed to keep that royal purple velvet armchair, so long as the rest of your things are a bit more toned down.
Ceilings, Floors, Cabinets
As these are usually very large surfaces, it is always best to stick with neutrals. Ceilings should remain light (makes the ceiling height appear higher) and floors should be neutral (these are typically much harder and more expensive to change—go with a traditional cream or tan tile, not those red and orange tiles, because despite how much you may like them they will likely scare many potential buyers away). You want these features to serve as a backdrop to your furnishings and décor.
Everyone has heard the saying…real estate is all about location, location and location. It is important to take into consideration where your house is that you’re trying to sell. If you’re in an up-and-coming family-friendly neighborhood, you probably shouldn’t choose too many wild colors or off-the-wall color combinations. You’ll want to go much more neutral to appeal to the suburban family. You might also have to take into consideration the bylaws of a Homeowner’s Association. However, if your home is a loft in the hip warehouse district of a big city, you don’t have to be as afraid of bright, crazy colors.
These are all things you should remember both when you first paint your home (remember to be willing to change the colors when selling if you do want to go for that crazy color), and right before you do sell your home. Even if you chose colors that still look great, freshening them up with a new coat can do wonders for the overall new look of your home.