A home in a great neighborhood that realtor Michael Maley should have been able to sell in two days took a lot longer – and a whole lot of paint to fix.
When he walked into every room, the paint color seemed to smack him in the face. The kitchen was painted in bright lime green, the family room in yellow and the dining room in red. That’s not even including the almost neon bedrooms in pink, blue and green.
“It hurt your eyes. Plus, every room had different colored drapes going on,” says Maley, agent at CBSHome in Omaha, Neb.
Colors affect people in many different ways, both good and bad. As a seller of a home, paint color on the outside and inside of the house can have a drastic effect on how much money and how many offers you receive.
As a buyer, it can make you say yes or no to the house.
In fact, a recent paint color analysis reported that rooms painted in shades of light blue or pale blue/gray can sell for as much as $5,440 more than expected.
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Some of the other discoveries in the study include
- Blue to soft-gray blue kitchens – Sold for a $1,809 premium.
- Light blue bathrooms – Sold for $5,440 more than expected.
- Brown living rooms – Living rooms with light beiges, pale taupe or oatmeal-colored walls sell for $1,926 more than expected.
- Slate blue dining rooms – Slate blue to pale gray-blue dining rooms sold for more money, $1,926 more on average than homes with white dining room walls.
- Greige home exteriors – A mix of light gray and beige (greige) outside of homes sold for $3,496 than similar homes painted in medium brown or tan stucco.
- Navy blue front door – A front door painted in dark navy blue or slate gray gained $1,514 in sales price more than others.
Sellers should paint the house before they sell it
“It’s all about the fact that buyers don’t want to come into a house and feel like they will have to spend more money to paint every room,” Maley adds.
To repaint every room in an average sized home in the Midwest ranges between $4,000 to $7,000. And if a house is at the top of someone’s budget already, it almost seems impossible to come up with the money to do all the painting, Maley says.
“Instead of offering a paint allowance or negotiating to lower the price because of the painting, I tell the owners to just paint it ahead of time. Do anything before it goes on the market that makes it cheaper for the client,” Maley said.“Fix every little thing.”
“Fix every little thing.”
Many buyers don’t want to paint
Maley often sees that his buyers don’t understand how cheap a gallon of paint can be. Also, many of them don’t know how or don’t want to learn how to paint. So, to pay someone to do the painting can be quite expensive.
Neutrals are photogenic
Neutral colors such as creams, tans and light grays can make your house look great in photographs that home shoppers first see while looking online.
That doesn’t mean you should paint everything white – unless of course, it’s a modern house with a theme of whites, blacks and grays.
Some color might be good
If your small hallway bathroom has an amazing tangerine paint that everyone has loved from the beginning, it might be OK to just keep it as it is. Bathrooms can be painted more creative colors, but don’t go crazy if you do have to repaint them.
Countertops, flooring and cabinets should be cohesive
They all have to look good together. Pops of color can be thrown with artwork, a vase or dishes. The walls of a kitchen should also be calming with a muted palette. This all allows prospective buyers to envision themselves living in the home more easily.
Light has big impact on color
Be mindful of how colors can look at various times of day when showing the house.
According to Consumer Reports’ paint experts, the best way to preview paints is to apply them to the wall in two-square foot sections and compare them against each other before choosing one or the other. Also, check them out in the morning, noontime and nighttime to see how your eye reacts.
Factor in paint finish
There are a lot of things to consider about paint besides the color. Consumer Reports states that flat finishes absorb light, making the paint look darker. Glossy reflects light, so it looks brighter.
In between those are eggshell and satin finishes. Many interior eggshells and satins have become much better at standing up to scrubbing, so semi-gloss is no longer a must for indoor trim.
Maley hires a stager for each house he sells. She pays attention to all the color details, and many times, she tells him to have the front door painted.
“If a house is gray and the window trims are white, you need a pop of color on the door to welcome people. Plus, it stands out,” he says. “We’ve painted doors with orange and red. It lets someone know that someone fun lives there. Plus, after people look at a dozen houses, they will remember that orange door.”