Color has the power to evoke emotion from us and influence our purchasing decisions. People make up their minds about a product within 90 seconds of their initial interaction with it —roughly 62 to 90% of that evaluation is based exclusively on the product’s color.1
Since color plays such an influential role in our purchases, it’s an important factor to consider when putting your house on the market. The current color of your property’s exterior and interior can either help it sell faster or hinder it from selling at all.
Here are the best paint colors for selling a house — and what to consider to help the paint job go smoothly:
Choose a white or off-white exterior
Each year, home improvement resource Fixr surveys industry influencers and interior design experts to recommend the best paint colors for your house. For the second consecutive year, white was the most recommended exterior color, claiming 58% of the vote.
Whether a house is new or old, a bright white makes it look fresh, clean, and current. Second place went to off-white (41%), which is also universally appealing and timeless.
When considering white vs. off-white, think about when you plan to give your house a fresh coat of paint and when you plan to sell it. If you’re painting it for an immediate sale, white paints are a great option.
However, if you’re painting it now and renting it out or living there for a couple more years, off-white might be the better choice.
It does a better job of hiding dirt, pollen, and plant debris.
Pick a black, wood tone, blue, or green front door
The front door of your home is part of its curb appeal. Enhance it by choosing front door paint that complements the exterior color scheme of your house. If you opted for a white or off-white exterior, selecting a complementary color should be easy.
Some of the top choices for door colors, per Fixr, are:
- Wood tones
- Royal blue
- Hunter green
A white exterior and black door make for a classic combination that buyers are likely to gravitate toward when selling your home.
For a finishing touch, add lacquered brass traditional house numbers, which have a metallic luster.
Use white or cream for common rooms
White and creams were the most recommended colors for interiors, taking 81% of the vote in the Fixr survey. They were followed by warm neutrals (tan or beige) at 36%.
For instance, a potential buyer may have a marble oval dining table they absolutely love. Your pale turquoise dining room walls may look great with your art deco dining room table and chairs, but is sure to clash with theirs.
Houses with light-colored common areas provide the perfect backdrop for prospective buyers to envision their own furnishings and décor incorporated there.
Of course, buyers know they can paint over colors they don’t like, so it’s not a total dealbreaker. But having a home that already looks the way you want — without the extra labor and cost — is always preferred.
Stick with sage green, cream, taupe, or navy bedroom colors
For bedrooms, people often choose colors that are appealing to them personally. However, one thing we know about color preference is that it is highly individualized.
People gravitate toward colors they associate with things they love or feel positively toward, like green, because it reminds them of trees.
Since color preferences are subjective, try to stick to colors that are generally liked for the bedrooms.
According to the Fixr study, that includes:
- Sage green
Interestingly, saturated blue is the one color most people tend to view positively, as they associate it with visuals like a lake or the sky.
Incorporate color through textiles
Neutral colors, while safer, can be bland. Textiles are the recommended method for adding pops of color, according to Fixr. Experts prefer this approach more than painting the whole room or wallpapering, which can feel permanent.
Home textiles might include:
- Carpets and rugs
The great thing about home textiles is that they’re easy to change from one season to the next — or even as your style evolves. They can also be used to stage your house for real estate photos or before an open house. These before and after photos of home stagings show how textiles can help a room come together.
Should you paint your house or hire someone?
There’s one question every homeowner asks themselves when considering a paint job: Could this be a DIY job, or should I hire a contractor?
To answer that question, consider:
- Availability and health. It can take a small team of professionals up to five days to prep, paint, and clean up after painting a house. Additionally, there’s a lot of physical labor involved, such as standing, crouching, and climbing. Consider your health status when evaluating this endeavor.
- Experience. Many people repaint a room here and there, but few have experience painting their property’s exterior. When you work with a professional painter, they already have this process down to a science. You benefit from their years of trial and error versus having to learn from your own mistakes as you go.
- Budget. Generally speaking, it is cheaper to do the job yourself rather than outsource it to a professional. However, professionals often get industry discounts on paints and supplies, which they might then pass on to you. To paint the interior of a house, expect to spend somewhere between $949 to $2,924 (depending on square footage), according to Angi.
Exteriors are more labor intensive, and that’s reflected in the price. For the outside, you’re looking at $1,775 to $4,360.
If you opt to outsource the job, follow these steps to hire the right painter:
- Ask friends or family for referrals.
- Narrow that list down to three candidates. Request past examples of their work and obtain a copy of their painter’s liability and workers’ compensation insurance certificates.
- Make sure they have any licenses required by your state.
- Check their rating on Better Business Bureau and read reviews on their Google My Business listing.
- Based on the above, select your preferred painter and put together a written contract that outlines their name, address, phone number, license number, what’s included in the job, and the cost, advises Consumer Reports. Make sure both parties sign it.
Although this may seem like a lot of steps to take to find the right painter, it’s better to do it right than to do it over.
- Singh, Satyendra. (2006). Impact of color on marketing. Management Decision. 44. 783-789. 10.1108/00251740610673332.
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