Paint Colors that Sell…and Those that Don’t

Did you know that choosing the wrong paint color could cost you money when you sell your home?  The most impactful rooms, in particular, are the bathroom, kitchen, bedrooms and living room.  

In fact, according to a Zillow analysis, homes painted light gray or light bluish gray will sell for $5,440 more than other homes*.  The reason for this is that colors dictate emotions and feelings, and blue specifically feels very soothing and brings a sense of calm to a room. 

Benjamin Moore | Popular Blues

BM Breath of Fresh Air 806

BM Mt Rainier Gray 2129

Gray is a great neutral to use, and one of my favorites is Edgecomb Gray by Benjamin Moore.  It isn’t too “cold” feeling, as is typically a perception of gray interior paint.  Edgecomb Gray in particular is a wonderful "Greige" color & great for rooms with warmer, beige finishes.  Revere Pewter is also very popular, but it is slightly darker than Edgecomb Gray.  One popular paint color worth mentioning, although not featured here, is Agreeable Gray by Sherwin Williams.  It is a very comparable color to BM's Edgecomb Gray & Revere Pewter.  It is quite popular among home stagers and real estate Fix & Flippers as it appeals to a very large pool of potential buyers.

Benjamin Moore | Popular Grays

BM Silver Satin OC-26

BM Edgecomb Gray HC-173

In contrast, according to the same Zillow analysis, painting with colors like Red, Gold or Terra Cotta can actually cost you money when you sell.  On average the amount lost was about $2,000*.  These colors are considered to be harsh, homeowners tire of them quickly and are considered to be dated.  To be clear, houses that feature these colors will probably sell - but the majority of today's buyers will likely value houses less than those painted using colors more in line with colors featured above.  This could cost you time and/or money when selling.  Here are some examples.

BM Baked Terra Cotta 1202

BM Marblehead Gold HC-11

Finally, according to Zillow, the most costly wall color when selling is white.  On average, these homes sold for about $4,000 less than other homes*.  You would think the color white would be a very safe color, as well as a color that would make rooms appear to be larger.  However, just the opposite is true.  When using white, typically the room should be a larger room – contrary to popular belief, small rooms do well when painted darker colors – but also more importantly, the room needs to have SUBSTANTIAL natural light pouring into it since white is reflective.  Additionally, the furnishings and accessories used inside an all-white room must have a lot of texture and even occasional pops of bright colors to bring interest to the room.  Here are some examples of white rooms.

White Done Wrong
White Done Right!

Painting is one of the easiest and most inexpensive ways to prepare your home for the market.  Hiring a home stager or a certified color consultant to help you select appropriate paint colors for your home can help you maximize the return on your investment, and potentially save you money by helping you avoid selecting the wrong paint color and ultimately having to repaint.

*Zillow savings are based on average around the U.S.  In South Orange County, CA, the average savings is about double those cited by Zillow.

For the full Zillow analysis/article, please click here.

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