How the Right Paint Colour Can Help Sell Your Home

Posted by Ed DePrato on Friday, July 11th, 2014 at 12:57pm.

Paint colour is a very personal choice when it comes to what colour some likes and doesn't like. Some people love purple while others don't want it in anything they own. This is why it is critically important to take the colours in your home into consideration before you put it up for sale.

Imagine that your favorite colour is bright turquoise. You've lived in your home for many years and the decor is very much your style. You have several walls in your living room painted bright turqoise and one wall is a turquoise coloured wallpaper for accent. Sure, you love it but buyers won't and it will hurt your selling price.

How Does It Affect the Selling Price?

A buyer walking into a home instantly starts making a list of the things they would need to do to make the home "their's" and livable for them. If the first thing they see is bright, bold or unusual paint colours, they've just started a mental list with having to paint the entire house even if it's just one room that has an bold color choice. If the exterior of your home is an unusual colour, you've lost money before they even walk in the door.

Unusual paint colours can cause a buyer to not make an offer at all because it causes them to look at everything about the home differently. If a buyer does decide they are willing to take on the work of their checklist and make an offer, it's guaranteed it will be several thousand below your asking price. Invest in a some paint before your house goes on the market and you will more than make up for the expense in your final sale price. So, what colours should you choose?

Neutral is Natural

It's best to stick with neutral colours and white is always a safe bet. White makes a home feel brighter, lighter and cleaner, which is appealing to buyers. You can also use light, muted colours of grey, cream/beige, or tan.

Not all neutral or muted tones will work though. Light yellow or very pale green could also work but you need to be careful about the shade and not use anything that looks sickly. Use muted blues carefully. Some blues can be cold with gray undertones and have an almost unwelcoming feeling. Stay far away from pink or peach since they can have a feeling of being girly or childish. Some people even equate these colours to hospitals which is not something you want your buyers thinking about during a showing.

Go Bold

You're probably saying, "Wait, what? You just said no bold colours!" Well that's true for large expanses of wall inside or outside your home. However, a good bold colour on the exterior trim of a home can really make it pop visually. Interior trim still needs to stay neutral and white is best. Outside though you have a lot more flexibility.

Take a cue from the homes in your neighborhood as to the colours you should use. Unusual colours on the exterior can actually hurt the values of other homes on the block as well as your own. You might choose to paint your home white and then paint the trim black which is a classic combination. You could also try a deep blue (not bright!) or a dark grey.

Do not use black, deep blue or dark grey trim colours with an off white or beige as the main house colour as they will make the house look dirty. If you want to paint the house a cream or beige colour then a dark brown would be a lovely accent colour. Completely avoid red, yellow, green, pink, and any other pastel colour for the trim regardless of what colour the house is painted.

Don't Forget the Focal Point

I'm talking about the door. The first thing buyers notice when they see a house is the door so it needs to make a great impression. This is one other area where I'll tell you that you can go bold and get away with it within certain parameters.

You need to coordinate the door colour to the other colours on the outside. If the exterior is white with black trim, a gorgeous red door is a stunning and classic combination. It really calls attention to the "face" of the house so you need to make sure the front door area is beautifully done if you are going to choose red.

If you have a gorgeous natural stained wood door, then you can leave it and don't paint it. Just be sure to dress up the area around it with some colourful potted flowers or plants.

If you choose to paint the door white, black or dark blue, dress it up by adding an elegant decorative door knocker and some colourful plants around the entry. Remember, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.


Remember that once you've painted your home, you need to make sure that you have it noted in your listing. You want everyone to know the things you have done to freshen up your home and make it ready for sale. Buyers appreciate homes that are move-in ready and don't require a lot of work. Investing time and money in painting is a win-win because it's less work for the buyer and more money in your pocket which you'll see in your final sale price.

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