Best Colors for Resale

Stick with neutrals and a surprising splash of color.

Posted by Steve Graham | Sep 15, 2009
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Repainting in order to sell your home is an easy decision. A coat of paint is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to spruce up a home. It covers picture holes, cracks and scuffs, and makes the home look newer and cleaner.

Choosing the right colors is trickier. But that doesn't mean it can't be fun. The rules are changing to allow a little more variety. Here's what you need to know about the best paint colors for resale.

An Expert Opinion 

Christina Kittelstad, a Denver color consultant and home staging expert, claims new paint is likely to shorten a home's sale time between 10 and 40 percent. It can also boost the resale value. If a home staging expert is in your budget, a quick meeting could yield valuable specific colors for your situation. Kittelstad offers some general information:

Mix Up Your Colors Inside

Neutral is the classic bottom line for painting before a home sale -- maybe a tan or creamy beige with yellow or pink tints. Some even suggest painting the entire house's interior off-white. This is still solid and safe advice, but the rules are becoming less rigid. A bright but tasteful mix of colors can set your house apart and attract buyers. Selling a potential starter home is particularly an opportunity to be a little bold, because the younger families who are likely to look at the house will tend to be more appreciative of your color scheme.

Christina Kittelstad states that calming blues and light sage greens are attractive options for bedrooms and bathrooms, making them more like a "spa retreat" than an empty white space. On the other hand, keep the trim white. Anything else might be a little too bold and off-putting.

Fit in with the Neighbors Outside

For the exterior paint job, be aware that brown houses tend to sell for less. Instead, choose a bright color that matches the rest of the neighborhood, and express your creativity with accents on shutters and doors. Look for another neighborhood house painted in an eye-catching hue that you like, and ask the owner or homeowners' association for the exact paint color name. You will already know the color suits the neighborhood, and you have previewed the tint in full sunlight.

Think About What Will Look Best in Online Pics

Most home buyers take virtual home tours before deciding to actually visit a property in person. Internet photos are another reason to carefully choose colors. A blank white wall could just look like an image that never loaded. On the other hand, dark paint can camouflage every item in the room, and a peculiar color can make a buyer skip to the next house.

If you don't have the time, budget, or DIY skills to paint the whole interior, start with the kitchen and master bedroom -- or any unique areas that will be highlighted in the online photo gallery. Use paint selection software to preview the color on your walls. Our favorite is CBN Selector, which lets you upload digital pictures and "paint" the walls in one of thousands of colors. You can see exactly what buyers will see before you commit to a color.

If you prefer to invest in hiring a professional painter, you’re likely to see a good ROI when you sell your house.

 

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