If you’re putting your home on the market, the first item on many seller’s to-do list is a paint job. By simply applying a fresh coat of paint, you can easily brighten and bring new life to rooms with little cost and expertise. One mistake that many sellers make is choosing a color that might turn away potential buyers. With this in mind, it’s usually best to stay in the neutral range.
Why does a neutral paint job help sell your home faster? Most buyers simply don’t want any extra work. If a potential buyer walks into your home and immediately starts thinking about needing to paint, it could lead to a missed selling opportunity.
A seller’s best friend
In some ways, color can be your best friend or your worst enemy when you’re thinking about putting your home on the market. People are sensitive to color. Just because you think a color looks absolutely perfect doesn’t mean that your buyer will feel the same. In fact, a certain hue can trigger an adverse reaction in your visitor if they connect it to a past experience that was unpleasant. The deeper and more colorful the paint, the more likely it is to have a strong effect on that visitor. Your home could be absolutely perfect, but a simple color choice can turn it into a definite “dislike” for your buyer.
On the flip side of the coin, neutral shades are a lot less likely to affect a potential homebuyer’s emotions and cause an adverse reaction.
Not only are neutral colors less likely to affect a buyer’s decision, it also provides them with a better canvas upon which they can imagine their own accents and personalization. When it comes to selling your home, the less the space looks like “you”, the more they can insert themselves and feel like they’re right at home.
What colors are neutral?
When it comes to neutrals, classic color theory defines them as “achromatic non colors” that fall outside of the regular “color wheel” colors. Shades include those within the white, gray, and brown families. When painting your home, white shouldn’t be considered a neutral color. On the contrary, it is a “bright” color.
Recently, designers have embraced some new neutrals that include muted and softer versions of colors found on the color wheel. These include mocha, sea foam, lavender and more. A little color can go a long way, and these new neutrals can provide the same type of universal appeal while giving the space more character.
Small spaces vs. large rooms
Different neutral colors can help different types of spaces. The lighter shades are great for small spaces – like bathrooms and hallways – since they make the space seem larger than it actually is. On the flip side, darker shades can bring a warm, cozy feeling to a large room such as a living room.
The room type can also be a deciding factor for which neutral color you choose. When it comes to the kitchen, a creamy antique white with the hint of a warm shade such as yellow or orange can give the room a comfortable feeling, while painting the office space a cool shade of gray can lend a calming and uncluttered sense to the room.
Don’t go it alone!
There are a staggering amount of neutral colors at your disposal, and you may feel a bit overwhelmed when stepping into your favorite home improvement store. If you aren’t sure, don’t hesitate to ask for help! A Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Metro Brokers sales associate can provide useful insight, as can experts at your local hardware store or home decorating outlet. Magazines, like Better Homes and Gardens® can provide ideas and serve as inspiration. When you see a room that looks appealing, mark the page and match the wall color at the store.
Also, consider conducting a trial run. Most paints come in quart or smaller sizes for a very small fee, so that you can try the color out on your wall at home without making a big investment. This makes it easy to change course if necessary – or to go ahead and commit to the full gallon if you like what you see.