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A fresh coat of paint can do wonders for the sale of your house. Whether it’s a fixer-upper or your long-term family home, freshening it up with the right colors can help your home sell faster and make you more money in any real estate market.
According to a Zillow analysis of 32,000 property sales that compared their sale prices according to room colors, creating the right atmosphere can lead to home buyers to compete for your property and drive up the price. While fresh paint might not raise the Zestimate or Redfin home estimate, the more buyers that are interested in your home the more likely it will sell for top dollar.
However, painting with the wrong colors can have the opposite effect. Buyers want to envision themselves living in the home they tour. If the current color scheme is too bold, you’re at risk of losing out on buyers and thousands of dollars.
For the best results, set your personal tastes aside and follow these tips for the best colors for each room of your home.
Best kitchen paint colors
Let’s start with a few kitchen paint ideas, since kitchen renovations can result in the highest ROI.
Research shows that blue-gray is the best color for a kitchen for several reasons.
First of all, these surfaces are easier to clean, unlike white kitchens that become messy when lived in. Scientists have also shown that blueish-greys evoke feelings of trustworthiness, which can immediately help home buyers connect with your home.
Plus, cool colors literally create a “cooling sensation” for buyers — people perceive rooms with these colors as physically cooler, which is nice in an area that tends to get hot when cooking. The result? Homes with blue-gray kitchens sell for $1,809 more on average!
Best living room paint ideas
Living rooms should evoke a feeling of warmth and coziness, which is why living rooms painted oatmeal, beige, or biscuit tend to have the best ROI.
These neutral colors will help someone relax and unwind. They also make a room seem bigger — light paint makes the walls feel further away from one another, and dark colors make the walls feel closer. You (and home buyers) want your living room to feel spacious, not cramped.
Living rooms painted in a warm, neutral color fetch an average of $1,926 extra on the homes’ selling price compared to white-walled living rooms.
Best bedroom paint colors
Bedrooms painted blue tend to have the best ROI.
Why? Bedrooms are meant to be relaxing, and blue is a calming, soothing color. Blue is also a neutral enough color to be universally pleasing to most people, so potential buyers can easily envision themselves in the bedroom.
Studies have also shown that, like beige colors, blue paint tends to make a room feel larger.
Zillow found that properties with bedrooms painted cerulean blue attract especially high offers — homes with bedrooms painted this color can sell for an extra $1,856.
Best bathroom paint ideas
You might think that white is the ideal bathroom paint color, but Zillow found that bathroom paint colors in periwinkle blue or pale blue can push a property’s price up by a whopping $5,000.
Like a bedroom that’s painted blue, a bathroom with blue walls is soothing and relaxing. People also associate the color of water with being clean and healthy. In addition, a bathroom painted blue hides stains better than one that’s painted white. In a highly trafficked room like a bathroom, you want to hide the stains as much as possible.
A bathroom is one of the most important features of a property you’re selling. Buyers want to see a bathroom that’s well-designed and well-constructed — but color is just as important when attracting buyers.
Home exterior paint colors
First impressions last. To improve the curb appeal of your home, paint your home exterior with contemporary “greige” (a combination of beige and gray), teamed with crisp white trim.
Greige is a color combination that’s welcoming to buyers. The gray color in greige helps deliver a clean, natural look, while the beige color adds a bit of warmth. A white trim is also timeless and adds a fresh, clean look to the exterior.
Cool neutrals such as greige are your best bet for exterior paint colors when getting ready to sell — they can increase the sales price of your home by $3,496.
Front door colors
If you’re limited in funds and can’t paint the entire exterior, the front door is worth freshening up with paint.
Navy or gray front doors add a pop of color but are still relatively neutral colors that can stand the test of time. Even if you decide to stray away from a greige home exterior, a navy or gray front door will likely still work with whatever color scheme you choose. They are also colors that inspire trustworthiness and are universally liked.
A front door painted in a navy blue or slate gray can add around $1,500 onto the sale price of your home.
Paint colors to avoid
Some paint colors can actually decrease the value of your home.
Living rooms with dark red walls, for instance, can repel buyers rather than attract them. Pink bedrooms are also a no-no, and a red kitchen could wipe $2,310 off the sale of your property. These types of colors are more polarizing, thus limiting the number of people who may be attracted to them.
You want to cast as wide of a net as possible and use colors that have more of a broad appeal.
As a rule of thumb, try to stick to neutrals and a little blue throughout the property. Bold and bright colors make it more difficult for buyers to visualize themselves living in the property, although a bright accent wall can work nicely if done well.
Painting vs. other home improvement options?
Painting is an easy task that can raise your home price by thousands of dollars if done correctly. Here are a few other home improvement projects that deliver a good ROI.
Adding a bedroom
Adding an extra bedroom could increase your home’s price by $30,000-$50,000. If you have a large living space in the house, consider splitting it into a smaller living room and bedroom. Adding an extra bedroom, however, costs an average of $45,000, so talk to a real estate agent to see if the ROI is worth the investment in your area.
Installing hardwood floors
Another home improvement project with a high return is installing hardwood floors, which costs $3 to $13 per square foot but has an ROI of 70%-80% and can increase a home’s sale price by up to 2.5%.
Remodeling your bathroom
You can also consider remodeling your bathroom, which costs an average of just over $19,000 with an average ROI of 70%. Plus, some bath remodeling projects like adding a new bathroom floor are relatively inexpensive.
If you don’t want to invest in a large home improvement project like the ones above, another DIY project you can take on is landscaping, which costs anywhere between hundreds to thousands of dollars and has an ROI of 200% to 400%.
Painting still the best
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money improving your home, painting is still one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to increase the sale price of your home.
Getting your property sale-ready with new paint is one of the best things you can do to maximize your sale. Using the right kind of paint such as satin finish or eggshell in high-traffic areas like the kitchen or bathroom will be more forgiving on dents and scratches on the wall.
You may not need to paint every wall if you can’t afford to — just the main living areas and the front door will be enough to give your property the lift it needs to make a quick and profitable sale.