When we go for a job interview or date, we will usually put on our best clothes. This is because, as we all innately know, first impressions really do matter. Similarly, when we want to make a fast home sale, we need to dress our house up. However, instead of immediately focusing on repairs, renovation or landscaping, you should probably start with colours. Yes, that’s right – a fresh coat of paint could make a real difference to the value of your home.
According to an analysis by Zillow, real estate database firm, colours play a crucial role in attracting potential buyers, both up close and on online listings. Based on extensive analysis of 32,000 homes sold, Zillow’s 2017 Paint Color Analysis concludes that neutral colours like light blue and grey tend to sell for a higher amount of money, while bold colours like red and yellow don’t fare quite as well.
A blue-coloured house. Image by Andrew Shiva.
Further highlights from the analysis, broken down into specific areas, include:
• Kitchens: Houses with soft grey or grey blue theme sold, on average, at a £1,404 ($1,809 premium). Kitchens with marigold to straw yellow themes, meanwhile, sold at £637 ($820) below average! That’s a swing of about two thousand pounds, folks.
• Bathrooms: Incredibly, houses with pale powder blue to periwinkle themes sold at a premium of £4,224 ($5,440). House owners with eggshell white or off-white bathrooms better take a seat – they sold for £3,132 ($4,035) below market average – a swing of over seven thousand pounds.
• Bedrooms: Shades of blue are the winners again, with a £1,440 ($1,856) premium. Light pink rooms, on the other hand, were sold £161 ($208) lower.
• Dining Rooms: Terracotta or brick red finishes are a definite no-no. They sell £1,577 ($2,031) below average. Blue is the winner once more. Navy, slate and pale blue themes all sold for an average premium of £1,926 ($1,856).
• Living rooms: Beige, light brown and other similar shades come out on top here with a premium of £1,404 ($1,809).
• Exterior: House exteriors painted in greige (a blend of beige and light grey) smash the competition with a £2,714 ($3,496) premium. Taupe and similar shades of deep brown are the worst performers with an average selling price of £1,529 ($1,970) below market rate.
• Front Doors: You thought door colours didn’t matter, didn’t you? They really do. Houses with dark doors, ranging between navy blue to deep grey are sold at a £1,175 ($1,514) premium.
Keep in mind that these are average prices. If you home is worth more, the price gain (or loss) could be higher (or lower).
Why are colours creating such a difference in value, you wonder? Aside from psychological factors, brighter background colours tend to create the perception of space. In addition, large electrical appliances, countertops and cabinets also tend to be in neutral colours, which visually complement backgrounds of similar hue – a factor that many women are very sensitive too.
However, before you rush to paint your entire home a lighter shade of blue, take a moment first to analyse your property, neighbouring properties and landscape. After all, painting a red brick wall with a coat of cerulean blue is just about the most visually jarring sight you can imagine.