By Diane Nelson
Consider using paint to give it that fresh, updated look and feel. For potential buyers, it’s a great way to show the home has been maintained. Broker/Agent, Betty Most (Edina Realty) at Betty Most Agency, located in River Falls, Wisconsin, advises her clients, “To give their house a fresh coat of paint, it’s the best investment for the least amount of money. A fresh, clean look will instill confidence in potential buyers that the home has been well cared for”.
Now that you’ve decided to paint, a critical question is what colors will attract the buyer you want? Studies show a psychology behind choosing the right colors to attract potential buyers. What is color psychology? It’s using color as a determinant of human behavior. Color has long been used to create feelings and emotions of coziness and spaciousness in homes. People are affected by different color stimuli, it varies from person to person but warm colors like red, yellow and orange can produce feelings of warmth or aggressiveness, while cool colors like green and blue can be calming. Kathy Lamancusa, the author of “Emotional Reactions to Color, identifies the top-rated color choice of Americans as blue which makes up 35% percent of Americans, followed by green (16%), purple (10%) and red (9%).
Using certain colors can increase the value of a home. In 2017, Zillow conducted a Paint Color Analysis which found blue paint could potentially add value to your home’s selling price. The analysis reports, “Homes with light pale blue to soft periwinkle blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than expected. Similarly, blue kitchens, cadet blue bedrooms, and slate blue dining rooms all revved up revenue by nearly $2,000 each, while navy blue front doors brought in $1,500 more”.
Another consideration is the sales price of your home. Using the Psychology of Colors, we know certain colors, (muted, complex shades) attract homebuyers looking to move up in price and who often have a college degree or higher. Buyers at the entry-level range typically prefer simpler colors. While a ‘complex’ color has tints of gray or brown such as ‘sage green’ rather than ‘green,’ a simple color is straightforward and pure. Oftentimes, houses in the lower price range sell quicker and for higher prices when painted in simple colors like yellow or tan, with an accent color white, blue or green trim.
Jeanette Joy Fisher, author of Joy to the Home: Secrets of Interior Design Psychology advises, “Using colored, rather than bland, white walls will increase your profit potential. Repeating shades of the exterior throughout your home will make the entire home seem to be in harmony. Living and family rooms painted in a slightly lighter shade of the exterior color will make sure that you’ve picked a color your buyers like because if they didn’t like your exterior colors, they wouldn’t have bothered to look inside. If they love the exterior colors, they’ll love the interior, too”. Most agrees with Fisher, “The continuity is fine, it can be a nice look. Another way to create pops of color without spending a fortune is by adding accent colors with pillows, candles, rugs, bathroom towels (Items you can take with you when you move)”. When staging your home; Most advises, less is more, when using scented candles or sprays. “Never use a heavy floral as it can be too overwhelming. Use warm smells such as cinnamon or a fresh linen”.
Fisher says, “When choosing interior paint colors, to consider how each room will be used. For instance, kitchen and dining areas that are painted in ‘food colors,’ such as coffee browns, celery greens, and pale butter yellow feel natural. Since deeper shades of color imply intimacy and serenity, I like to paint master bedrooms a medium shade of green or blue for warm selling seasons, and rouge red for cooler weather. Always consider your selling season. Use cool colors, such as blues, greens, and grays, to sell during spring and summer, and warm colors, such as yellows, reds, and maroons”.
If you’re selling in the fall and winter, Most also recommends, “Using muted, neutral colors like clay-beige with white millwork, gray accessories and warm wood. One thing we’re not seeing much of these days are accent walls“.
Here is a list of the popular colors for your house’s new-look.
Some organic colors made the bottom of the list, the muted, neutral hues at the top of the list are the most strongly recommended. They convey the message that your house is bright, clean and spacious. Using light, neutral shades make the house appear new and fresh. Also, light colors are less likely to fade over time.
Note: Factors such as age, gender, and culture can influence how an individual perceives color.
About Betty Most: Betty’s career has spanned over thirty years. She holds designations as an Accredited Buyer Agent, Certified Residential Specialist, and Graduate Realtor Institute. In 2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2013 and again in 2014, she was selected by Mpls. St. Paul Magazine and Twin Cities Business as a top agent in her field (Based on the following criteria; excellence in communication, customer service, integrity, market knowledge, negotiation, and overall satisfaction).