Best Paint Colors to Use When Selling Your House

If you are looking to sell your home, adding a fresh coat of paint can instantly improve your market value. The colors of any room can evoke a certain feeling that potential buyers will take notice of the minute they step into a room or take a look at the house from the sidewalk. But, how do you choose the best paint colors to use when selling your home?

The first step is to research high-quality paint. A new paint job with cheap paint isn’t going to look much better than your old coat in most cases. A potential buyer might end up having to paint over it.

Bill Nankervis, a professional painter in Cherry Hill, NJ, says, “High-quality paints have high-percentage binders and pigments (solids), and smaller liquid content and a right amount of titanium dioxide, for which you would want to be on the lookout for 20-25%.” Someone at your local hardware store should be able to help you choose a good paint.

Once you’ve found a high-quality paint brand you can trust, you can choose your colors. Let’s take a look at some colors to use, colors to avoid, and some resources to help you paint your house to perfection before you put it on the local market.

Paint Colors to Use When Selling Your House

Why Should I Paint My House Before Selling?

You should paint your house before selling to ensure you receive the top price for your property. If you’re having trouble deciding whether you should add a coat of paint to your house’s exterior or interior, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there holes in the wall from hanging pictures with nails?
  • Are there any murals or accent walls?
  • Is there writing on the walls?
  • Is there more than one color in a particular room?
  • Are you a smoker?
  • Have you lived in your home for more than five years?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, it is a good idea for you to paint your house before selling it. A sense of uniformity and consistency on your home’s exterior and interior will attract more buyers and ensure you make a sale.

How Do I Choose Which Rooms To Paint?

The Best Paint Colors

Sometimes, financial constraints can prevent you from properly renovating your home, and that’s OK. If that’s the case, it’s best to focus on painting the three most important rooms in the house: your kitchen, living room, and master bedroom.

If you can’t afford to customize each space, a neutral paint color can instantly refresh all three and boost your chances of securing a buyer quickly. This gives them the freedom to paint the walls whatever color they want when they move in.

Should I Hire Outside Help?

It may be more cost-effective to perform the painting duties yourself, but hiring professionals can help boost your home’s market value. Whether you want to reimagine a single room or your entire home, professional painters can ensure your home looks great during the selling process and beyond.

They can offer you expert color consultations and also provide assistance in home renovation projects, such as complete wall preparation, minor drywall repair, wallpaper removal, caulking, wood staining, and custom trim work. It comes down to your budget. If you can afford to hire professionals, the renovation will almost always increase the value of your home more than if you do it yourself.

What Color Paint Should I Use To Sell My House?

Choosing the right color paint can make or break the sale of your house. You should choose the proper color to evoke certain feelings in specific rooms. For example, some colors can make your home look smaller.

Colors That Make a Room Feel Smaller

If your room is already small, you need to avoid darker colors. Dark colors tend to absorb light, making the room look even smaller.

If you live in a larger living space that comes off as intimidating, you may want to opt for darker tones, such as gray or navy blue, to help make the space more welcoming.

Colors That Make a Room Feel Bigger

Now that we know what colors make a room smaller, how can we use color to trick the mind into thinking it’s larger? The correct color choice can create an optical illusion to make your living space seem bigger.

Light and bright colors provide a natural reflection of natural light that makes a space feel open and airy. Select soft tones of off-white, blue, and green to help make a room seem larger and more inviting. However, even a darker navy blue can help make a room seem more expansive when paired with wall trim and moldings in a lighter color.

How Do I Choose the Right Color for the Right Room?

You’ll want to pick the proper color for the room you’re working on. In some cases, it’s best to give new owners a blank canvas that they can customize to their liking, but it depends on where your house is located.

Local trends affect your decision. If other homes in the area are offering a blank slate, it might be a good idea to do that. However, if homes in your area offer a certain thematic style, it might be best to follow the trend.

There are general opinions about color choice as well. Here is a look at some colors to use so you sell your home at the top market value.

The Kitchen: Blue-Gray

White kitchens may look beautiful and clean in pictures, but they are a pain to keep clean. Using grays or blues provides a clean design while adding a modern touch to your kitchen decor.

Meanwhile, give your kitchen cabinets a bold color, such as a dark navy blue, to give your kitchen a nice contrast. Even lighter shades of blue or gray will make your space stand out and give a great first impression to new buyers.

The Dining Room: Slate

Using a more gray shade of blue creates a more formal atmosphere perfect for dinner parties or a fancy holiday meal. Accent the room with white baseboards or a wooden table and chairs to give your dining room a comfortable, inviting feel for guests. Dining rooms painted a bluish gray sell for nearly $2K more than homes with solid-white dining rooms, according to Zillow.

The Living Room or Family Room: Beige

A light beige or gray-brown color creates a more comfortable atmosphere that invites you to sit back and relax after a long day. Much like with your dining room, accent your living room or family room with a white baseboard or a fireplace for a crisp, clean feel.

Use natural woods to add to the overall feel. When in doubt, go neutral to increase the likelihood buyers will be able to envision their things in the space.

The Bedroom: Cerulean or Cadet Blue

Lively blues, such as cerulean or cadet blue go with so many things and are a good contrast from the natural tones used in the living room. Pair the blue with white baseboards or window frames for a look that pops.

The Bathroom: Light Pale Blues

Nautical-themed bathrooms are making a comeback nowadays

Paint Colors that Sell Homes

with its light pale-blue design. Thanks to its fresh, clean design, bathrooms and washrooms, using this color tone look airy and clean.

What Color Paint Should I Avoid Using?

Now that you know more about what colors you should use to make your house pop, let’s take a look at the colors you should avoid.

  • Taste-specific colors that evoke specific reactions, such as red being the equivalent to anger. Yes, they are popular in dining rooms in new homes but the look and feel is typically not warm or inviting
  • Gender-specific colors, such as pink or lavender, will attract specific demographics and turn away others
  • Yellow-white or off-white colors make rooms look cheap and unattractive
  • Colors that clash with your neighborhood’s aesthetic will make your house stick out like a sore thumb (i.e. if your street is lined with houses featuring earth-tone colors, do not paint your home with pastels)

What Emotions Can I Convey Through the Color of the Room?

We mentioned that red can invoke anger. In addition to choosing a color to enhance certain rooms, you will also want to take the right emotion of a color into consideration.

Red = Raised Adrenaline

Red is an excellent color for when you want to stir up excitement, particularly at night. The color tends to draw people together and stimulate conversations. It also raises a room’s energy level.

Yellow = Optimism

Yellow creates a joyful feeling when used in moderation. Overuse can have the opposite effect.

Used as an accent color in kitchens, bathrooms, and dining rooms, it can add some energy to the room. It is great at opening up small rooms to make them seem larger.

Orange = Excitement

Orange is a mixture of red and yellow and creates a mixture of the emotional effects. Like yellow, it should be used in moderation, but it can increase energy in the room, making it a great choice for a home gym.

Blue = Calm

Add blue to any room to create a sense of calm. Blue is a great option for bedrooms and living rooms.

However, the shade of blue you use matters. Light blue can come off as cold, and dark blue can create a sense of sadness and make the room seem smaller. Go for a happy medium.

Green = Comfort

Green mixes the calming effects of blue with the optimistic effects of yellow for a comfortable feeling. This is another great choice for bedrooms because it encourages rest. It’s even believed that surrounding yourself with green can help relieve stress.

Purple = Elegance

Purple mixes the calming qualities of blue with the energy of red, creating a sophisticated effect. Purple is the color of royalty, after all. If you want a light blue color, a light purple color can be a great compromise because it will add more warmth.

Curb Appeal: Often Forgotten, Highly Important The Best Front Door Colors

If the inside of your house is immaculate but the outside is falling apart, you will give buyers a bad impression of your home. Make sure the outside of your home puts them in the right mindset when they walk through the door.

The Exterior: White or Greige

First impressions are everything, and you will want your house to catch the eyes of buyers the minute they see it on the street. A classic white can never go wrong, as it provides a crisp, clean design as it soaks up the light in a shady yard.

Furthermore, white can also make your house look larger, making it ideal if you’re trying to sell a smaller living space. You can also paint the trim of your home to provide a look that pops. A greige color, a combination of gray and beige, can also give your house a more modernized style.

The Front Door: Navy or Gray

The front door is usually the first thing a buyer sees upon closer inspection of the house. A classic dark navy blue or blue-grey helps provide a color that pops for any home’s exterior, and it looks good with just about any color.

Where to Start

If you can afford to optimize your entire home to get the best price possible, you should, and painting is a great way to optimize your home. Make sure the furniture you stage the home with matches whatever colors you choose.

If you need to prioritize specific areas of your home, focus on fixing problem areas first. If your plumbing and electrical wiring is faulty, then that obviously takes precedent over the paint on your walls.

Ask a Realtor or home appraiser what you should prioritize if you aren’t sure. They will know the trends in the area and what homeowners are looking for the most.

What parts of your house will you prioritize as you optimize your home to get the best price?

Additional Painting Your Home Resources

Front Door Color Guide

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The Top Paint Colors to Use When Selling Your House

About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 615 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker Access Realty (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.