The Power of Color

It used to be that the rule of thumb when selling your home was paint the walls white. You didn’t want to turn off your potential buyer by having a color on a wall that they would not like. The times have changed, and that just simply is no longer the case. In fact, color is a big feature when selling your home.

So what color is best? Good question.

For the past 5 or so years earth tones have been very popular. Earth tones are just that, colors that are found in nature. Soft shades of green, warm shades of brown and rust, and even deep shades of auburn or red. These have really been en vogue. Curiously, I have noticed in some national advertising by a large home decorating store, crisp blue tones. This has me wondering if the earth tones are headed out and the colder shades of blue and gray might be coming back in.

To know what color to paint your house if you are doing it for the purpose of selling, my suggestion is to visit some new neighborhoods that are currently under construction and tour the model homes. The builders hire designers to select the paint colors and these designers stay on top of the latest trends.

Is white completely wrong? No, not always. White-on-white such as you find in extremely contemporary homes has never gone out of style. What about black? Black can be extremely effective as an accent, but don’t over do it. Both black and white can add elegance and sophistication.

To learn a little bit more about color, I found information from Debbie Zimmer, a contributor to Realtor Magazine and a color expert at the Paint Quality Institute. She has some ideas not just about color but about how color can influence the mood of a room:

Purple can be used effectively in a child’s room and it is known to stimulate brain activity.

Blue has been shown to lower pulse rate and body temperature, making it great for bedrooms. It was used by ancient Egytians and Native Americans to heal.

Green is soothing. Like blue, it is calming and works well in bedrooms.

Yellow makes people happy and represents optimism. Studies have shown it causes the brain to release more serotonin. I want to suggest that you have to be careful with yellow. Keep it soft and buttery. When done right, it is fantastic. When too bright or loud, it is a big mistake. Years ago I heard a statistic that a yellow house (exterior paint) will sell faster than any other color. I am no longer convinced that this is true, but I do know that buyers do respond positively to it, again, when it is done right.

Orange says “look at me”. Muddy shades are very rich and soothing. If it is too bright it will appear raw and flamboyant.

Red has energy and makes people feel excited. It is associated with passion and can be used effectively in a master suite, but also in a dining room.

So don’t be afraid of color, but use it correctly. And I highly encourage you, if you have lived in your home for many years, to consider updating the paint scheme if you are considering selling. Do your research to figure out what is in style. Paint is one of the least expensive things you can do to remodel a home, particularly if you are able to do the painting yourself. Painting is step #1 in preparing your home for selling.