What’s In, What’s Not: Painting Colors to Sell a House
The Florida real estate market is hot. A few days after a property is put up for sale, many sellers receive multiple offers, often above the asking price.
However, buyers are not getting into bidding wars over just any old property. The same features that have drawn buyers in for generations—prime location, stainless steel appliances, updated cabinetry, and plenty of natural light—still help drive deals today.
So how do you get potential buyers to walk through the front door to see all your home has to offer? Edge call. First impressions are everything in real estate.
If you’re preparing to cash in equity as the real estate market sizzles, focus on color. A fresh coat of exterior and interior paint provides an excellent return on investment for a relatively low cost.
Below are paint color tips sellers can use to capitalize on real estate trends:
Exterior paint colors
The Arch Digest, a publication for architects, interior designers and do-it-yourselfers, notes that “gray is continually gaining popularity” as an exterior color in Florida because it makes homes look “modern and sleek.” Gray also comes in many hues, making it easy to mix and match.
For a home’s exterior, light gray is a trending dominant hue when paired with medium and dark gray trim around doors, windows, handrails and accents. Likewise, a house painted in a medium gray hue looks best with white, light gray, or dark gray trim.
Gray blends are also popular colors, with gray-blue and gray-green leading the way. They are distinctive, but not too different to elicit negative reactions. Light yellow, ivory, beige, taupe and cream are safe bets.
On the other hand, dark brown, dark gray and black are not so popular for dominant shades in Florida. They don’t reflect sunlight well and can fade in the intense Florida sun all year round. While the white doesn’t seem objectionable, some buyers might consider it a maintenance challenge given the frequent rains and high humidity in Florida that can lead to mold growth and surface stains. Rainwater falling from the roofline can splash dirt and grass clippings onto a structure, and this is especially noticeable on a white house.
The front door is essentially the centerpiece of a home’s facade and is an ideal space to showcase creativity and personality. Bold paint colors like navy blue, brown, dark brown, black, red, and forest green can fit into many color palettes.
High quality exterior paint typically lasts up to 10 years or more. However, its life can be shortened due to many factors, including direct exposure to sunlight, frequent moisture from rainwater, and staining from mold growth or dirt. High pressure hoses can also cause premature color fading and even peeling paint.
Interior paint colors
Inside a home, wall colors are just as important in creating the interior equivalent of exterior curb appeal. When potential buyers open the front door, they immediately pan around the room to soak up the atmosphere.
TV host and designer Joanna Gaines is among those who have touted “greige” as a dominant color in fashion. It’s a mix between gray, a cooler hue, and beige, a warmer hue, to create the ultimate neutral color. Greige is versatile, elegant and timeless, as well as complementary to almost any color of furniture, artwork, home decor and linens.
Gray with a touch of light green or light blue can create a warm and cozy feeling as the dominant color. Beige, tan, and off-white remain safe choices for common spaces like the living room, kitchen, dining room, and hallways.
Bedrooms can feature more color while calming the senses. Blue-gray and green-gray help create a retreat vibe. Avoid bright or bold color combinations that can overpower the senses, such as orange, red, hot pink, purple, and royal blue.
Trim colors can complement or contrast the dominant color of a room. White has been the safe choice for generations, but safe color isn’t the only one selling. A dark gray border around a window can help direct potential buyers to the outside view.
Consider a bold accent wall to contrast neutral colors and draw attention to a unique piece of art or furniture. Dark accent walls make a wall appear to recede, creating the feeling of a larger space. This is especially important in a room or house with limited square footage.
When painting to set the scene for a home, use an eggshell, matte or flat finish on the walls to help hide imperfections while absorbing light. A fresh coat of white paint on the doors, baseboards and door frames highlights features that are often the most weathered parts of a home.
Before putting a home on the market, sellers should have three main goals: (1) Generate multiple offers, (2) Attract buyers willing to pay more than the listing price, and (3) Sell the home quickly. In 2021, Zillow research found that potential home buyers were willing to bid 1.6% higher based on color alone. Given the hot real estate market, this could put thousands of extra dollars in a seller’s pocket, so choose wisely.
About the Author
Dan Miles is the Commercial Paint Division Manager at Sunshine Ace Hardware, which serves commercial paint and DIY customers in stores on the West Coast of Florida. For more information or to find the nearest location, please visit SunshineAce.com.