We discovered something interesting recently when it comes to paint colors and home values. In fact, I was surprised at first, but not after completing my research on the matter. It’s just different than what we have normally been told or understood when it comes to freshening up your home for sale.
In fact, painting your home is still the #1 way to increase your home’s value on a dime. If you want to sell your home and your funds are limited for upgrades, painting is the way to go. But you could be making your efforts in vain if you pick the wrong colors.
The wrong colors are…..
White and different tones of whites (eggshell, off-white, etc.), dark colors and style-specific colors.
And this is no less true than in the kitchen – the place where any upgrades you make will most affect the increase in your home’s value.
Does this surprise you? The dark and style specific may not surprise you as we are all told by our realtors that those are indeed the wrong colors, but it was the white that surprised me a little initially. Whenever we have sold a home, we have been told to rid the home of color and make the slate as neutral as possible so that potential buyers can have a fresh start the way they want. That meant whites, off whites and very light (almost white) beige colors.
But let’s be honest. How often do you want to move into a freshly painted home to have to freshly paint again? In the end, people really do want move-in ready not necessarily a clean-slate.
And that brings us to our next key word. CLEAN.
Although a white kitchen (or any room) looks clean, fresh, new and very often beautiful – a potential buyer might think positively of the look, but practically not want a white kitchen themselves because of thinking about how difficult it will be to keep it clean. I for one can attest that I like my home clean, but especially because I have kids, I don’t want to be scrubbing walls and floors constantly to keep that clean look. I want….no, I NEED a low maintenance home.
And this confirmation all comes from a report recently put out by Zillow Digs. They compared 50,000 homes, the final prices sold, the colors of the walls and made these comparisons to each other and current market values.
When the report concluded, homes with white and shades of white, dark colors and style specific colors sold for much less than the market value (like $1,200 or so).
So Newton’s Third Law of Motion comes to mind when choosing paint colors for our home – “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.”
Let me explain: just as much as the dark colors, style specific colors and whites can reduce the sales value of your home, there are colors that you can use instead to increase your home’s value by that much more!
So there are colors that will actually make your home sale for more than market value! Isn’t that great!
What are those colors?
Warm neutrals like yellows (wheat yellows), warm greens (like sage green) and grays (like dove grays). These homes sold for $1,200 or more than market-value.
I haven’t been a fan of yellows myself, but there must be some truth to this. My grandma bought a home with quite bright yellow walls in the kitchen and living room. It was not very pretty in my opinion. But it did make the home bright, happy, warm and inviting. Well, she never changed the color in the 10 years she lived there and just put her home up for sale in a slow market, with this original paint color she bought the home with. In 3-days, she had five offers and sold her home for more than it was listed…again in a slow, buyer’s market.
In fact, she’s moving out of this home this week. She hoped to have sold it by the end of the year, but it was right after she listed it.
Was it the yellow? I can’t say for sure, but the fact that she hasn’t painted it and it still looks bright, new, inviting and warm for the past 10 years must say something.
Anyway, as you may be prepping and determining the steps you could take to make your home more sellable, this is some food for thought.
Nope. I like a slightly off-white color in the kitchen. Then I can use any color of towels, curtains, etc.
Like yellow and soft green…but gray makes me depressed…we did our bathroom in it and I have regretted it.
We did our entire interior with grey with the exception of bathrooms. We chose it because a friend had just done her house in the same gray and the compliments never stopped. We added bright white trim. it is a light gray so when you walk in you don’t say “hey, those walls are gray”. It is just soothing but not white. Everything works with it. Our blue kitchen accents, our red living room couch, our yellow buffet…
Thank you! I just did my living room and hall grey and I think its so soothing and clean!
Not yellow at all. Our home is a nice warm tan in the main living areas and a bit lighter in the bedrooms and one bath. The other bath is a beautiful pale sunset glow and the kitchen is bamboo green. I can put almost any color in any room, even the kitchen. Our goal is to eventually remodel the kitchen with white cabinets and a farmhouse look to go with the barn siding wall.
My kitchen is sunshine yellow because I like the color. All my walls colors are taken from a meadow. Like grey porch for rocks yellow for sunshine, hardwood floors from trees ect. Now it’s popular, to have colorful walls?
The pictures chosen for this article are a little misleading. The Zillow report references the color of the walls not the cabinets. The most preferred kitchen on Zillow, at 20,000 likes, has all white cabinets and the most pinned kitchen on Pinterest has all white cabinets. Yes, pale yellow walls with white trim in a kitchen is widely appealing but, kitchen cabinets are another story.
With further research you’ll find that home buyers over 40 prefer stained wood cabinets and those under 40 prefer white cabinets.
This 54 year old loves her white cabinets. I put off doing it for quite some time because so many people told me I would regret it. I wish I would have done it years ago. I also painted the walls grey and bright white trim. I love how the white trim and cabinets pop off the grey. It is just such a nice fresh clean look. I did take out my light floor tile and replaced the floor with dark wood. It went from being my kitchen to being my happy place. My husband looked at me like he thought he might have to call an exorcist when I said I wanted to paint over the stained wood. Even he likes it now, I think that has more to do with his 7 sisters and mom gushing over it.
I bet if you did a survey it would be more women prefer white, and men think wood should be wood, stained and manly.
Soft to stronger greys get a resounding YES from me. Green carries varying amounts of yellow…and I don’t care for yellow, either,
We had an inexpensive kitchen reno done by us over twenty five years ago. We couldn’t afford much and my husband built the cabinets. We painted them a soft sunshine yellow and we never regretted it. Fast forward to this summer and we redid the kitchen, by repainting the cabinet frames a soft beige, built new doors (out of up cycled hardwood door fronts and just sealed them in their natural state) , put in newly built and sealed blonde wood counter tops, and painted the back walls a soft grey. We have a barn board look laminate floor, and an oversized black antique 6 burner propane gas stove. Kept the almond coloured 20 year old all-fridge, and called it a day. We have had so many compliments, and the soft soothing colours are easy on the eyes, and easy to keep clean. I have never understood the all white kitchen craze. Who can keep that clean? When it gets worn, it looks grubby in a very short period of time. I also think that white vehicles look cheaper than their coloured counter parts.
We went to France, and it inspired me to renovate my kitchen into French Country. Walls are painted a buttery yellow, new white cabinets, that has a winery ck to match over the refrig., stainless steel appliances. Countertop is a beautiful blue flecked quartz. The French valances are reversible, one side is yellow background, white and blue flowers, edged with stripe. The reverse side is stripped with small edging of flowers. The table is oak top, white painted legs. The chair seats are trimmed in the same French flowered fabric as valances, 2 bows in the stripped material are tied to each lower end near seat cushions. The lighting over the table is now a French pewter chandelier with a look of candles and dimmer. I also have recessed and under cabinet lighting. The floor is ceramic white tile with a blue inset and grey blue grout. Pictures of our romantic city are in white french frames. I have a French stencil saying over the kitchen sink area. The room was well planned. So when you’ve written about yellow, I agree with you, it’s cheerful, bright and warm, yet cozy snd romantic with the warm walls and dimmed lighting at night. Wish I could show you, you’d fall in love with it too. I’ love it!
Sorry about some of the words being messed up from my phone. And this site won’t let me edit.
What color is your entry way? It is beautiful . Also trim color . Thank you!
We painted the main spaces of our home a lovely creamy off-white (the color of pound cake batter!). It has just enough yellow undertones to give the house a bright sun-kissed feel without being in-your-face yellow (or, “yaller,” as many of my Southern friends pronounce it). I find bright yellows on walls sort of repulsive but I suppose that’s just me. The lighter paint color seems to make our hot summers in the South a bit cooler. The original owners of this house had painted the walls dark brown and dark green. It was like walking into a dirty cave, although I suppose the colors did hide fingerprints…
Thanks for sharing. I absolutely loved your idea.
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You’re right, there are many things that can affect the value of a home, or how fast it sells. For example, when we partnered with MrHomeBuyer, I also found out about various nuances, like problems with the roof, that underestimated their offer.
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