How Much Difference do Colors Make Anyway?


For nearly my entire career in real estate, I have been telling people, “Neutral paint. Not too specific. No crazy colors. “ It’s one of the least expensive, yet most dramatic, ways to make a home look fresher, more welcoming, and certainly easier for potential buyers to visualize themselves in it. If you work in real estate long enough, these are just things you know. It’s not something we just say.

However, Zillow’s Color Analysis report really boils down exactly what a difference it makes. (I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest fan of Zillow, generally, but they have an ability to obtain scads of data, and analyze it in a way we “regular” agents can’t…) According to the report from 2018, there are definitely some monetary factors, when it comes to choosing colors when you’re putting your house on the market. After looking at over 135k photos of sold homes, they came up with the following data:

Homes with black or charcoal gray doors add up to the biggest difference, selling for over $6000 more than expected, on average.

Need to paint the exterior? Don’t pick yellow- those homes sold on average for nearly $2500 less than other comparable (non yellow) homes.

Tuxedo kitchens (with contrasting tops and bottoms, or a contrasting island) have been bringing around $1500 more than those with more traditional kitchens. Will it continue? That I’m not sure. Likely for the next year or so, is my guess…

So what does this all mean? Should you paint? Where? And what colors?

You cannot go wrong with neutrals. That really hasn’t changed- not in the 16 years I’ve been in real estate. It’s moved a bit from beige and taupe to more gray tones, but neutral is neutral. It helps people visualize themselves, and their stuff, in a house.

The difference? Years ago, plain old neutral and “depersonalizing” worked great, but now (with the popularity of HGTV, etc) people generally want more unique touches. That may be that contrasting island, a unique door, or a fun feature that makes the home seem more custom. An accent of a darker, moody, color (deep blue/ charcoal gray) makes a great statement too, and is easy to change if it just doesn’t work with the buyer’s style.

There are so many ways to update your home for sale- costing anywhere from $100 on up, but paint really is one of the easiest, and least expensive, ways to get a wow, and change the look. Have questions? Message or call me. I’m happy to work with you on choosing not only those colors, but making sure that whatever you’re doing to get your home ready for sale is the best place to get you the most “bang for your buck.” Let’s talk!

Find more info on the report HERE