Color Cues, Crimes & Consequences!

What cues does your home’s exterior and interior color say to potential buyers? Buy me? Or, What were they thinking? If it’s the latter, that’s when you may be thinking you’re at the scene of a color crime!  So, then what? What are the consequences?

After we live in our homes for a long time we can become desensitized to what the colors are and what it really looks like. 

Choosing or determining the use of color can often be a scary undertaking for a home seller. There are many things to take into consideration.  Once you start painting… you may end up painting more than you anticipated!

  • When was the last time the home was painted including the ceiling? 
  • Is there wall paper that needs to be removed? 
  • Are the colors relevant to today? 
  • Are they dull and marked up from years of wear? 
  • Are there bright colors such as in children’s rooms? 
  • How many rooms should be refreshed with new paint? 
  • Would the home benefit from an accent wall?

Seeing and liking a trendy color doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed to look great or appeal to the majority of people.  It also may cause more issues to be resolved… as in… if it doesn’t match the furniture or décor.

Colors need to be chosen in a ‘pallet’ and the whole room and how it is seen from other rooms Picking color requires is not

Not everyone knows exactly what they like for home décor and even if they do… they aren’t able to create that look themselves. 

Seek the help of a professional to ensure that the paint you choose for your home is not coloring yourself into a ‘no-sell’ corner. 

Neutralize

The colors potential buyers see when they enter your home should be neutral so that the buyers will not be distracted by someone else’s style. They should see the walls of your home as a blank canvas on which to project their own preferences and style. But “neutral” doesn’t necessarily mean white. Using subtle color can actually enhance the buyer’s experience, so repaint walls that have strong colors with rich neutral hues.

Neutral colors to consider:

199 barley
1039 stone house
HC-98 providence olive

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Update and Refresh

If your wallpaper has a distracting design or is outdated, remove it and add a fresh coat of paint for a more current, updated look. A low-sheen product will help reduce the imperfections on walls and ceilings. You can also use color to highlight the architectural details and features of your home.

Colors to consider for updating and refreshing:

HC-93 carrington beige
HC-45 shaker beige
HC-111 nantucket gray

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Maximize Your Space

Light, clean, organized spaces appear larger. So clean and declutter, and give your walls a fresh coat of paint in a light neutral color to bring the room to life and make it seem more expansive. One home staging idea that can help expand your space visually: paint the moldings the same color as the wall, which gives an illusion of higher walls.

Colors to consider for maximizing your space:

HC-81 manchester tan
HC-26 monroe bisque
2143-40 camouflage

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Refresh Outside Spaces

First impressions are everything, so besides trimming your hedges and grass, be sure your front door and any fencing or mailbox posts are freshly painted. And because buyers love decks, porches, and patios, also make sure they’re freshly painted or stained.

Colors to consider for front doors:

AF-300 dinner party
HC-133 yorktowne green
HC-112 tate olive

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First impressions are everything when selling your home.

A buyer may ask questions about house maintenance, the condition of your appliances or the quality of your neighborhood and schools, but these factors pale in comparison to the feeling a buyer gets the first time he or she steps into your home. If you want to sell your house in a short amount of time and with minimum hassle, it’s critical that the decor is up-to-date and attractive.

You can think of your home’s color palette as an important backdrop; it sets the stage for the furnishings and decorations that give rooms their unique feel. Picking the right paint is a topic that causes frustration for many. Paint is relatively simple to apply or change, but the wrong color inside or out can turn a buyer off from the entire house. To prevent this, many real estate professionals recommend painting your home in neutral colors.

If you’re still living in the home you’re selling, though, does that mean you’re stuck inside a bland, beige nightmare? Not necessarily. Remember, the term “neutral colors” doesn’t limit you to shades of white and beige. With a little pre-planning and a sense for the effect color has on the human mind, you can use browns, greens and even bolder colors to highlight your home.

And don’t forget about the exterior of your home: Painting the exterior can also help attract potential buyers, but be careful. While no one would think twice about painting a house in Florida peach or turquoise, chances are these colors would turn off potential buyers in a suburban Boston neighborhood.

Sellers need all the help they can get in today’s housing market.

If the outside of your house looks weather-beaten or if there’s any sign of mold growing on the lower clapboards, then you should paint the exterior. Think about it: The first thing a potential buyer sees is the color of the house. And in real estate, first impressions are everything.

In picking a color, keep in mind the character of a neighborhood. If all the houses on the street are beige and tan, don’t paint your house pink. Common sense, right? Not for many people. The color should also reflect the landscape. Consider the shrubs and trees when shopping for a color.

You can’t go wrong with white. White is one of the safest, and most popular colors, to paint the exterior. According to one survey, nearly 40 percent of those questioned liked white. For one thing, white can make your house look larger. White also soaks up the light in a shady yard, and is also clean-looking. One of the nice things about white is that you can paint the trim with a color that makes the entire house pop [source: Burns]. Remember too, white isn’t just white; it comes in many hues.

Moreover, when choosing an exterior color, don’t overlook the roof. A new roof is a major selling point. For one thing, no one wants to replace a roof — a pricy proposition — when they buy a house. A roof can also make a statement with color. While the most popular colors for a roof are blacks and grays, there are also reds, and greens and tans. If you’re going to replace your roof prior to selling, an interesting color that complements the exterior could catch a would-be seller’s eye in the right setting.

Neutral colors sound like a big snooze, right? Sure they do. But the point is to sell your house, not style it for a spread in “Martha Stewart Living.” Everyone, from real estate agents to decorators, recommend painting the interior of your house in neutral colors. Why is that? For one thing, a new home buyer always sees dollar signs. They don’t want to buy a house and then have to spend additional money to fix it up or paint it. Moreover, some people have very strong reactions to bright colors. Neutrals will keep the “yuck” factor to a minimum.

The right shade of gray combined with bright accessories can make a space look sophisticated and modern.

Gray shades have gained in popularity over the last few years as go-to choices for decorators wanting to add chic, urban sophistication to their rooms. When combined with furniture and trim in light, neutral shades, a dark gray accent can become a bold focal point. In addition, the right decor and gray wall combination can work well with a handful of bright, colorful accents, such as a shiny green lamp or metallic red chair.

But this bold style isn’t for everyone, and it can come across as imposing if a buyer isn’t expecting it. The key to using gray effectively when selling your home is to pair the right shade with your home’s overall feel. If you’re selling a trendy urban loft, for example, you may be able to use a dark gray to enhance the effect of sleek, modern furnishings. The same color would look completely out of place in a traditional home with conservative furnishings. In that case, you could use a light gray to bring a feeling of coolness to a bedroom (since many grays border on shades of blue, their calming effects can be similar) [source: Demesne].

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