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Home Staging: The Best Paint Colors To Sell Your Home

Bill Gassett's picture
Best Colors to Stage a Home to Sell

What Colors Are Best When Staging a House?

You thought it was a good idea at the time! I mean, it looked great in the magazine! How were you to know the trends would change? No, we aren’t talking about that haircut with bangs from the 90’s - we are talking about the vibrant shade of red that covers the walls of your dining room because someone, somewhere decided that was the "it" color - and well, you agreed.

Fast forward ten years, and like all fleeting trends, things have changed. No big deal, right? Wrong. You are now ready to sell your home, and the once completely on the point dining room is now an eyesore to potential buyers. Take heart! Unlike those bangs which take months to grow out - repainting your dining room can be done in an afternoon!

Now that we have established that bright red is out - it begs the question, what colors are in? - specifically when staging your home for resale.

Let's take a peek at some tips for staging your home for sale using the best paint colors. Keep in mind that painting is something you can do yourself. You don't need professional staging to figure out what the "in" colors are right now.

What colors are best for staging my home?

If you are selling your home this year, the best way to approach staging is by appealing to the masses. Sure, you may have found one or two potential buyers who would be thrilled to have seen the glowing, red dining room, however, chances are if you polled the general population, they would not be making up the majority.

Like many times in life, sticking to neutral ground is your safest bet! And that includes paint colors! Though neutral may scream boring and bland to some, there are many variations between beiges, whites, and greys that can act as the perfect canvas for other more exciting pieces of decor.

When considering neutral colors to freshen up your home, choosing different variations of the same color can add uniformity and flow to your space. If you’ve ever perused the paint colors at a hardware store, you learn quickly that there are more shades of white than one thought possible.  Finding complementing shades to use throughout the home - especially adjoining areas - will promote clean, undisturbed sightlines.

Though specific colors can be attached to mood - i.e. grey = sad, yellow = happy - choosing a warmer tone tends to avoid making rooms feel cold and impersonal. A popular color choice for many decorators has been “greige” - a harmonious blend of grey and beige that balances the on-trendiness of all things grey and the warmth and coziness of beige.

What rooms should I focus on when repainting?

When repainting for staging purposes, and especially if you are on a time crunch, it is vital to prioritize which areas are the most important. Don’t worry about little Sally’s hot pink bedroom - focus your time and efforts on the main living areas of the home.

Consider the “first impression” rooms when potential buyers walk into your home - foyers, kitchen, living room, and dining room - especially in an open concept home - will have the most significant impact on those viewing your home.

Buyers tend to be more forgiving when it comes to secondary bedrooms, playrooms, or guest bathrooms that feature brighter, “unique” color pallets. If time and finances permit, a quick repaint would be beneficial; however, generally, these areas are natural to look past.

What colors should I avoid?

While no color is inherently bad - when it comes to covering your walls in them - things can turn ugly pretty quickly. Yes, there is a time and a place for a bright yellow accent wall or multi-colored bedroom; however, when you’re trying to sell your house - these decor choices should be avoided.

When choosing a paint color, there are a few factors to consider, such as natural lighting, size of the said room, and its use. Small areas with minimal windows should steer clear of anything too dark, instead use a light, neutral color to help the room appear brighter and larger.

Stark colors such as reds, yellows, or oranges can make it difficult for buyers to see their belongings in certain spaces and detract attention from personal home decor pieces such as furniture and rugs.

There are many buyers in today's market that are looking for a move-in ready, no work necessary home; however, if they own a beautiful blue sofa set and are faced with an avocado green living room, they may see time and money required to redecorate.

Does paint finish make a difference?

Yes! Using the correct paint finish does make a significant difference not only for the overall look but also for durability. Matte, flat, eggshell, semi-gloss, and high gloss are generally the finishes available for household paints. Depending on the finish, the perception of paint colors can change.

For high traffic, high mess (children dropping a can of spaghetti sauce type of mess) areas such as the kitchen, it is best to use a durable and scrubbable finish. High-gloss is the most recommended for the kitchen as it is stain resistant and can handle a good old fashion scrubbing. The bathroom is also an area where high or semi-gloss finishes are most suited. For obvious reasons, having a paint that can endure a good wash is crucial!

Dining or playrooms tend to see more satin or eggshell finishes. Giving the paint a slightly more sheen finish than matte or flat, satin and eggshell can handle some cleaning and wear.

Lower traffic areas - foyer, hallways, and bedrooms, etc. - do well with either satin, matte or flat. Keep in mind that when repainting kid's rooms, those pesky fingerprints or Picasso inspired crayon drawings will not easily wash off matte or flat walls.

At the end of the day, a couple of cans of paint and a little bit of effort will make a big difference in your home decor. Providing buyers with a neutral background will aid them in envisioning themselves living in the home. While most buyers can look past unsightly paint colors, showcasing your home in the best light possible can affect the sale price.

Other Helpful Home Selling Resources

More great advice on how to make your home look its best before a for sale sign goes on the lawn.

How to choose a truck rental company - are you the type of person that likes to save money by doing things yourself? One area where people can save money is moving. Professional movers charge a lot of money. Rightfully so, as it is arduous work. If you can take all the packing and moving physically and mentally, then getting your own moving truck may be a worthwhile exercise. See some helpful tips on getting a rental moving truck.

What to know about junk removal companies - do you need to get a significant amount of things removed from your home before it can go on the market? One of the best methods in helping to declutter a home is to have a junk removal company remove unwanted items. See what you need to know with these pro tips in the article at Realty Times.

Renting a PODS moving container - another viable option for making your property look better when selling is to rent a PODS. The beauty of a storage container is that you can house it at your property, giving you easy access to anything you might need. See some helpful advice on considerations to think about when getting a POD.

Use these additional resources to make your home staged better when it comes time to sell.

About the author: The above article on the best colors when selling a home was written by Adam Slivka. Adam is a team leader at Integrity Plus Realty in Western Pennsylvania.

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