Today we’re sharing what Carol originally wrote in a comment on my post about Ultra Violet, the Pantone Color of the Year. I’d mentioned that she would not recommend you put it on your walls, and here’s her response:
Absolutely true, Sue Ann! One of the trends I’ve noticed a LOT in my ~20-years in this business, is that people who are in financial trouble who try to sell homes with heavily colored walls tend to have problems. They may have said when they painted the room, “Oh, it’s okay, we’ll just change it back when we go to sell it.” And it always seems they just don’t have the money or time to “change it back.”
And maybe they think it’s a really pretty color and feel others will, too. But people who don’t spend much time with buyers don’t hear the feedback. I do. Trust me, buyers think it costs thousands of dollars to repaint a room and often don’t even get that far in their thinking. Usually they just reject the house outright and go on to the next one!
And, dear home owner, let me tell you, it’s a LOT of work to stage, declutter, pack up personal photos and knickknacks, to get a house ready to sell (especially if you really want (or NEED) to get top dollar on your house). If your house has dark blue, violet, orange, or red walls, you seriously limit your market of buyers. That’s why I always recommend folks buy throw pillows, curtains, or accessories in the trendy colors instead of painting.
Paint colors aren’t just a matter of opinion. Notice that hospitals paint emergency rooms and operating rooms in soft, soothing colors. Can you imagine a more stressful space that could use less stimulus? Loud, bold and heavy colors are proven to actually cause your mood to change.* If one already has a lot of stress (and it’s often stressful for buyers when deciding to FINALLY buy a home), why wouldn’t you want to make your home welcoming and soothing for them?
Buyers buy on emotion, and if a color elicits an emotional reaction in your buyer instead of being neutral (white, beiges, or pale greys), it takes longer to sell the house.
Thanks to the Internet, they get to preview houses before they come out to see it in person, meaning they often won’t even come out.
The Bottom Line
That $30 can of paint might lose you $3,000 or more in the resale. Do the math. That’s 1% on a $300,000 sale. It’s not a minor thing. Trust me, it’s painful when buyer after buyer REJECTS your home.
Add up the monthly payments on a home that sits on the market, too. If your monthly payment is $2,000/month, and it takes four months to sell, that’s $8,000 spent on a house you don’t want any longer. And that $8,000 on a $300,000 sale is nearly 3% of the sales price!
Stay neutral and make money.
For More Information
Sue Ann says: I went to look for articles backing up Carol’s contention that bold colors can change your mood. Here are some fun articles, some agreeing that color can be stressful, and others saying the opposite.
For Carol’s Thesis:
10 Paint Colors to Help You Sell Your Home (about how to make neutral interesting)
These 7 Colors Will Increase Your Home’s Value (analyzes a Zillow survey)
Against Carol’s Thesis
The Surprising Effect of Color on Your Mind and Mood (this article actually says beige makes you stressed out)
This Is the Paint Color You Should Use If You Want Your Home to Sell (cites the same Zillow survey as the article above, but this one is a winner, because it says that blue or periwinkle bathrooms sell for $5K more, and neutral bathrooms sell for less; my bathroom is periwinkle)