In 2012, University of Maryland sociologist Philip Cohen asked nearly 2,000 men and women “what’s your favorite color?” The scientist, and likely the whole of humanity, wasn’t too surprised when the majority of respondents answered with a resounding “blue.” That’s why it shouldn’t surprise you either that people are willing to pay more for just about anything that comes in their favorite hue. And that includes buying a perfectly painted blue house, too.
According to a recent analysis by Zillow, which looked at more than 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country, houses with rooms painted in shades of light blue or a pale blue/gray can sell for as much as $5,440 more than expected.
“Hues of blues and grays, particularly in light sky blue or soft slate gray are great options for home sellers. They look great in listing photos and evoke brightness and light which can make a home feel larger,” Kerrie Kelly, a home design expert with Zillow, told Forbes via email. The best part, Kelly explained, is this color scheme trick works anywhere in the country so sellers from California to Maine can try it out to maximize the sale.
And while blue is best there are a few colors sellers will want to avoid.
“Homes with dark or style-specific wall colors, like terracotta sold for as much as $2,031 less than expected,” Kelly said. “Lack of paint color could also have a negative impact on a home’s sale price as those with white bathrooms also sold below expectations.”
Overall, stay away from style-specific colors, Kelly said, especially in bonus rooms or spare bedrooms. So, when it’s time to sell your home you may want to paint your child’s pink bedroom and your burgundy-walled man cave. This way potential buyers only see a blank slate so they can envision their own things in the home.
What else can you do, besides slap a new coat of paint on, to help instantly increase your home’s value?
“Curb appeal is very important,” Kelly said. “It’s your home’s first impression. Weeding, mowing the lawn, planting fresh flowers alongside your walkway, or adding potted plants outside your front door can go a long way.”
In addition to planting, Kelly suggested adding a few extra upgrades if your budget allows including sealing the driveway, upgrading the mailbox, or swapping out light fixtures outside the front door to create a more inviting environment. And painting your front door may pay off in a big way, too. As Zillow’s analysis found, homes with front doors painted in shades of dark navy blue to slate gray sold for $1,514 more than those in different shades.
As for the inside of the home, Kelly suggested sellers focus on high-traffic areas like the kitchen and bathroom.
“In addition to adding a fresh coat of paint, swapping outdated light fixtures, upgrading faucets and other hardware, like drawer pulls are affordable quick-fixes that can really make the space feel more polished,” she said.