How a Coat of Paint Can Determine Your Home’s Sale Price

An inexpensive can of paint holds a lot more power than you think.

From the time of year to the neighborhood, a lot of factors come into play when you’re selling a home. But here’s one variable you might not have considered — color.

During open houses and online searches, the colors of your home are constantly working for or against you. That’s according to Zillow, a real estate and rental marketplace, which examined over 32,000 photos from sold homes around the country to see how certain paint colors impacted their average sale price compared to homes of similar value with white walls. Here’s what they found.

A Change of Trends

The colors that added value to your home just a year ago can now be hurting its sale price. In 2016, painting your kitchen a shade of yellow could help your home sell for $1,100 to $1,300 more. However, this year, a yellow kitchen could lower your home’s value by an estimated $820, according to Zillow.

Some color preferences remained consistent, with terracotta walls still devaluing a home. Just last year, homes with terracotta walls sold for $793 less than Zillow’s predicted selling price. This year, that number more than doubled, with homes with terracotta walls selling for $2,031 less.

The takeaway: If you’re looking to sell your home, you may want to avoid a terracotta shade. Also be cautious in general when choosing dark and bold colors.

Keep it Light

“Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray, not only make a home feel larger but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space,” said Svenja Gudell, Zillow’s chief economist, in a statement.

In fact, homes with blue bathrooms, including lighter shades of blue or periwinkle, sold for $5,440 more than expected, Zillow found. Kitchens with light blue-gray walls sold for $1,809 more than expected, and walls with cool, natural tones like soft oatmeal and pale gray also had top-performing listings.

Light, simple walls performed best among sellers, however, walls with no color had the most negative impact on sales price. Homes with white bathrooms or no paint color, for instance, sold for an average of $4,035 less than similar homes, Zillow noted.

Head Outside

As if it isn’t stressful enough worrying about your rooms’ colors, your home’s exterior color can also impact its sale price.

To that end, buyers typically enjoyed a pop of color, with homes featuring dark navy blue or slate gray front doors selling for $1,514 more. Buyers also responded positively to trendy mixes of light gray and beige, or “greige,” exteriors versus basic tan stucco and medium-brown shades.

If you’re trying to sell your home, a can of paint can be a wise investment — so long as you choose the right color. Keep these findings in mind before you head to the paint store. Likewise, just as color impacts sale price, know that selling your home can impact your credit. Don’t forget to check your credit report card before you start picking out paint chips.

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5 Features That Sell Your Home Quickly

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Selling a home can be a long process. But it doesn’t have to be.

According to Money, real estate experts at Realtor.com recently analyzed its home listings, tracking the data for the number of days each house was on the market and how many page views each house received. Realtor.com then compared that data with the houses’ features — like architectural style and home amenities — to help it determine which features are linked to quick sales.

So if you’re looking to sell your house and you need to do it quickly, these five home features often lead to faster “sold” signs in front yards:

  • Affordable price point: This will likely come as no surprise to you, but according to Money, the higher your asking price, the longer it takes to find a buyer. “Houses listed between $200,000 and $250,000 sold in about 83 days, faster than those in any other price range,” Money said. “That’s compared to 133 days for homes priced between $2 million and $5 million.”
  • Medium-sized homes are “just right” for buyers: Although Realtor.com says that big homes tend to get more views than smaller homes on its website, that doesn’t necessarily equate to a quick sale. “McMansions are expensive to heat, cool and maintain,” explains NewHomeSource. The houses that typically sell the quickest through the site are approximately 1,500 to 2,000 square feet, and priced at about $194,000.
  • We love our stainless steel: According to RedFin, stainless steel appliances are a hot selling point. “While new appliance finishes like slate are starting to gain traction, stainless steel is still the gold standard for kitchens these days,” said Robyn Jackson, a Redfin real estate agent in Palm Beach, California.

  • Unique architecture: If you are hoping to sell your Spanish-style home, you’re in luck. That architectural style is uncommon — making up just 1% of listings on Realtor.com — and Spanish-style homes tend to sell “incredibly quickly” because they’re often located in hot real estate markets like those in coastal California, according to Money. On the flip side, Victorian-style homes often spend a long time on the market, despite being priced much lower than their Spanish-style counterparts.
  • Schools: If your “for sale” home is located near a good school, you may be in for a quick sale. Realtor.com found that homes near schools described as “best” or “top” got the most page views on its site and sold in 76 days on average. Homes located near a stadium also sold quickly (77 days).

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