Everyone who is on the market for a new house is waiting for that magic moment when they step into a new home and picture themselves living in it forever. One of the quickest ways in which sellers steal that magic moment away from their potential buyers is with paint color.
The science of color and the psychological effects that colors have on people is an interesting topic indeed. Colors can change our mood and our perception of things. Color drives us to express or suppress emotions and is a universal language all its own. Colors can make or break a sale of your home too.
Most realtors and consultants will tell you that neutral colors—off-whites to beiges—provide buyers with the clean, bright canvas upon which they can paint with their imagination. While this is undoubtedly sage advice, it does not mean that all buyers will see the potential in the blank canvas you’ve painted.
The trouble with color is that it can quickly overwhelm the senses, and that goes for neutral colors too. Millennials, for example, are not interested in seeing white walls, and consider such painting choices to be dated. The same goes for pastel colors and wallpaper.
It’s not that buyers “can’t see past paint color,” as is often said, but rather that they see a need for a house without any character.
The color of your walls is a powerful tool that can be wielded in your favor if you take the time to consider how different colors affect your buyer on an emotional level. Though it is never advisable to try to sell a home where every wall is overly bright or overly dark, finding the right balance between an uninteresting space and an overwhelming one is easier than it seems.
Certain colors can encourage different activities. Orange, for example, is a strong color that evokes a call to action, particularly the action to buy. Red is an urgent color, and can be has been shown to increase your heart rate and energy. It can also drive impulse decisions, which is why red is used to advertise clearance sales.
The key to figuring out which emotions you want to evoke lies in the room’s use.
Living rooms are communal, and colors that evoke that urge are a good choice. Painting your entrance space or a pair of living room walls fall colors, like warm oranges and browns, encourages people to talk. They are comforting colors that make people feel at ease and connected.
A kitchen is a place for food, family, and freshness. Painting accent walls food colors like cheerful greens and tasteful reds increase appetite. Blue is a very unappetizing color and is best left off the walls of the kitchen in a house that’s on the market.
Bedrooms are safe, calming zones. Blues in bedrooms inspire relaxation, reflection, and focus. The serenity of watercolors comes in a variety of shades and depths, and can even be used solely as an accent color in bed linens or in pictures to induce soothing.
When it comes to trying to figure out which colors put the best face on your home’s style and architecture, start with neutral colors as a base. Let the size, shape, and utility of each room inspire you to spark a potential buyer’s imagination to decide whether or not painting an accent wall a fresh color is a good idea.
You might be surprised how one beautiful color can make all the difference.