For all the years that you’ve been living in your home, the decor has been all about your personal taste and preferences. But everything changes when you decide to sell. Now, you don’t want to have a home that’s personalized. You need a home that’s neutral, one that your potential buyers can imagine living in.
Your Realtor will advise you on the different things you can do to make your house less personal and more sellable. Aside from decluttering, taking personal photos off the wall, and doing away with extra furniture, one of the things your Realtor may recommend is painting your walls.
A fresh coat of paint will change the appearance of the entire house, making it look fresh, clean, and untouched. But, no matter how many nail holes you spackle, the one thing that potential homebuyers will notice is the paint color.
Does it make them feel welcome? Is it appealing? Or will they have to repaint before they move in? These are all the questions homebuyers ask themselves when they look at your house. You can overcome these objections before they even arise by choosing the right color.
Feeling lost? Don’t be! Choose from our list of best paint colors for selling a house, and you will get it right every time.
Be Careful with White
White might seem like the best choice for several reasons. It’s light, neutral, and makes a room look bigger. And it’s one of the top design trends for 2021. However, white is a notoriously difficult color to get just right.
There are very few “pure” white paints. Almost every white will have some sort of undertone, either cool or warm. The cool undertones can make a room feel sterile and coldly unwelcoming. The warm undertones can feel dingy or even dirty.
Still, if you’re careful with the shade, white is a great option that will make your home look bigger, brighter, and more appealing to buyers.
Stick to Neutrals
Neutrals are your safest bet. Even if a potential buyer doesn’t love your exact tone of gray, they won’t feel like they have to run out and paint over it like they would, say, fuchsia. Unless you are selling your home as is, you want them to feel like they can move right in with zero to very minimal effort.
You also want potential buyers to imagine their furniture and home decor in your house. This is much easier for them to do when the backdrop is neutral. Sure, you might find a home buyer who loves orange as much as you do, but the best interior paint colors for selling a house are neutrals that will appeal to the general public.
How many paint colors should I use?
As a general rule, you want to stick to as few colors as possible, even if they are all neutrals. Using the same color in more than one area will give your home an overall cohesive feel. It also makes your home seem bigger, since there is an easy flow from one room to the next. And, using just one paint color will also help keep your costs down, since buying your paint in bulk is much less expensive than buying multiple gallons of different colors.
In an open space layout, such as a combination living/dining room or a kitchen that opens into a family room, you should use the same paint color for the entire area. For individual rooms that are not part of the main living area, for example, bathrooms or bedrooms, you can add some variety with different colors. Keep in mind, however, that even in these rooms the best interior paint colors for selling a house are neutrals.
Which color should I choose?
The best colors are neutrals, but which one? For 2021, the general consensus for best interior paint colors for selling a house are shades of greige. Greige is a combination of gray and beige, more sophisticated than an old-fashioned beige and at the same time more welcoming than a somber gray.
Traditional gray is also a good neutral, in a deeper hue such as pewter. To make it more interesting and less formal, use a gray with a blue undertone. You can easily pair this color with blue decor accents (throw pillows, artwork), which appeals equally to male and female buyers.
Beige is not as chic as the currently trendy gray/greige colors, but it is also a popular choice for neutrals. For homebuyers, it is a safe color, and one that they know that they can paint over quite easily, should they choose to do so.
Painting Smaller Areas
You can also paint smaller rooms in different colors, for variety and visual appeal. Neutrals are always a safe bet, but you can also have some fun with colors.
Pale blue is a great option for making a smaller room, such as a bathroom or laundry room, feel lighter, friendlier, and more spacious. Avoid white — houses with white bathrooms on average sold for $4,035 less.
The heart of a house, you can have fun with paint or accent colors in the kitchen. A light, almost neutral green (think mint or soft sage) is a great way to enhance a kitchen. Or, play it safe with a white or gray neutral.
Choosing the Right Finish
After you’ve picked out the paint color, you will need to decide on the finish. Most paints are available in gloss, satin, or eggshell finishes. Occasionally a manufacturer will also throw in sheens such as semi-gloss or matte. Typically, the glossier the paint, the easier it is to wipe clean, so it’s best for areas with high traffic or which tend to get soiled more often.
- Glossy Finish: best for busy parts of the house such as the kitchen and bathrooms
- Satin Finish (very slight gloss): good for large, highly used areas such a living room
- Eggshell Finish (almost matte): best used in bedrooms and other rooms that aren’t as busy
Don’t Forget the Trim
Painting the walls is a great start, but then you need to take it one step further. To really make your job stand out, you need to paint the trim. Trim includes anything that isn’t the actual walls: crown molding, baseboard, and door and window frames.
The best color for these is usually a bright white with a gloss or sheen. If you painted your walls white, choose a different shade of white (with a different undertone) so that the trim still stands out.