Cindy Lin, Founder, Staged4more

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5 Paint Colors that Sell Your House Fast

5 Paint Colors that Sell Your House Fast

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Home staging is all about allowing prospective home buyers envision themselves living in a home. And, when done well, that’s what gets top-dollar offers on a home and helps you sell quickly.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that:

  • 40% of home buyers were more willing to go visit a staged property they found online.

  • A whopping 77% of buyers were able to see themselves living in a staged home

  • A third of buyers increased their offers 1-5% on staged listings.

A great place to start when staging a home for sale is by creating a blank canvas. Cleaning and decluttering are the first steps, and after that, one of the fastest, most effective (and cheapest) things home sellers or stagers can do is paint.

Painting the interior of a home can yield an increased value of 1-3%, and painting the exterior can increase the value by 2-5%. (Consumer Reports)

But that leads to the ever-popular and much-pondered question: What color should you paint your home?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re a stager, a real estate agent, a seller working with a realtor or a for-sale-by-owner, we’re sharing the best paint colors to motivate buyers to buy a home. We’ll also throw in a few simple staging tips for first-timers and advice on how to find a painter as well!


Best Paint Colors for Front Doors: Be Bold

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Painting isn’t something you should only be considering for the interior walls of your home. Exterior paint will improve the first impression your home makes on prospective buyers, and help you sell it faster. Look no further than starting with the front door!

Think Pantone’s 2018 Color of the Year, Ultra Violet, Benjamin Moore’s Blue Lake, or Sherwin-Williams’ Decisive Yellow.   

Bold front doors are all the rage. When potential home buyers pull up to your home, the first thing they see (and decide) is whether or not they like is the home’s exterior — that’s why it’s called curb appeal. So you want to make sure the front door pops, and one of the best ways to do that is to paint it a bold color.

Other exterior home staging tips to boost curb appeal:

  • Add plants and flowers (succulents are very popular)

  • Create ambiance with outdoor lighting

  • Update hardware, such as the door-knocker, handle, and house number, while you’re painting the front door

  • Make the front of the home more welcoming by adding a porch swing or bistro set

  • Stage the landscape


Best Paint Colors for Living Rooms: Create A Cozy Space

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When staging a home’s interior, think about starting with the living room because the NAR study I mentioned above also found that, in the buyers’ opinions, staging the living room was most important (55%) followed by the master bedroom (51%) and then the kitchen (41%).

When choosing a color for the living room, you want to think cozy. There’s a lot of buzz around gray for home interiors, but some studies show it’s not necessarily the best color for the living room.

A study from Gil and Bigot looked at the relationship and emotional impact among green, pink, white, and gray. The study found that gray is linked more with sadness, negativity, and unattractiveness than other colors.

White and beige are better options because people prefer to concentrate in rooms with those hues, and both men and women find it least distracting.

So, when thinking about what color to paint the room where people spend the most time in, think white or beige.

The trendiest beiges for your living room (from top to bottom): Sparkling Wine, Benjamin Moore, 949; Biscuit, Sherwin-Williams, SW 6112; Vanilla Mocha, Behr, N260-1

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Other living room staging tips to make a living room more welcoming:

  • Use colors that evoke simplicity and coziness

  • Create “wow factor” by cleverly using a few statement pieces such as wall art, a sculpture on the end table, or a bold rug

  • Add more texture through rugs and pillows

  • Plant some greenery around the living room to give it a little life

  • Let the light in


Best Paint Colors for Master Bedrooms: Cool, Calm, and Complementary

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When considering what color you should paint a master bedroom, consider hues like Behr’s Quiet Time or Benjamin Moore’s Classic Gray. For pops of color in the master bedroom check out Consumer Report’s list of the hottest interior paint colors.

Cool colors are the way to go when it comes to the master bedroom. “Blues, grays, whites, and greiges (gray-beige) are all in right now,” says top real estate agent Maribel Sotuyo of Houston, Texas.

They pair nicely with crisp white linens and leave plenty of room for accent colors. A nice eggshell finish will help pick up the natural light in the room, as recommended by Stephanie Mitchell of SF Gate.

Be sure to use a complementary color palette and add pops of color where you can.

Other bedroom home staging tips:

  • Go for a bedding set that’s not gender-biased.

  • Try hanging the drapes a little higher to give the illusion of height in the bedroom.

  • Add plants, vases, wall art, and strategically-placed lamps for warmth.


Best Paint Colors for Kitchens: Keep it Clean

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In the kitchen we want to keep this clean. Choose interior paint colors like Benjamin Moore’s Mountain Peak White and the company’s advanced interior paint for kitchen cabinetry in a white-ish satin finish.

Kitchens are often the epicenters of homes. HomeLight spoke with Karen Parziale, professional stager and owner of The Real Estate Staging Studio in New Jersey, who recommends painting the walls a warm white to make the room feel bigger and the space look cleaner.

If you’re looking to breathe a little life back into your kitchen cabinets, Benjamin Moore makes a primer as well as several levels of gloss to revamp cabinets. Try white in a satin finish. Satin gives a clean and polished look without shine, and it has a durable finish that can withstand cleaning and the occasional kitchen mishap.

Other kitchen home staging tips:

  • Open up a colorful cookbook page on the countertop

  • Create focal points that make the kitchen feel like home

  • Group knick knacks in groups of three, five, or seven

  • Clean and organize everything including the pantries and cabinets

  • Update any hardware and light fixtures necessary


Best Paint Colors for Bathrooms: Craft a Personal Spa Experience

A bathroom is a very personal space, and thus can be somewhat difficult to make appealing to everyone. But a simple trick that stagers employ is to think of it like a spa or a hotel bathroom. You’ll rarely see pops of color and tons of personality in a spa.

Focus on neutral color palettes such as these neutral palettes from Sherwin-Williams.

Look into shades like these neutrals from Sherwin-Williams.

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Other bathroom home staging tips:

  • Roll up some towels and place them on a bamboo tray

  • Find some unique or antique soaps and lotions

  • Hang a fluffy, spa-like robe on the back of the bathroom door

  • When adding personal touches, think soft, sleek, and natural


Getting the Job Done: Should You Hire a House Painter?

When it comes time to paint, you have two options: paint it yourself or hire someone else to do it. When looking for a good painter, start by asking for recommendations from your friends and family in the area.

If you’re working with a real estate agent, ask for a referral. Your agent will likely have a list of vetted house painters and will be able to speak to their work.

You can also ask friends and family for referrals, and that way, you get to check out the painter’s work first-hand.

If you can’t find a personal recommendation, look online. Use resources like Houzz, Angie’s List, Yelp, and Nextdoor to find a painter. 

What do you think about the paint colors mentioned here? Do you have any go-to interior or exterior colors that you just love? Add them in the Comment section below.

Contributor's Bio: Dani Vanderboegh is a senior editor for Inman, a leading news source for real estate agents and brokers. She has a master’s degree in editing from the Missouri School of Journalism.

Photo credits: 1. Sabrina Mazzeo 2. Avery Klein 3. Benjamin Moore, 4. Sherwin-Williams, 5. Behr, 6. Mikey Marquez, 7. NeONBRAND, 8. Sherwin-Williams


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In this e-course, you will gain an understanding of the home staging process and what today's buyers are looking for. This e-course is designed to give those, who are not familiar with home staging, an overview of the preparation and staging process before listing your property on the MLS.

During the e-course, we will have something for you to do each day. In our course website, you will have access to video lessons, worksheets and action steps.

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