For many of us, bright, beautiful colors bring joy to our lives. When we make our homes our own, we tend toward the colors that make us happy. When we think about selling our home, however, we need to understand just how subjective color is. While cool greens make cause you to think of shimmering tropical waters, those same colors may remind a potential buyer of the walls of a hospital or school they didn’t enjoy.
While not everyone’s reaction to color is this extreme, there are ranges of colors that can cause potential buyers to be unable to see themselves living in your home. In fact, some people see colors differently. Of course you’ve heard of color blindness in the red/green spectrum (either deuteranopia or protanopia), but there is also blue/yellow color blindness (tritanopia) where a person confuses blue with green and yellow with violet.
Many people do not realize they are color blind … they’ve always seen colors in the same way, but the wall that is a lovely shade of yellow to you appears as a garish shade of violet to them.
“Well, they can just repaint,” you say.
That’s true, and for people that are able to fully utilize their imagination, they can see the new color on the walls or cabinets and imagine themselves enjoying life in your house. For others, the current color clouds their mind and they cannot visualize it being different. This is especially true of bright or deep colors such as reds and pinks, or deep blues and greens, but even a yellow kitchen, for instance, can be off-putting to someone unable to enjoy that color.
Enter the neutrals
Because of the potential for a color to detract from a home’s resale value, sellers used to be encouraged to paint everything white. While this no longer is the case, most real estate professionals will encourage you to consider repainting in a modern neutral.
What are modern neutrals?
Each year, paint manufacturers develop colors that add warm or cool undertones to white and range from off whites to cool grays and beiges. They come up with beautiful names for these colors and sophisticated palettes that give walls color, depth and dimension without overwhelming the ability to imagine them as other colors.
A trend that seems to evoke a pleasant response is a warm form of beige or gray with white trim, but shades of greens, blues or golds with the correct undertones with less “weight” and “dominant presence” work as neutrals in many situations. Modern neutrals allow for a mellower backdrop to brighter furnishings and window coverings, while giving a cleaner canvass in which potential buyers can imagine their own furnishings and décor.
Regional preferences may mean that certain neutrals appeal more in certain areas. As your real estate professionals, I can advise you about the colors and tones that seem to be more appealing to local buyers.