Simple $40 Investment in Paint Color Could Help Your Home’s Sale Price

You probably already know that a fresh coat of paint on the interior walls is an inexpensive way to make your home more attractive to potential buyers, and you may have heard that neutral shades of white and beige are the only way to go. Don’t go buy that can of white paint just yet!

A recent analysis from Zillow Digs counters the long-held advice that buyers favor nondescript neutral wall colors when shopping for a home. The results show that earthy colors in the right rooms can increase buyer interest and bring a higher selling price.

Zillow Digs analyzed photos from nearly 50,000 homes sold around the country between December 2006 and April 2016 to see how certain room type and paint color combinations influenced the final selling price of the home. Of all the photos analyzed, homes with yellow kitchens, often in hues of creamy or wheat yellow, brought the highest increase in eventual selling price—$1,360 above the expected amount. Wall colors in tones like sage green and dove gray also were present in top-performing listings.

In comparison, homes with very dark or style-specific wall colors like slate gray or terracotta sold for as much as $1,100 less than expected. Those with white or eggshell-colored kitchens also sold below expectations. In the bathroom, lighter shades of oatmeal or beige beat out dark brown, and in the dining room, shades of purple including mauve, eggplant or lavender beat out slate or dark gray.

Svenja Gudell, Zillow chief economist, acknowledged that “a fresh coat of paint is an easy and affordable way to improve a home’s appearance before listing” but he cautions that paint colors themselves may be less significant than the hidden messages they convey about the condition of the home and the homeowners themselves.

“To get the biggest bang for your buck, stick with colors that have mass appeal so you attract as many potential buyers to your listing as possible. Warm neutrals like yellow or light gray are stylish and clean, signaling that the home is well cared for, or that previous owner had an eye for design that may translate to other areas within the house.”

Finding the perfect paint color can be time-consuming and challenging, which is why we put together this earlier post on Tips and Tricks for a Terrific Paint Job, which suggests some simple-to-use tools to help you choose the paint color that is right for your walls.

If you really want to make a statement on your walls for the new year, here are two 2017 trends worth exploring.

Benjamin Moore has chosen Shadow 2117-30 as its Color of the Year for 2017. According to, Shadow is a rich, royal amethyst for the ages.

“Allusive and enigmatic, Shadow is a master of ambiance. It is a color that calls to mind a ‘past,’ yet it can also make a contemporary, color-confident statement,” said Ellen O’Neill, Benjamin Moore Creative Director. “Shadow is sophisticated, provocative, and poetic. It can bring energy to space or harmony and a moment of respite.”

Along with its Color of the Year, Benjamin Moore released a palette of 23 additional colors ranging from muted pales to saturated deeps that coordinate with Shadow. Suggested shades include Salamander, Chalk White, Sea Life, and Pink Bliss. The full palette is available at Benjamin Moore’s Color Trends 2017 or by searching social media using #ColorTrends2017.

Sherwin-Williams has chosen Poised Taupe SW 6039 as its 2017 Color of the Year. The company describes Poised Taupe as a “modern take on a timeless classic.”

“Poised Taupe celebrates everything people love about cool gray as a neutral, and also brings in the warmth of brown, taking a color to an entirely new level. Not cool or warm, nor gray or brown, Poised Taupe is a weathered, woodsy neutral bringing a sense of coziness and harmony that people are seeking,” says Sue Wadden, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams.

Much as the Zillow Digs analysis found, a survey by Sherwin-Williams found that homeowners are indicating a desire to incorporate warmer neutrals into their homes. Two in five respondents identified taupe as a “timeless neutral” they would choose.

“Consumers yearn for spaces that feel welcoming and hug them as they enter. Earthen brown combined with conservative gray, creating Poised Taupe, embodies all of these emotions,” says Wadden.

Wadden describes Poised Taupe as having a “cool-yet-warm vibe” and said the hue offers an ideal backdrop for a wide range of color combinations, from pastels to brights to jewels. For example, paired with the faded indigo of Stardew (SW 9138), Poised Taupe creates a charming palette reminiscent of French countryside, Wadden said. Used with vibrant Rave Red (SW 6608), it evokes the natural feel of red-stained bedrock. More suggestions and a full color palette are available at the 2017 Color of the Year page at

Wadden added that the warming trend is coming to commercial spaces as well. Commercial spaces tend to move in more conservative color cycles than residential or designer directions, she acknowledged. However, an increasing emphasis on incorporating natural or organic materials, weathered and worn finishes, and global cultural preferences have moved commercial developers, builders, and interior designers toward choosing warmer color combinations.

“Poised Taupe is on the forefront of this trend, offering the ability to endure over time, yet complement a wide range of designs,” says Wadden.

To get additional advice for your next paint project, visit any of our local paint and building supply retailers in the West Georgia area. And if you are painting your home in preparation for sale, any of our Duffey Realty agents will be happy to provide advice on choosing colors and other ways you can better prepare your home for today’s real estate market. Visit our website or give one of our agents a call today.

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