Super Shades

Paint color is a powerful tool for attracting homebuyers

Did you know that a fresh coat of paint in the right hue could help sell a home for more cash? 

According to the 2017 Paint Color Analysis by Zillow—which examined photos of more than 32,000 homes sold nationwide to determine how certain paint colors impacted their average sale price compared with similar homes sporting white walls—properties with walls painted in shades of blue or light gray were found to sell for as much as a $5,440 premium. Walls painted in other cool, natural tones—including pale gray and oatmeal—also were prevalent in top performing listings. Meanwhile, residences with a beige/gray exterior brought in $3,496 more than those with brown or tan stucco exteriors, and properties with dark navy blue or slate gray front doors sold for $1,514 more.

The Zillow analysis also found that homes with some hues, such as terra-cotta, may actually deter buyers, and sell for $2,031 less.

And a home with a lack of color may have the biggest negative impact of all, going for an average of $4,035 below similar properties. Here in L.A., local interior designer John Linden of Mirror Coop reports that indigo blue is huge, along with some other bold shades.

“Many of my clients have been requesting a vibrant color scheme lately, with blue, sea-foam green and shades of pink,” says Linden.


“High-end homeowners typically are a bit more daring when it comes to design, so paint choice is no different—and I’ve seen tons of bold and vibrant greens, blues and pinks in 2017.”

Linden, who regularly works with affluent clients who are preparing their houses for a sale, always advises against dull atmospheres. “People who are buying an expensive home want it to feel like their own,” he says. “Cookie cutter interiors, and boring decoration and color, just don’t cut it for someone spending over a few million on a house. Anything that feels dated is also a no-no. White walls, if not done recently, can just look sterile and boring.”

According to F. Ron Smith of the Smith & Berg team at Partners Trust, which completed $236 million in sales in 2016 and is a leader in the Westside market, homebuyers are asking for rich accent colors that demonstrate thoughtful design work.

Take, for example, this home at 169 N. Canyon View Drive in the Brentwood area designed and built by Smith and his wife, Tracy. Currently on the market for $7.489 million, the residence not only sports a striking beige exterior, but it also features elegant interiors rife with shades of gray and blue.

“Paint is the least expensive way to obtain the highest return on new construction or a remodeled home,” says Smith. His top tips for achieving the perfect look primed for sale?

Paint one wall in a room an accent color for impact (Copley gray, navy blue or steel gray), and brandish a ceiling in the office, library or dining room with a cobalt gray or matte black for intimacy and accent. Bold strokes, indeed.

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