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By Vicnt

Darker Colors Could Make You More Cash

A study shows buyers will offer more for homes with dark gray or charcoal interiors. Darker colors bring drama to bland homes.

NEW YORK – Want to sell your home for more? Pick your colors carefully. A 2023 Zillow paint color analysis study finds charcoal gray rooms can help a home sell for as much as $2,512 more.

Color impacts people's moods, mindsets, and buying decisions. Recent and prospective buyers offer more money for a home with dark gray or charcoal interiors. In fact, charcoal walls are associated with higher offer prices than white in every room studied: the kitchen, living room, bathroom, and bedroom.

Although many people hate mid-toned Millennial gray, these dramatic hues pack more pigment. Darker grays and other dark colors bring much-needed drama to bland homes without personality. A strong first impression makes all the difference when making more money.

Understanding color psychology

Investing in different paint colors isn't just about increasing a home's sales value. Changing up the color in a home allows for personal touches. Different colors evoke different moods, impacting how one might feel living in a space day to day.

Some colors provoke a more energetic feeling of excitement. Regardless of the hue, red is a stirring color. Similar warm shades like orange and yellow also stimulate the senses, which is ideal for kitchens and high-activity areas like a home gym.

Cooler tones like blues and purples often evoke calm feelings. They're also historically tied to royalty and nobility, creating elegant and dramatic ambiance when used in the home. Green instills different emotions depending on its tint or how light or dark shade is used.

For any of these colors, darker or lighter hues impact the mood differently. Lighter blues and purples promote more energy but are still more calming than lighter orange or red. Yet paler, whiter-tinted hues calm down the most energetic colors.

Adjusting for more light or darkness — adding more white or black — allows for a range of complementary or contrasting colors. A rich, well-developed color palette gives any room its own atmosphere.

The power of embracing the dark side

Darker shades, such as dark gray, are associated with higher offer prices than white in every room of the home studied. All-white rooms can even hurt home value. A white kitchen can hurt a home's sale price by over $600.

Color affects mood, and different colors provoke different emotional responses. Mehnaz Khan, a color psychology specialist and interior designer in Albany, New York, said, "Gray is the color of retreat. As we come out of the pandemic and return to our hectic lives, buyers want home to be a refuge. They want to withdraw and escape from the uncertainty of the outside world, and rooms enveloped in dark gray can create that feeling of security."

With watered-down hues like mid-tone grays (e.g., Millennial gray), sellers could lose money. Midtone gray can hurt a home's sale price when used on the front door. Zillow's research finds recent and prospective buyers would offer an estimated $3,365 less for a home with a cement gray front door.

Letting moody colors darken your doorstep

Dark gray isn't the only appealing color. Black doors appeal to more than gloomy, gothic personalities, potentially increasing home value by a few thousand dollars. If black isn't 'your color, other popular dark shades include forest green and navy blue.

Curb appeal impacts how others see a home. First impressions affect more than selling a home, though. Choosing dramatic, expressive shades for a home's exterior extends beyond the front door. Painting brick allows homeowners to update or alter a major aspect of their home's curb appeal. Some of the most popular color choices include black and charcoal gray.

Painting or stamping concrete with outdoor paint also creates a big visual statement. Homebuyers and guests form a strong first impression based on their initial encounters. Zillow's data shows that a good first impression makes a good investment.

Choosing the right colors for your home

Home updates can be costly, but not all upgrades should break the bank. Paint is a simple option for anyone looking to add value to their home.

"Paint is a relatively affordable and easy change, yet it has an outsized impact on a buyer's perception of the home," Amanda Pendleton, Zillow's home trends expert, shares. "Buyers rely on color as a powerful visual signal that a home is modern and up-to-date, or tired and needs maintenance. That first impression contributes to their overall feelings about a home and ultimately, how much they're willing to pay for it."

If your home needs a makeover, consider a new coat of paint. It's an ideal choice for affordability and immediate payoff. Darker hues are trending now, and following these trends makes it easier for homebuyers to find value when house hunting. For homeowners interested in bucking the trend, fresh paint can significantly alter how your home feels.

As Pendleton explains, color is a "powerful visual signal." Whatever the motivation for altering a front door, exterior brick, or any room in the home, paint makes a big difference.

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