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Kristin Brown Explains the Décor Dilemma

Keeping your home's décor up-to-date will help your home sale; the key is neutralizing.

Most of us know that dated décor can be a significant barrier to selling a home. Avocado appliances, mauve bathroom tile, and teal countertops may have been all the rage at one point, but more neutral tones will ensure that your home retains a timeless appeal. And you might be surprised at how significant a role paint color might play in your home sale.

Exterior colors can be an immediate turnoff to a potential buyer. The outside of your house is a home shopper's first impression, so anything that is flashy or "unnatural," or clashes with the surrounding homes and environment could be an instant turn-off. And since the whole point of your home's curb appeal is enticing a prospective buyer into your house to see more, you'll want to avoid starting off on the wrong foot with an eye-jarring exterior color. Instead, choose a natural tone for the outside of your home. Take into account the landscaping on your property and what will complement the trees and shrubbery. Make sure that you don't stand out too boldly from other homes in your neighborhood. If your house is the only aqua home amidst a sea of grays, whites, and earth tones, perhaps you need to make a change. Don't forget about the impact of the trim and doors. And consider that certain architectural styles lend themselves to particular color schemes – no one will be taken aback by a white colonial with black shutters.

Prospective home buyers are best able to imagine themselves in your house when they look past your belongings and style and can envision your home as a blank canvas awaiting their own furnishings. Wall color can be a big influence when they are examining your home through the lens of their own tastes.

Here are a few paint tips to keep in mind when prepping your home for sale:

  • Living rooms often convey a homeowner's sense of style, so you can afford to be a little more daring than conforming to stark white wall color, which can also look "sterile". Muted tones that give a room a rich look (beiges, creams, and grays) can give the room a little depth without being too obtrusive. But since buyers often repaint their living rooms according to taste, you might want to look into current trends and select a popular yet neutral color.'
  • For your kitchen, you'll want a light color. The kitchen is often a lively place in the house, so you'll want it to look inviting. Use a light color; people need to be able to see well to cook. Use a muted shade warm or cool shade that compliments your cabinets, countertops and floors that keeps the room bright.
  • When considering a bedroom color, choose something that evokes relaxation. Soft colors work well. As with a living room, a bedroom doesn't have to be white to be neutral. Subtle shades of beige, taupe, gray or off-white can add a surprising amount of depth without going overboard.
  • Dark or bold colors can make bathrooms look small. And when it comes to bathrooms, you want to create a sense of space. This can be achieved with a warm shade of white, beige, or even yellow. Consider choosing a shade that incorporates or compliments the tone of your tile color.
  • Make sure that your paint colors flow from room to room. You don't want transitions to be too jarring or for the house to come across as a hodgepodge of mismatched colors. Consider your ceilings and trim as well, since you'll want a natural flow as you move among rooms.
  • You should also make paint choices based on the amount natural light a room receives. Dim rooms demand brighter paint, whereas rooms that are flooded with natural light for most of the day evoke a natural sense of cheeriness that may not require a bright wall color.
  • In general, wallpaper is not appealing to most home buyers. If they don't like the pattern, the prospect of having to remove it is much more daunting than simply painting a room. Unless you have very neutral wallpaper, you need to take into account that it might be a turnoff to a potential buyer.
  • Above all, make sure your paint is touched up and in good shape!Of course, you can't please everyone. But in choosing a neutral palette for your home, you'll be capturing the imagination of most home buyers. If you have doubts about decisions concerning paint, consult your real estate agent for the prevailing opinion on the colors that will work best to sell your home.



This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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