Color is a subjective choice for home decor. If your walls could talk, they’d probably ask you to paint them a color that draws attention to them. However, the best paint color to sell a house is not as subjective. Bold, flashy colors might send a potential buyer running.
Most common advice states to keep your interior colors neutral so your home is easy to sell. It turns out that experts agree: White and cream neutrals allow prospective buyers to envision their own belongings and personality in a home rather than seeing your sense of style.
Choosing the right color paint might mean an increase in your home’s value, and that should make painting your home a top task on any home seller’s checklist.
Take inspiration from these expert recommendations when choosing paint colors for your home before you sell.
Warm neutrals were a top choice for homeowners in 2022, and that trend could continue. 82% of experts1 recommend warm-tinted neutral paint for selling because of the likelihood that it won’t turn away buyers for being too bright or too cold.
Warm colors are welcoming, and neutrals don’t impose your personal style, so they’re great for inviting prospective buyers to see their future in your home. They can give texture to small rooms that may look sterile painted in white, and they can open up larger rooms that may feel smothered in rich, deep color.
Abigail Keyes, Orchard Listing Manager in Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston, knows the power of paint colors that aren’t memorable:
“You really want your paint colors to blend into the background so potential buyers can envision the home as their own. With rising interest rates, many buyers are looking for more move-in ready homes, so paint your home in a way that can appeal to multiple buyers.”
Keep in mind that not all neutrals are the same. Eleanor Lynch, Orchard Touring Specialist in Portland, likes to flip on tired trends:
“The farmhouse gray look is a dying, overused trend. Personally, I love a lighter taupe as a fresh palette for most homebuyers.”
Warm tones tend to have more versatility for room size and shape, while cool neutrals may only work better with smaller, darker rooms.
Our top picks:
Creating a blank canvas for buyers to imagine customizing is the goal when staging your home, and there’s no better way to drape a blank canvas than all in white. White lets the house do the talking so buyers can picture their furniture and accessories instead of the seller’s. It’s the top choice for 61% of experts1 when selling a home.
These colors are easy to paint over and reflect light, so your space feels brighter and more versatile. Whites make it a no-brainer to add a delicious pop of color for personality, like coral red picture frames, a turquoise accent chair, or goldenrod curtains.
Experts caution against stark-white for homes you aren’t staging, however. According to Keyes:
“If the home is vacant at the time of showings, I would advise against all-white since it tends to look cold without furniture.”
Be mindful of what undertone you choose, too, since whites can look very different depending on your decor and undertone. Overly cool paint with cool-toned furnishings could make your home feel cold, while too bright of a white with dark, warm-colored accessories may feel cluttered or unkempt. You’ll also want to match your undertones across your home if you choose different colors for each room.
Our top picks:
Just because white and neutrals are hot doesn’t mean you have to completely abandon color on your walls. To take neutrals one step further, soft earth hues leave plenty to the imagination while adding some vibrancy to your home’s interior. Soft colors are still easy to paint over if the homeowner chooses and won’t stifle a room as a dark jewel tone might.
You can use the color wheel to decide on hues that go with each other to form a color palette. This is an easy way to find a pop of color that perfectly complements the wall paint you’ve chosen, but it’s also a great way to decide on accent colors for trim.
Opening up to color begs the question: Which one will homebuyers like? Green is a recurring favorite, likely due to what color psychology2 notes as its calming and tranquil effect. Deep blues like indigo or clay tones like terracotta can also round out a room without being garish.
Our top picks:
Perhaps unsurprisingly, neutral colors are also your best bet for exterior home colors if you’re looking to sell. This is the first impression potential buyers will have of your house, and it should be as inviting and inoffensive as possible.
Overall, the best popular exterior colors to sell a home are straightforward neutrals like:
White is a popular color for home exteriors, but in our opinion, gray beats white for outside hues. Gray can withstand a little dust before your annual cleaning without looking too dingy. It goes with light and dark colors for accent choices, and it’s still easy to work your personality into the design scheme.
Beige is also a popular choice, adding a little color and warmth to the outside of your home. However, darker colors can improve energy efficiency3, a bonus point you can explain to buyers.
Paint color choices don’t exist in a vacuum. Design, features, and location all combine to make your home unique, and the color choices you make can either complement or subvert those elements. Plus, painting a house takes time. You want to make sure you make the right choice the first time, so there are no do-overs.
Even if you’re playing it safe with a neutral, you’ll want to match the undertone to your existing home features. Your floors are a great starting point for inspiration since they take up so much visual space. A few considerations to match your walls to the floors you already have:
By complementing your floors with your wall color choice, you’ll create a cohesive and enviable space that invites buyers to imagine themselves in.
If you’re going with neutrals, it’s best to stick to one color for your entire home. Otherwise, it gets difficult to match undertones and decor well. Minimizing the change in color from room to room also reduces distractions when buyers tour the space. As a result, they’ll remember less the color of the walls and more what their furnishings will look like against them.
If you do want to get creative with color variety, try to keep the main rooms (kitchen, living, and dining) cohesive. This makes the buyer feel like the home is a complete space, not a design project for multiple people.
Pops of color or patterns with wallpapers are great for your own personal style, but avoid trendy paint or paper patterns when you’re looking to sell. They might be too much for some buyers to see past.
You want your home to be a blank slate that inspires the next buyer, but you don’t want it to look dull and uninviting. Too much white, and you’ve staged a doctor’s office — too neutral, and nothing stands out anymore.
Add a few dashes of saturated color and texture to show how great your home can look with some personal touches. Woven curtains, bold accent pillows, and a beautiful rug can go a long way toward showcasing your home’s potential without tethering buyers to your sartorial choices.
Buyers’ first impression of your house is its exterior color and appearance, but they’ll see the rest of the neighborhood first. If all of your neighbors painted their homes a beige or neutral color, you want to avoid a bold color that sticks out and may turn buyers away.
You shouldn’t match your neighbors directly, but take a cue from the neighborhood on whether you want to go warm, cool, or a little bold with your color choices.
Check out your property features, too. If you’re surrounded by woodlands, would a deep yellow or dusty green look best? If you’re more coastal, perhaps an airy blue or a breathy pink would fit. Does your home have a wraparound porch, deck, or shed? Match colors and undertones to these external features for a smart, cohesive look.
These frequently asked questions about the best paint colors to sell a home may help you land on a choice for your home.
Inside the house, try not to use more than one or two main paint colors to create a cohesive flow from room to room that isn’t distracting. Outside the house, limit yourself to a main color and a complementary trim. You can use a third color for your front door to make it pop, but try to choose one that lives well with the other two colors. This will help keep your color palette cohesive.
It costs approximately $1,800–$4,5004 to paint a house, and the average paint job is about $3,000. This cost can change due to:
It’s less expensive to paint your home on your own, but it’ll take more time and delay your listing.
The most popular exterior home color for 2023 is off-white. One of the most popular off-white shades is Alabaster by Sherwin-Williams.1
Research suggests that painting your front door black may increase home value by up to $6,5005. Black is the most popular color to paint a front door, so you won’t risk standing out for the wrong reasons.
Painting your front door any color can increase curb appeal as long as the color is complementary to the rest of your home’s exterior. And when you’re trying to calculate the proceeds from selling your home, it’s important to consider all the factors. Better curb appeal often leads to a higher listing price, so it’s a good idea to make sure your door color pops.
At the end of the day, no one can choose the best color to sell your house better than you can. You know your house inside and out, the neighborhood, the landscape, and the color the Joneses are painting their house.
However, selling your home can involve so many choices that choosing a paint color becomes overwhelming. If you want to sell your home and move on with your life without worrying about the paint color that will move it off-market fastest, you’re not alone.
Save your stress and list your home with Orchard. Our concierge service will help you take care of repairs and upgrades, like painting your home. Plus, we don’t list your home until you’ve moved out, so you don’t have to worry about the showings.
When you list with Orchard, we’ll get your home show-ready and make repairs to increase your home’s value at no upfront cost.
Orchard guarantees your home will sell, so you can buy your next one worry-free.
We provide peace of mind that your home will sell, plus list your home on the market to maximize your earnings.
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