As a real estate professional or an independent seller, it is understandable that you don’t want your house to be a shelf warmer when it hits the market.
So, to avoid that, a good idea is to look at different tactics how to improve or rather reduce the time on the market as much as possible.
One question that often arises out of that is what exterior color makes a house sell the fastest.
According to 98% of top agents polled in a study, neutral colors are most popular with buyers.
On top of that, black colored front doors will likely increase the home price by 2.9%.
When you read on you will also learn about:
- General house paint color statistics and trends
- Detailed information about neutral colors
- Three great online tools for colors you can use today
- As a bonus, 17 improvements that can also increase the perceived value of your house
General House Paint Color Statistics and Trends
Let’s first take a look at some color statistics and trends you usually find on the web.
We can then conclude from this data what exterior colors make houses sell the fastest.
While there are no direct statistics that give clues which color causes a house to be on the market for less time, we always can fall back to logical conclusions based on statistics and trends.
Many of the statistics come from remodeling experts or painting companies, which means that they usually are biased and not on point.
In my opinion, the key is to find out which colors are most popular with potential buyers, and not sellers.
But those remodeling experts don’t work for buyers. Sellers are their clients.
So, data and statistics coming from this industry might not be the best data to work with for this answer.
But let’s take a look at some of the typical statistics and trends coming from remodeling companies.
- 57% of remodeling experts mention neutral colors, 20% jewel tones, 14% warm neutrals, 7% others, and 2% pastels to be the most popular colors (source).
- 41% of remodeling experts say that accent walls would be popular in 2020 (source).
- White or gray colors are recommended by 52% of these experts (source).
These Colors Can Increase the Perceived Value of a House and the Sale Price
If you look at the above statistics, you will find that they don’t have much value in determining the question which exterior color makes a house sell the fastest.
What they are actually saying is what colors are in most demand with remodeling companies and, again, their clients are not the buyers but the sellers.
So, we need to find some better statistics.
Better indicators would be first which colors manage to sell a house for more, and which exterior colors like potential buyers best.
The first indicator is rather indirect, because we assume that when a house can sell for more because of a color it somehow increases the perceived value for a potential buyer.
And when the perceived value can be increased, it is safe to assume that the house likely will have a shorter than average time on the market, and that the respective color is more popular with potential buyers.
At least for the interior Zillow did a paint color analysis by analyzing more than 135,000 property listing photos of properties sold between January 2010 and 2018.
They identified which paint colors were correlated with a home selling for more or less than the value estimation on Zestimate compared to homes with white walls.
These were the results:
- Black front doors can increase the home price by 2.9%.
- A warm tan with pink undertones of the living room can sell a house for 1.3% more.
- A periwinkle blue bathroom can also sell your house for 1.3% more.
- Having a tuxedo kitchen can increase the selling price by $1547.
Okay, now we know something about the interior colors, but what about the exterior?
One part of the exterior is the front doors, and from the above, we know already that black front doors can increase the home price by 2.9%.
When it comes to the exterior walls, 98% of top agents state that neutral color schemes are the most popular with buyers (source).
What Are Neutral Color Schemes?
When a color is neutral, it consists of equal parts of the three main colors, such as red, blue, and yellow.
Neutral colors contain equal parts of each of the three primary colors: blue, red, and yellow.
They have a low saturation, and are close to gray.
For example, gray, black, and white and from time to time brown belong to neutral colors.
They also convey minimalism and calmness.
In the field of design, these neutral colors are often the main focus.
They are ideal for great backgrounds and, for example, on the web, they can be found as black text on white background.
It is not hard science, and I already mentioned it in my article about the best colors for real estate signs, but in terms of “color psychology” black communicates elegance, or grey something more formal.
White conveys purity and cleanliness, and brown warmness and earthiness.
When we look at what neutral colors are it now makes a bit more sense, why they are more popular with potential buyers and likely sell houses faster.
They just appeal to a larger group of potential buyers.
By using more aggressive colors such as painting a house in red or orange, you will automatically reduce the group of potential buyers that might find such a house color appealing.
This is by the way the same reason why you might not want to stage a house in a very unique way.
Three Great Online Tools for Colors
There are two great online tools to first find your neutral color combination scheme, and then also translate this into actual paint colors.
From the first tool which is Adobe Color, you can copy the hex color code and then use it for the web.
But again, you will need to translate it into another color code to be able to use it as paint for a house.
Why would you need to do this? Can’t you just take the hex color code of a neutral web color and buy the same paint color with it?
Well, this would get messy and you would notice slight or huge differences at the moment when the house gets painted.
Hex colors are mostly suitable for the web or web design.
It’s a six-digit combination of numbers and letters and indicates its mix of red, green and blue (RGB).
But the actual physical colors of paint use another code.
In the field of printing this would be CMYK (a mix of cyan, magenta, yellow and key (black).
And in the field of actual paint, this can be even more product specific.
That’s where this great tool comes in.
Here, you can just enter the hex color code you found appealing and it will look for the matching physical paint for you.
By the way, if you want to know a color from a photo you saw on the web, there is a browser extension called ColorPick Eyedropper.
You just need to hover over a picture that has a color that you like and it will take the hex color code for you.
Bonus – These 17 Improvements Can Increase the Perceived Value of Your House
As I already mentioned, we can assume that an increased perceived value of a house is correlated with higher demand from potential buyers, and thus will influence the time on the market in a positive way.
This means it will likely sell faster.
Now, while using the right exterior and interior color is one thing you can do to make a house sell faster and/or for more money (often also the least expensive one), the following other home improvements can get you similar results:
- Adding an extra bathroom ($15,000 on average, source)
- Upgrading an existing bathroom (approx. $10,000, source)
- Updating the bathroom tiles ($10 to $25 per square foot, source)
- Upgrading the shower ($4,130 on average, source)
- Adding new flooring ($6 to $10 per square foot, source)
- Getting a new floor plan ($100 to $300 per square foot, source)
- Adding an outdoor kitchen ($300 to $600 per linear foot, source)
- Converting the house into a smart home ($3,000 to $15,000, source)
- Adding green energy features ($97.00 per square foot + $19,000 in one-time costs, source)
- Adding motorized window shades ($35-$75 per window, source)
- New kitchen countertops ($3,000 on average, source)
- Adding a mud room (between $8,000 and $16,000, source)
- Adding a covered terrace (on average $70 per square foot, source)
- Converting an attic (on average $40,000, source)
- Adding solar panels (between $15,000 and $25,000, source)
- Upgrading HVAC (between $5,000 and $10,000, source)
- A garage makeover (between $7,000 and $15,000, source)
The Bottom Line
Neutral colors will likely sell a house the fastest, since 98% of top agents find that these colors are most popular with buyers.
The front doors should be black which can increase the home price by 2.9%.
Using neutral colors makes sense, since they appeal to a larger group of potential buyers, which in turn will increase the likelihood of getting offers and thus reduce the time on the market.