Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Home Selling 101--Did the Color Look Better on the Paint Chip?


About a decade ago now, some close friends built a new home in an Oakdale development. Our own home was just on the other side of Silver Lake in North St. Paul so we drove through the development several times during the construction. We monitored the new community as the first dozen or so homes were constructed in the new neighborhood. This development didn’t have extremely restrictive covenants regarding the exterior of the home. The resulting neighborhood was very eclectic with assorted styles of homes. The sidings were of differing colors and materials so each home was truly unique. One night we passed by a home that really was starting to take shape and we noticed the very bright PURPLE front door! The siding on the house itself was a totally different color palette as it was slate blue, but the door was a striking shade of purple. The PURPLE door had to be a mistake!

As it turned out, we discovered we had a friend in common with the homeowner of the house with the purple door. So I asked if that was the color they wanted or was it a mistake. Turns out, it was no mistake, the owners LOVE purple! Okay we live in Minnesota--Home to Prince and the  Purple and Gold Vikings...so the people like purple. But from that day on, whenever we drove by the house, we remarked, “It must have looked better on the paint chip”.

And over the years, this saying has become code between my husband and I when we see someone with a love for flamboyant or unusual colors in their decorating.

As a REALTOR® I have to view many homes. Every once in awhile I come across a “better on the paint chip” room, door or house. When marketing your home, it is essential to make certain your own personality does not prevent the buyer from seeing the details of your home. If a bright orange kitchen counter, hot pink bathroom or lime green playroom is the way you have made your home your own, I do think that is an awesome way to personalize your space. But, you are going to be moving and if your favorite colors choices are too wild, it could hamper your sale. Bold colors in internet photos could knock your home out of the running with many potential buyers. And in this slowly recovering real estate market, you don’t want to lose any potential buyers over something as inexpensive to update as paint.


Stage your home with neutrals to bring out the details and style of your home. You want the buyers to feel your home is welcoming and warm. That can be difficult as people are quickly often turned off a home by colors they view as a mistake.

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