If you’re selling your home, most real estate agents will tell you to freshen up the place with a new coat of paint.
Painting your house’s interior walls may not seem like a game-changer, but this simple step can help boost your home’s value by an average of 5%, according to one estimate. If your home is worth $400,000, that translates to an extra $20,000. Not a bad chunk of change!
But is there a color that will entice buyers to pay even more? A recent study by Zillow discovered that the answer is yes — and that color is a dark charcoal gray.
Up until very recently, white has been the color guaranteed to please. But gray paint has been gaining on white, and Zillow’s survey results prove that buyers are now bidding higher on houses with walls in various shades of dark gray.
Painting your kitchen a charcoal gray color could net you an additional $2,512 compared to similar homes, the analysis found. And painting your living room dark gray could help bring in an extra $1,755, per the survey results.
These findings came from a survey of 4,700 recent and prospective home buyers nationwide. Participants selected their favorites from images of interior walls and front doors painted in different shades.
The most interesting finding might be in kitchens, where white and light neutral colors have long dominated the design space. But this survey found that it wasn’t even light gray that impressed buyers — even in kitchens, it was dark or medium-toned gray that won the day.
Painting the kitchen dark gray can help sellers bring in an extra $2,512 compared to similar properties, according to Zillow. A slightly lighter, medium-toned gray in the kitchen can also net sellers an additional $2,553, the analysis found. And if you do choose to paint your kitchen white, you could potentially bring down your home’s sale price by more than $600, per Zillow.
Zillow reached out to Mehnaz Khan, a color psychology specialist and interior designer in Albany, New York, for some insights about this new direction in paint color.
“Buyers have been exposed to dark gray spaces through home improvement TV shows and their social media feeds, but they’re likely drawn to charcoal on a psychological level,” she says. “Gray is the color of retreat.”
But charcoal gray is also a bold choice — and a growing tendency to choose more invigorating colors also appears to be a factor here.
“For many years now, people have started to embrace bolder colors, but backed off again,” Sarabeth Asaff, a home design expert at Fixr.com, tells The Spruce. “That does not seem to be the case for 2023 … [it seems like] homeowners are finally ready to go big and bold with colors in their home.”
Even if you can’t repaint your entire kitchen, consider adding a pop of color to your cabinets
One last note: The Zillow study found that peoples’ tastes were slightly different when it came to front doors. They gave mid-tone gray a thumbs down, saying they would offer roughly $3,365 less for a home with this color of front door, per Zillow.
So what color should you paint your front door? The respondents liked black better than gray. And they’d likely offer $300 more for a home with a “mid-tone rosy brown” front door, according to Zillow.