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Blue bathrooms increase home values by more than $5,000

Updated appliances are nice. Fresh landscaping brings “curb appeal.” But when it comes to a big selling point, just paint your bathroom.

Zillow says blue rooms landed sellers more cash than houses without them. On average, homes with blue bathrooms sold for $5,440 more than those without blue bathrooms. And it’s not just bathrooms; walls and exterior painted blue helped, too.

While blue may be the best color, there are others that can bump up a home’s selling price. Zillow notes that “greige” — or a gray/beige mix — increased a home’s value by $3,500. On the other hand, white rooms or rooms with no color dropped a home’s selling price by more than $4,000.

Why is blue so great? Zillow’s chief economist Svenja Gudell says it comes down to making potential buyers feel as if they already live there.

“Color can be a powerful tool for attracting buyers to a home, especially in listing photos and videos,” Gudell says. “Painting walls in fresh, natural-looking colors, particularly in shades of blue and pale gray not only make a home feel larger, but also are neutral enough to help future buyers envision themselves living in the space.

“Incorporating light blue in kitchens and bathrooms may pay off especially well as the color complements white countertops and cabinets, a growing trend in both rooms,” he adds.

Color really matters. While some buyers may envision their homes to be full of oranges, yellows, and reds, not all of them think so boldly. It’s better to err on the side of safe rather than adventurous. The bolder you are, the less likely you are to sell your home. Zillow says homes with darker walls sold for $2,000 less.

The bluest regions

While color may be a big factor in selling a home, it’s color and location that make a difference. In the Zillow study, it was light blue bathrooms in Philadelphia that had the biggest jump in the sale of a home. After that, a slate blue or pale gray dining room in Boston will net owners nearly $2,000 more. In Charlotte, North Carolina, a blue kitchen will get you more than $1,800 on top of your asking price.

Aside from the colors that turn into big home sellers, there are some housing busts you should stay away from. Zillow suggests avoiding off-white, eggshell, or plain white walls in the bathroom, as that can drop your home price by $4,035. A brick, terracotta, or copper-red dining room will make you lose $2,031 in your home sale. And if your exterior color is medium brown or taupe, it could cost you $1,970 from your final asking price.

To get the most out of your home when you sell it, color plays a part, but it isn’t the only expense you could be losing out on. There are a few buried expenses you may not even know about when selling your home, like renovations, updated appliances, and other home improvements. These upgrades could cost you around $3,000 that you may not have been prepared for. And don’t forget once your house is sold, there are taxes and closing costs — around $12,000.

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Meet the Author

Dori Zinn

Dori Zinn


Zinn is a freelance journalist based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.


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