Conventional wisdom regarding paint colors in a house on the market was always – don’t have any! REALTORS® advised sellers to get rid of their colorful decor and go neutral so that the buyers could imagine their own decorating style.
North Carolina Realtor Sarah Gray Lamm says that this is no longer true. She offers up a eulogy for a not-so-dear departed friend of Realtors – the beige home palette!
“It is with mixed emotions that I inform you that I believe HGTV may be responsible for the death of the oldest of our traditional advice to sellers. Remember this? ‘Neutralize, depersonalize, make it clean and give the buyer a blank canvas on which to express his own personality.’Not only are they looking for upgrades (some of which may not be reasonable in an ‘entry level’ home) but they also respond emotionally to the Ikea-look or Pottery Barn colors which have become the signature home style of a generation.
I’ll give HGTV this much; they have gotten people excited about what fun it can be to live in a beautiful home. They’ve inspired an entire industry to make affordable home decor that is mix and match. Think about it. Your large furniture is olive drab or brown or, gulp, beige. But your walls are eggplant or aqua, terra cotta or chocolate and you can find pillows and throws and rugs and wall art and knick knacks and candles to match and in any color palate that makes you happy and, should you ever get bored with it, can be changed over a weekend for a couple hundred dollars.
When I list a home and discover that every room is a different color I am no longer afraid. I still insist that the home be in good condition, clean and uncluttered. The quickest way to lose a sale is to have the buyer’s inspector find $20,000 worth of wood rot and HVAC and roofing systems on their last legs. Those are the things I, as a Realtor, respond to emotionally.
But color? I’ve watched too many young buyers this year spinning around happily in a dramatically colored room, and daydreaming about how they will live in it, to be concerned about whether or not any color is ‘too personal.’
R.I.P. Realtor Beige…you served us well.”
This article was originally published on realtor.com.