Cynthia's Blog

October 19, 2011

Paint Colors for Home Staging

Cynthia's Blog > Stage to Sell Homes

Date House or Dated Paint Colors?

Remember when the turquoise-and-mauve color combination was in style? It was about the same time when people were decorating with plastic cacti and coyotes, and heavy stone lamp bases. Dated decor often creates an impression that the house itself is dated, and a dated house makes buyers think that it'll cost them more in time and money to update it. "Perception Is Reality" after all.

This is the story about a home seller with navy kitchen counters and burgundy wall paint.  All that was missing was the forest green…nope, spoke too soon because there it was in her canister set and in the rug beneath the breakfast table.  The overall impression made the home seem in serious need of an expensive kitchen make-over. 


Even though the home was priced to accommodate SOME of the datedness, if buyers thought this kitchen would cost $20K to update and the home price wasn't reduced by AT LEAST that much, buyers would move on…without bothering with even a lowball offer, leaving the seller with no chance to negotiate.


What I did: First, I determined that the counters were not going to be updated; the seller just didn't have the cash now that she was living on unemployment.  Next, I removed every bit of burgundy and forest green, convincing her to paint the walls a warm white (now that she had a little spare time).  I used the blue and white art and accessories found elsewhere in her home and transformed the dated burgundy-navy-green combo to a timeless and fresh blue-and-white combo, complete with three cloth napkins draped across the curtain rod over the sink (trust me, it looked very cool).  I tweaked elsewhere and the house sold less than two weeks later.


How are YOUR color schemes influencing the perception of your home?  Even though "red" might be in style, which red is in your home?  The above-referenced burgundy was once the updated red.  If you didn't see it with navy and green, you saw it with gray (yet another dated combo).  Today's red is more of a brown-red. Tomorrow, another shade of red will be the updated red.


The old mauve-and-turquoise will never come back, but a light ice blue and chocolate brown combo has been dominating the retail stores for a few years.  Combining chocolate brown with a darker mauve or lighter turqoise can work, but only if there has been a thorough purging of the dated combo color and accessories (yes, the plastic coyote must be set free).  The good news is that most of the fixes can be accomplished with some paint, and you can take the new accessories with you to the new home!  After all, if you're planning to redecorate the new home you might as well buy the stuff now and make it earn a living!


The moral of this story: Don't leave it up to buyers to "think around" your home's dated appearance.  Most of them can't, and they won't have to because there are plenty of other houses that won't make them work as hard.


Meanwhile, if you're like buyers and are having problems "thinking around" your own decor, contact me for an appointment to help freshen things up for a quicker home sale!


HomeStaging by Cynthia, Inc. ©  copyright (2004-2011). All rights reserved. For reprinting information please contact Cynthia Black directly.