house selling appeal

Realtors Agree—These Are the Worst Colors to Paint Your Home


PHOTO: Aaron Fallon for MyDomaine

Finding the perfect hue to paint your room might seem like a purely aesthetic decision, but it turns out the choice can have serious consequences. While it’s well-documented that green sparks creativity and fiery tones energize a space, a report from Zillow Digs suggests color can also impact the value of your home.

The home improvement website mined data from more than 50,000 photos of recently sold homes to uncover color trends. Worryingly, it discovered that rooms painted certain shades consistently fetched a lower offer, forming a blacklist of paint colors to avoid. These are the three paint shades industry pros say you should avoid at all costs:

  • Slate gray: Homeowners who opted to paint their dining room slate gray lost $1112. However, those who chose dove or light gray increased the sale price by $1104.
  • Off-white: While this shade might seem like a safe bet, the study found that kitchens painted off-white fetched $82 less than the predicted estimate. Interior designer Emily Henderson told Money that some shades of white paint can make a space look “flat” or “dead.”
  • Terra-cotta: People who took a risk by painting their living room this shade of orange took $793 of the value of their home.

Do you agree with these findings? What color do you consider to be the worst offender when selling?


How to Create a Warm, Inviting Winter Listing

By Patti Stern, PJ & Company Staging and Interior Decorating


A Welcoming Curb Appeal

Maintain a polished look by keeping gutters clean and shrubs trimmed. Be sure to also remove any hazards by shoveling, sanding, and removing any ice or snow from the driveway, walkways, and sidewalks. To engage buyers on a gloomy day, keep the front porch well lit, use potted evergreens or berry branches, a wreath on the door, lanterns, and a seasonal welcome mat.

Simple and Elegant Holiday Decor

Do not overdo! Buyers want to see the home’s permanent features and a fireplace or window covered with too many ribbons and stockings will distract from key focal points. Instead, incorporate elegant finishing touches such as mercury glass votives and ornaments for some sparkle paired with candles, pine cones, berries and twigs.

Create Warmth With Lighting

Use modest lighting as an accent to create an inviting ambience. Scatter a few lightly scented tea lights in votives, candles in varying heights on beautiful pillars or lanterns and soft white string lights on the front porch, entry stairway or fireplace.

Splashes of Minimal Color

Too much traditional green and red can compete with existing decor and command a room’s attention. A couple of red plaid throw pillows or a red wool blanket draped on the sofa will add just enough festive pop. We also love using silver and gold paired with fresh, white seasonal flowers to complement freshly painted neutral walls that appeal to nearly all buyers.

Keep It Bright

With shorter days, let in as much natural light as possible by opening blinds and curtains. Make sure that all lights are working, light bulbs have been changed, and be sure that the property is well lit both inside and out for late afternoon showings.

2 inexpensive tricks that could help your home sell for more money, from HGTV stars the ‘Property Brothers’


HGTV stars Jonathan and Drew Scott, also known as the “Property Brothers.”   Photo Credit: Dave Kotinsky / Stringer / Getty Images

According to Jonathan and Drew Scott, stars of the HGTV show “Property Brothers,” it doesn’t take a lot to increase the sale value of your home.

In fact, there are two inexpensive, quick tricks you can use to potentially convince buyers to pay you more: Keep it clean and fix anything that needs it.

“Buyers associate dirt, clutter, disorganization and poor maintenance with serious problems they might not be able to see,” they write in their book, “Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House.”

“You can get an additional $20,000 or more for a house that’s neat and clean,” they write. “Why would you leave money on the table when it costs next to nothing to clean and declutter?”

Here are some suggestions from the Property Brothers to prepare your home for sale:

Keep it clean

The brothers suggest packing up all personal items and keeping only what is necessary to start your cleaning. This not only shows off the features of your home, but “removing a lot of personal items helps buyers picture their family in the home instead of yours,” they write.

Beyond personal items and a cluttered space, general poor maintenance can make buyers write off your property.

“We call it the Ick Factor: The more times a buyer says ‘ew’ in your home, the more likely they’ll just write off your property,” they say.

A quick vacuum is only a start. The Property Brothers suggest that you:

• Do a smell check to eliminate musty-smelling areas of your home. If you have become too accustomed to your house smells, bring a friend to your house for an honest second opinion.

• Scrub around doorknobs, which tend to get dirty easily.

• Sweep, weed, and wash paved walkways, patios, and sidewalks.

• Clean out the refrigerator — potential buyers are going to look.

• Tidy up the medicine cabinets and closets. Again, buyers will be looking.

Fix what needs fixing

The next step to getting more for your home is zeroing in on what might need to be fixed. The brothers suggest creating a list of what needs to be repaired, replaced, or updated.

If you don’t know what should be on the list, you can hire an inspector for about $300 to $500, depending on where you live and the size of your property.

“It’s money well spent if you can correct issues that may become points of contention for the buyer,” they write.

But fixing doesn’t have to cost much, if anything. The Property Brothers also suggest making a checklist of small items you might need to attend to, such as:

• Check all faucets for leaks, and make sure drains and toilets are working properly.

• Replace any broken or ripped screens in windows, doors, and porches.

• Check the baseboards for scuff marks you might want to repaint or go over with a Magic Eraser.

“Your house is only as strong as its weakest link,” they write. “Even the smallest of issues can become a huge concern for buyers.”