To Paint or Not to Paint? How Home Sellers Can Optimize Interior Wall Color

Using color throughout a home can be expressive, creative and hold cultural significance. But what happens to that level of personalization when it’s time to sell?

According to Jeannie Do, homeowners preparing a property to sell need to look past their own emotional connection to color and focus on what changes – like a fresh coat of paint – can elevate their home’s overall aesthetic, appeal to buyers, and potentially increase ROI.

Do, an agent and member of the International Group with RE/MAX Professionals in Lakewood, Colorado, holds a BFA degree in Interior Design and spent 10 years designing luxury homes and commercial spaces. Through projects as intimate as renovating a mid-century modern home and as sizable as designing NFL stadiums, Do has developed a keen eye for the role color plays in creating an experiential space and the impact it has on consumers.

Do shares what sellers should – and should not – change up when it comes to their home’s interior paint colors, and what shades serve best as a visual template for prospective buyers.

Reconsidering bright colors

Colors used to express oneself, Do believes, can oftentimes be a reflection of their personality, mindset and values. Working with clients from all around the world, including countries like Morocco, Japan, Taiwan, Mexico and more, Do regularly sees the tie between home color and culture.

“As a member of the International Group with RE/MAX Professionals, we work with a lot of Asian clientele and in many Asian households, you may see the color red because it represents good fortune and is very auspicious,” she explains. “Red is a color of high energy and I think that can relate to the dynamic of Asian families who cherish their extended family and host lively gatherings all together.”

She continues, “That said, red is typically a color we would avoid in home staging because it’s seen as a statement color.”

Many home stagers agree that while color is a great way to be expressive while living in a space, it’s often best to eliminate brighter shades when preparing a home to sell in order to appeal to more buyers.

“When it’s time to sell, you should aim to remove yourself from the house and make it a blank slate – almost like an art gallery,” Do says. “Galleries usually have white walls because it allows the art to shine without making an impression on it. I tell my clients to approach their own homes in the same way – you need to set your house up as the neutral gallery for the buyer to see as their next piece of art.”

Aligning with trends

While neutral paint colors are typically timeless, Do shares that there can be a place for brighter colors to stay up or be added in when preparing a home to sell. If the seller’s goal is to match their home with current design trends, like today’s buzz around mid-century modern style, for example, then in-theme colors may be embraced by prospective buyers.

“Right now, the rich jewel tones are on trend, like hunter greens, deep blues and mustard yellows. If they’re implemented in a design-forward way that could appeal to the current buying market, I would say to leave it up on the walls and carefully curate the space around it,” she says.

Do warns that some wall colors, on the other hand, can actually date a home.

“Color doesn’t necessarily always have to go. But if we’re seeing those dark brown or rich red hues from the early 2000s, it may do a disservice to the overall aesthetic of your home. In these cases, I definitely recommend changing it to a color that’s more neutral,” Do advises.

Homes vary in size, have unique layouts and receive different quantities of natural light, thus requiring different shades and undertones of paint even within one color family. That said, Do often finds herself suggesting the colors Swiss Coffee by Benjamin Moore, a neutral-toned white, and Pure White by Sherwin Williams, a creamier tone, to her clients as safe bets for creating a gallery-like effect.

Consumer preferences also have a longstanding history of mirroring societal trends. While cooler grays were preferred for a period of time, warmer neutrals are rising in popularity.

“Because of the change in lifestyle due to COVID-19 in the last couple of years, people are actually starting to favor warmer tones for their mood-boosting and comforting effects. It’s all about psychology,” she explains. “Because people are so uncertain about what’s happening in the world, they want to come home to a place that makes them feel safe.”

Creating a synchronized space

Wall color surely sets a backdrop. But the rest of the elements within a home’s interior have to align to create a space that buyers can envision themselves and their families living in.

“Your furniture and décor pieces have to be cohesive with the wall color. If you have really modern furniture but dated wall colors, the interior can feel disconnected,” Do says. “It’s much harder for buyers to picture how they would personalize, furnish and decorate the home when it doesn’t feel natural.”

Do understands that for many, it’s not in budget to make big changes to a home before hitting the market. In addition to decluttering the space, she shares a few other tricks for staging just with existing items within the home.

“Lighting and window treatments are a relatively easy way to elevate a space. It can even be as simple as moving your curtains all the way up to the ceiling to visually elongate the walls and make the ceiling seem higher,” she explains. “Bring in as much natural light as you can. In smaller spaces, consider swapping out heavier curtains for ones that are sheer to really optimize sunlight.”

A qualified seller’s agent will have insight on the local housing market, have seen comparable properties, and can provide further suggestions to help prep a home to sell.

“When it’s time to sell, just keep in mind that you’re trying to appeal to others’ taste, not your own. Getting rid of personalization and loud wall colors can help the process move along much smoother and attract more buyers along the way,” Do says.

27205 148th Ave SE #104, Kent, WA 98042

$285,000

2 bedrooms; 2 bathrooms; 1,043 square feet

You will love this small, quiet condo community conveniently located near Lake Meridian Park and Hwy 18! This ground floor condo with 0 steps backs to a greenbelt & has a fully fenced patio that is perfect for private fresh air. You’ll appreciate the recently updated kitchen & bathrooms with granite counters, hardwood floors thru-out, new full-size washer/dryer, newer frig & dishwasher. Relax in the large living room with gas fireplace, TV & sound bar that stay. Enjoy HOA approved AC in the primary bedroom with attached bath & large closet, and TONS of storage with a huge pantry, 2 coat closets, linen closet & storage closet on the patio. The assigned parking space is right in front of the condo & additional parking is available. Don’t miss this!

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RE/MAX National Housing Report for April 2022

Screenshot 2022-05-22 193303

Competitive Spring Market Greets Buyers
and Sellers with More Listings, Higher Prices

Signaling a flattening of the seasonal spring ramp-up, April 2022 home sales increased less than 1% over March – and dropped 12.8% year over year – across the report’s 53 metro areas. That, coupled with an 11.5% increase in new listings from March to April, resulted in a 24.0% surge in inventory month to month.

The Median Sales Price of $420,000 was up 3.4% over March and 15.1% over April 2021. And home offers grew more competitive. For example, average sale to list price ratio measures how close homes are selling to their asking price and in April, the average sale to list price ratio was 104% of the list price, compared to 103% in March and 101% in April 2021.

Though up 24.0% month over month, active inventory was down 10.4% from a year ago, driven in part by a 7.4% decline in new listings year over year.  Months Supply of Inventory increased from 0.7 in March to 0.8 in April. A year ago, Months Supply of Inventory was 1.0.

Homes spent an average of 26 days on the market in April – five days less than March, and two days less than a year ago.

Read the full article

Washington State NWMLS Market Snapshot for April 2022

marketsnapshot 04-22

Rising interest rates and inflation, coupled with slight improvement in inventory, may bring some normalcy to Western Washington’s frenzied housing market suggest some brokers with Northwest Multiple Listing Service.

Last month’s sales of single family homes and condominiums across 26 counties in the report had a list price to sales price ratio of 107.8%, which was down from March when it reached a 12-month peak of 108.2%. A year ago, the ratio was 106.6%.

Member-brokers added 11,681 new listings of single family homes and condos during April, the highest number since last July when 12,916 listings were added. Only two counties, King and Jefferson, had year-over-year drops in inventory.

At month end, the selection of homes and condos in the database totaled 6,514, the highest level since September 2021 when there were 7,757 total active listings.

Notably, the number of new listings (11,681) surpassed the number of pending sales (9,760), to help boost inventory. Pending sales were down about 7.8% from a year ago and down 3% from March.

Commenting on April’s improvement in total inventory compared to a year ago, James Young, director of the Washington Center for Real Estate Research at the University of Washington, suggested “This is evidence that interest rates are having a cooling effect on some parts of the suburban market and along the I-5 corridor.”

Area-wide prices for single family home sales (excluding condos) in King County also increased, climbing nearly 20% from a year ago, from $830,000 to $995,000.

Closed sales of homes and condos slid from year ago, from 8,791 to 8,344 for a drop of around 5.1%.

“We are starting to see signs of impact from the significant rise in mortgage rates earlier this year, such as an increase in active listings and months of inventory creeping higher, but the full impact will likely not be felt for a few months,” said Matthew Gardner, chief economist at Windermere Real Estate.

Commenting on growing inventory of single family homes (up 27% from a year earlier), Young suggested higher priced homes requiring a mortgage “are feeling some heat from recent interest rates.”

The NWMLS report shows there was about three weeks (.78 months) of inventory of single family homes and condos combined at the end of April. By this metric, that is the highest level in nearly 18 months. MLS data show there was .80 months of supply in October 2020.

Despite the improving inventory, and in spite of rising interest rates, brokers report brisk activity and are not seeing prices ease much.

“One thing that has not been impacted by rising financing costs is home price growth,” Gardner said, pointing to double-digit gains in nearly every county, “including a whopping 27% in Snohomish County, the highest by far in the four-county Puget Sound region.”

Watch the 1.5 minute market report video

Source: NWMLS 5/5/2022

23248 27th Ave S, Des Moines, WA 98198

$599,950

4 bedrooms; 1.75 bathrooms; 2,060 square feet

Basement Rambler with Puget Sound Views! You’ll appreciate the bright open floor plan with refinished hardwood floors on the main level, an updated kitchen & bathroom, and sound views from the living & dining rooms, kitchen and deck. The kitchen features beautiful quartz counters, a tile backsplash & floor, lots of white cabinets and stainless-steel appliances. You’ll love the cozy wood fireplace, stove & AC. Enjoy living on the main level & entertaining guests downstairs with a vinyl-planked family rm, bedroom & bathroom. The huge utility room includes a utility sink, work & storage areas. The private back yard features 2 sheds & is fully-fenced with gates on both sides. There’s also plenty of parking off-street in front. Don’t miss this!!

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Sold 5/9/22 for $725,000

33020 10th Ave SW #C104, Federal Way, WA 98023

$219,950

1 bedroom; 1 bathroom; 667 square feet

Ground Floor End Unit with Private Patio that Backs to a Greenbelt! This cute and cozy condo includes a 1 car individual garage, as well as other available/guest parking. The clubhouse features an outdoor pool, indoor spa, dry sauna, fitness & great room. You will love this conveniently located community that is FHA & VA approved, has an owner occupancy rate of 88% and doesn’t have a rental cap or special assessment. The unit features vinyl plank in the entry, kitchen & utility rm. The large utility rm accommodates a full-size washer/dryer and lots of storage. Enjoy 2 dogs and 2 cats per unit; only aggressive dog breeds & those over 50 lbs are prohibited. With some deep cleaning & updates, this condo can shine! Don’t miss this opportunity!!

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14120 143rd Ave SE, Renton, WA 98059

$599,950

2 bedrooms; 1.75 bathrooms; 1,420 square feet

Bright & open floor plan perfect for entertaining! You’ll appreciate the freshly painted exterior, newer windows, new gas furnace, water heater & AC. Kitchen updates include beautiful tile counters, lots of cabinets, stainless steel apps & lighted wall cabinets. The primary bedroom on main level has a walk-thru closet & adjoining bathroom also accessible from the hall. The updated bathroom features a large, heated jet tub & cabinet w/ w/d hook-ups. The spacious lot is fully-fenced w/gates on both sides & includes an 8×12 shed. The deep garage has a work area; there’s plenty of parking in front/off-street in addition to the extra-long covered RV/boat/trailer parking. You may enjoy no HOA, power to charge cars & the septic system approved for 3 bedrooms.

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Exterior Home Maintenance Tips for the Transition to Spring

Snow is melting, temps are rising, and grass is growing (though the ground still may freeze from time to time). In locales that experience the four seasons, these are a few tell-tale signs that spring is almost here.

For homeowners, seasonal change comes with care and keeping – inside and out – to maintain the property and repair damage.

With spring just days away, consider these maintenance tips and inspection reminders to help prepare the home for a change in weather.

Clean out gutters

Leaves from the fall, debris from winter storms and general grime (and pests) can easily clog gutters, preventing proper drainage. And with spring showers on their way, it’s important to ensure water has an unobstructed path away from the house, keeping the home’s roof, structure, and foundation dry and mold-free. Depending on your comfort level using a ladder, consider hiring a professional to do a safe and thorough cleaning job.

Complete a roof check-up

See any sagging spots on your roof? Or, notice any leaks from the inside of the house? With snow persistently falling and melting over the course of the winter, the roof could be subject to leaking. Locate any of these issues now and make a plan for repair before the rainy season begins.

Remove debris that may have piled up (think: twigs and pine needles) and, if this applies to your home, make sure you’re not missing any shingles. Like with the gutters, consider hiring a professional – and schedule a routine inspection while you’re at it! – if accessing the roof is difficult or unsafe.

Inspect the sprinkler system

Dead grass will be parched come springtime, so if you’re looking to have a luscious lawn, it’s time to check in on the sprinkler system. Check for damage to sprinkler heads as broken equipment can lead to patchy lawn watering and dry spots. It’s important to note that prepping a sprinkler system for warm weather should happen when there’s likely no more snow or frost in the forecast.

Prep windows for A.C.

Identify drafty windows now to ensure you have enough time to repair them before the first heat wave of the season calls for air-conditioning. A deep cleaning of a window’s frame and hinges can prevent pileup from obstructing its ability to open and close smoothly. For leaks, consider applying caulk around the window to reseal it. By functioning properly and containing cool air, windows can help save money on A.C. costs.

While you’re at it, take this time to change the air filter to optimize the efficiency of your HVAC system and improve air quality inside the home.

Wash outdoor furniture

If you have patio furniture, it likely got covered for the winter or stored away. Take the time to wipe down each piece and make sure nothing is broken. The grill could use some TLC as well – scrape, deep clean and degrease the interior, scrub the grates, and refill the propane fuel tank in preparation for future BBQs.

Audit the outside

There are many other components to exterior maintenance that are specific to each individual home. Walk around your property and take note of any tasks you can get ahead on or appointments with professionals you need to schedule. Planning ahead for services like mulch delivery, air-conditioning unit installation, lawn aerating and more can alleviate stress when spring finally arrives.

RE/MAX National Housing Report for February 2022

NHR 02-22

Home Prices Rise 3%, Closings Dip 1%
Ahead of Anticipated Spring Surge

February home sales dipped nearly 1% from January, potentially setting the stage for what is typically the year’s biggest month-over-month ramp-up in sales as March typically is considered the start of the spring home-selling season. And while the number of homes on the market remained at record lows, February’s month-over-month decline in inventory of 6.8% was the smallest such decrease in five months.

At the same time, home prices across the report’s 51 metro areas started to move upward again after experiencing no such increase in January and four small monthly declines in the second half of 2021. February’s Median Sales Price of $345,000 – the highest in report history – was three percent higher than January’s and 17.3% above a year ago. Only three months in 2021 – March (4.5%), April (5.9%) and June (4.9%) – saw prices increase at a higher rate.

Despite declining 4.7% year-over-year, February’s slight month-over-month drop in sales of 0.9% was in sharp contrast to an average increase of 4.4% from January to February over the past five years (2017-2021). Currently underway, March home sales typically produce the largest monthly increase in closings each year. From 2015-2019, sales rose an average of 35% month over month from February to March, while the second-highest average month-over-month increase was just 14% from April to May.

Inventory declined 6.8% from January to February following double-digit declines the previous four months and was down 28.9% from February of 2021. Months Supply of Inventory dropped to 1.2, compared to 1.3 in January and 1.8 a year ago.

Read the full article

Watch the 40 second summary video

28624 27th Pl S, Federal Way, WA 98003 – Under Contract!

3 bedroom, 1 bath Rambler – Listed for $429,950

We priced this right and within 5 days received 7 offers! 5 of the offers were 10% over the list price and a few had additional funds to cover a low appraisal. It’s a seller’s market and a great time to sell! If you’re considering selling, contact me – I’ll help you navigate the process and get top dollar!