Choose your palette with care – some colours will send buyers running.
There's nothing like a few home improvements to boost your property's market value, right? Well, as it turns out, some improvements just don't cut the mustard when it comes to increasing your home's value. In fact some renovations, like wild paint jobs, can knock a sizeable dent in your home's resale value.
The thing is, you may love the idea of lime green walls but chances are, buyers looking at your home will not. That's because colours can be so emotive – we all have an opinion about various shades and hues, and even though a buyer knows they can always paint over a color they don't like, it still creates a negative first impression.
So, feel free to paint your home in every colour of the rainbow if you choose, but be prepared to pick up a brush and roller when it comes to sale time or if your home needs to be valued as part of a loan refinance.
Some colours can actually help you attract buyers. For example, if yours is a character home with a distinctive architectural style, selecting tones from a traditional colour scheme will enhance the home's features and help the place blend into the overall streetscape. This especially applies if you have a house that is part of a row of similar homes like Victorian terraces.
For more contemporary homes, look at the overall neighbourhood and surrounding environment - your exterior colour scheme should complement the area. Any buyer who will be new to the suburb won't want to be known as “the person who lives in that orange house”.
Other exterior features like stonework, roof colour and exposed brick can also shape the ideal colour for your home. If in doubt, go for neutral tones. Sure they're not flamboyant but no one ever baulked at neutral.
Inside your home
Colour can have a profound impact on the look and feel of your home's interior. Here too, it can pay to go neutral with creamy whites, muted beiges and even pale greys. You can always introduce bold splashes of colour through accessories but if you're selling the place, it's important that wall colours don't conflict with a potential buyer's plans for any particular room.
Sticking to a uniform, neutral colour throughout your home may sound dull but it gives the home a sense of flow. In small rooms like the bathroom, lighter tones can also create the illusion of more space.
What about wallpaper?
There can be no doubt wallpaper has come a long way from the ‘flock shock' that used to adorn Gran's bedroom. But even so it pays to think carefully before opting for wallpaper –and this rule of thumb applies even if your home isn't going to be listed on the market any time soon.
For a starters wallpaper costs a lot more than paint. It also involves more effort to hang and keep clean, but the real crunch can come further down the track when you decide you'd like to change the look of a room. That's when the effort involved in removing wallpaper can become all too apparent - often involving the hire of specialist equipment and a weekend spent doused in steam, surrounding by soggy remnants of paper. Visions of this ordeal may also cross a buyer's mind if they see wallpaper in your home.
That's not to say wallpaper should be avoided altogether. Used wisely it can transform a room, adding the ‘wow' factor in spades. But use it wisely. If in doubt, talk to a home stylist for expert ideas on the right choice of wallpaper so that it adds rather than detracts from your home's value.