How to Use Color to Sell Your House

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There is an old saying that goes something like, “You only get one chance to make a good first impression,” and when selling a home, the same principle applies. Psychologists have long known the emotional associations held between people and colors, so when selling a house, could you be scaring away potential buyers simply because of the walls' color? This article will discuss the best colors to paint your home’s interior when staging it to sell. Though it may seem trivial, such information can be the vital in the sale of your very largest investment.

Introduction to Color

Marketing experts know that there is a difference between living in a home and selling it. Therefore, when planning a color scheme for a house on the market, it's imperative the owner uses color sparingly and with caution. Deep reds and purples may look beautiful with the staging furniture, but bright shades are difficult to cover should the buyer wish to do away with them up after the purchase. Therefore, in the context of this article all colors mentioned are assumed to be used in light shades. Bold colors may look great, but the goal is to have viewers leave thinking of the high ceilings or the wonderful bones of the home, not the bold color choices.


I have very rarely encountered a home that featured a green interior. As green is said to aid the mind's concentration, a light shade works quite well as the backdrop to workout rooms and home offices.


A blue bedroom with wood ceiling.

In the psychological community, blue is considered a color that calms the mind. It exhibits security, confidence, and relaxation. When selling a home, it's best to place light blue in rooms where you want such qualities, like bedrooms. As the shade offers universal undertones, it's versatility allows buyers to project their own ideas to the room’s potential.


A modern, yellow kitchen.

A light yellow can be very pretty when paired with white or neutral trim. It's often associated with the sun, and therefore thought of as a warm, happy color. If you wish to use color to sell, a light yellow in a kitchen or breakfast nook—places where a lot of time is spent with loved ones—always makes an interesting choice.

White and Creams

A white bathroom.

Of all the rooms in which to experiment with color, a bathroom, in my opinion, is not one of them. When buyers enter this room, they are not viewing it as a place to relax in like a bedroom or socialize like the kitchen. They are looking for it to be clean and functional. What better color to show that off than with white?

When all Else Fails

When all else fails, I recommend a pallet of earth tones including white, beige, and tan. These shades allow the walls to blend into the essence of the home, and almost become non-elements. They let more important attributes shine through. It's from this perspective that I recommend sellers allow the main portions of a home—the living areas, hallways, and foyers—to be left in neutral tones. A touch of whimsy here and there is fine, but letting a new buyer see themselves in the space is what will best sell your property.