Real Estate Information

How to Use Color Psychology to Prepare Your Home for a Top-Dollar Sale (Part 1)

You've decided to prepare your home for sale. Whether you sell by owner or hire a real estate agent, you want to get as much money as possible without spending your profits. The real estate market normally slows down and most homes take longer to sell during fall and winter. Now is the time to apply new real estate marketing ideas to make sure your home sells quickly (and for full price, of course!)--without spending a lot of money or doing unnecessary work.

One of the most effective ways to enhance your home and attract buyers is to strategically add color. This article shares Design Psychology color secrets for marketing houses during cool and cold weather. (Watch for Part Two or email me if you need tips for selling your home in a warm climate or season.)

To prepare your home for sale, make yourself a Marketing Plan for selling your home. Include a Color Plan for attracting buyers during the cooler seasons. In the fall and winter months, you will want to emphasize warm colors such as reds, oranges, and yellows, to convey a welcoming warmth to buyers.

Next, make a list of colors you're stuck with -- those you won't be changing. Which warm colors do you have? How can you enhance these colors with more warm color to entice your buyer?

Look closely at your front door. If it is not gorgeous wood, paint it in a cheerful warm color. For first-time buyers, a cheerful primary red door excites the emotions. Upscale buyers will be attracted to more complex reds, like maroon or terra-cotta red.

Indoors, start with the colors already present and add the colors that attract your target buyers. Remove unnecessary furnishings and accessories with the wrong or clashing colors. (Under-furnished rooms allow the buyers to imagine their furnishings in the space.) To add significant color without repainting all surfaces, paint only one wall with a bold color. Or paint window trim and doors with a color specifically to warm your space.

How to Add Color without Spending a Lot of Time or Money

Besides painting, you can easily add elements of color through accessories. Place pillows, throws, and candles with your chosen color scheme throughout the home. Consider adding flowers, pots and containers in bright reds, oranges, or yellows. Don't overlook the opportunity to emphasize a chosen color psychology scheme through paintings, picture and mirror frames, vases, and lampshades.

When you complete your Color Plan, you will know what steps to take to prepare your home for a speedy sale--for top dollar!

Copyright 2005 Jeanette J. Fisher. All rights reserved.

Jeanette Fisher, Design Psychology professor, is the author of "Sell Your Home for Top Dollar - FAST! Design Psychology for Redesign and Home Staging," "Joy to the Home," and "Doghouse to Dollhouse for Dollars." For more information on selling your home, and a complete Color Plan see

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