The Third Rule of Home Staging: Add a Splash Of Color

When it comes to staging a home for sale, the classic advice to keep color schemes neutral is still spot-on. White or pale hues make a space feel simple, serene and more expansive. These unobtrusive colors act as a blank canvas; they allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living in the home.

But many homeowners who already have colorful walls or furniture may wonder if it’s possible to keep some color in their staged home. The answer is absolutely yes. You can maintain – or even add – just a pop of color to create the right amount of personality and style in your staging. In fact, a splash of color can make a space feel designed, perhaps allowing it to linger in the memories of prospective buyers. As a bonus, color can also brighten your listing photos. Remember, you’ll want to add the color only after you’ve done the first two steps of home staging, paring down and freshening up. Here’s a game plan for strategically adding color to each staged room of your home.

Brighten the Living Room

Throw pillows are easily found and often cost-efficient. On a sofa, they’re a terrific way to add a burst of color. Select throw pillows that complement the sofa and room. You might go for a bright contrast, like royal blue against white, or bright yellow on a beige sofa. It’s all right to choose patterned, floral, solid or metallic versions. The key is to look for a color or combination of colors that will add visual interest without taking over the room.

Leroy Street

Color-coordinating your display shelves is another smart and budget-friendly way to infuse your living room with a little color. When editing your bookcase or shelves, try keeping books of the same color or combinations of colors together. You might be surprised how a simple stack of brightly colored red or blue books can transform a shelf or an accent table.

Living room

If the thought of parting with that pair of brightly colored armchairs gives you trouble, rest assured that you might not have to let them go. Once you’ve given the room a neutral and soothing palette overall, try reinstating that colorful furniture piece or accessory. Perhaps balance it out with a paler counterpart, as with a light-colored throw on a chair, or white books on a colorful table.

Belvedere

The rule of thumb is that if it’s a visual distraction, you should remove it. But if your punchy piece complements the space and adds just the right amount of personality, it can stay. A buyer might remember the cool house with the interesting blue velvet ottoman, especially among a sea of all-white homes with nothing memorable about them.

Historic cottage renovation kitchen

Bring a Splash of Color to Your Kitchen

Look to surfaces such as a countertop, an open shelf or a stovetop as opportunities to add a pop of color here and there in the kitchen. You don’t want to introduce clutter, but you could replace necessary items — teakettle, dish towel, cookie jar — that are neutral with colorful equivalents that tastefully brighten the space.

Linden Ave. kitchen no. 2

A terrific option for adding color to a kitchen is to highlight colorful seating options. Bright bar stools or dining chairs can really make a kitchen come to life.

Another great idea for adding temporary color that many stagers use for both photos and open houses is a simple bowl of fruit on the counter. Try using a single color, such as all green or all red apples. For a warm personal touch at your open house, you might leave a note offering the fruit to your visitors.

Domicile id

A Bedroom That Oozes Calm

A well-staged bedroom should feel like a relaxing hotel room, with nothing too personal showing. Pale or white bedding and minimal accessories will contribute nicely to a soothing scheme.

Adhering to a hotel-like feel for your bedroom, however, doesn’t mean that you can’t add a color or two. Your bed wall is the perfect place to feature a different hue. Stick to peaceful or classic colors that will work nicely with your neutral bedding. White or ivory bedding looks sophisticated against a navy wall. Similarly, a soothing aqua or pale blue painted wall would freshen up a drab or dark space, making it more inviting and relaxing. Add a mirror to your painted bed wall to help create an elegant and calming retreat.

Family Loft

As with the living room, you can also opt for colored throw pillows or one colorful piece of accent furniture to add subtle drama to the bedroom. As long as it doesn’t detract from enhancing the room’s size and relaxing nature, a little color can brighten a bedroom nicely.

Bathrooms Are for Color

Fresh and clean is how you want your bathroom to read to any prospective buyer. Crisp white towels and a sparkling shower or tub do wonders to brighten an outdated or worn bathroom. Surprisingly, so does a little color on the walls.

So if your bathroom still feels a bit drab after cleaning and updating the space with new hardware and a fresh glaze on the tub, try painting one or more walls in a classic or fresh color. This can add a bit more style to the room, with the added perk of helping to conceal aging walls and distract the eye from other outdated features.

Wyndmoor Residence bathroom

Look to classic colors like navy or charcoal gray to pop against your fluffy white towels or help make white tiles look brighter. Alternatively, a refreshing color such as pale aqua can evoke the palette of clean water, resulting in a soothing feeling.

Colors you might steer clear of for a painted bathroom wall are nonsoothing brights such as orange or emerald green. While these primary colors can make a fun statement, they don’t evoke a serene or clean feeling for the purposes of a bathroom.

Dress Up Your Exterior

Last but not least, it’s time to address accenting the exterior of your home with a burst of color. Painting your front door and shutters in a color that coordinates with the rest of your house will add curb appeal.

Minikahda Vista Cape Cod

Bright and classic colors such as red, green and blue are great options, especially to coordinate with planters and brightly colored flowers.

Home Staging Hingham, Scituate, South Shore, MA

As an added element, look to the season to dictate your choice of flower and splashes of color. Red tulips are fantastic in the springtime, while orange and yellow give a sunny glow to a home in the fall.

WRITTEN BY NEILA DEEN, HOUZZ

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To Buy Or Not To Buy: Is Now The Time?

The US Census Bureau recently revealed that the US homeownership rate declined to 62.9%, the lowest level reported in 51 years of Census tracking.

This statistic does not signal impending doom. Since 2006, there has been a decline from peak ownership rates which is attributed in part to responsible lending practices and shifting demographic patterns. What is significant about this statistic is that it can give those intent on homeownership the false impression that they are fighting a losing battle.

If you’re on the non-homeowner side of this statistic, does this spell opportunity for you? With the economy and employment gaining strength, and predicted home-buying demographic shifts, homeownership may start an upward swing.

If you don’t own your own home, you know there are reasons why not. Since my work dictates I challenge the best to become better, I ask you, “How sure are you that those reasons are still valid or insurmountable?”

Repeatedly, when I speak to audiences about becoming their own futurist and creating strategies to achieve the future of their choice, I frequently meet people – individuals, couples, families, groups – who did not realize that their future could include homeownership.

Because they did not consider ownership a possibility, they gave up investigating, learning, strategizing, acting, and dreaming to make it happen. So it did not.

Ask any real estate or financial professional, and they won’t hesitate to tell you that home ownership is, rarely if ever, achieved by those who make no effort or take no action in that direction.

Any “short cuts” lie in understanding exactly what effort and action are required for the most direct path to ownership success. That’s what real estate professionals are trained to know all about. They understand how to relay that information to willing buyers and sellers.

Interview real estate professionals until you find one with the right mix of experience and determination to assist you with your ownership goals.

Listen and take notes or record when this professional explains your options and how to achieve your ownership goals. If you ask questions, you will also receive details about various ownership options, including cooperatives, condominiums, and other alternatives available in your area and price range. More questions and you’ll discover how the purchasing process works.

Consider the full range of neighborhoods and communities within your area. Prices tend to go down the further out you go from city center. With good public transit, moving to the suburbs may not require as many sacrifices as you might think.

If you’d like to own your own home, this may be the right time for action.

There are a number of ways to increase your purchasing power and bring real estate ownership within reach. The important thing is not to give up on making an effort before you have explored opportunities available to you in this real estate market:

Interest rates have not risen as dramatically as they are predicted to do in the future. Waiting until rates rise will limit the size of mortgage you qualify for. Mortgage brokers can explain how much you’ll qualify for and how you may be able to improve that level of financing. When you purchase, aim for the longest term you qualify for without seriously compromising purchasing power. That way you’ll have years at a rate you can afford while the mortgage debt is declining.

Debts can reduce the size of mortgage you qualify for, but financial professional advisers can suggest do-able debt-reduction strategies to improve borrowing power.The first step may be reducing the accumulation of new debt by ending discretionary spending like impulse shopping, eating out, and holiday travel.

The real estate you purchase may become a “financial partner” in achieving ownership. For instance, buying a one or two-unit rental income property may raise your qualifying income by some or all of the rent the rental unit or units would bring in. This financial leverage may also be possible in a non-rental property if you can prove you have boarders who will move in with you, pay rent, and share expenses.

Uncertainty abounds, but the economy continues to build momentum and job prospects continue to improve. Untapped income opportunities may exist. When was the last time you explored new employment and education opportunities with your current employer or within your community? Having a job that is “just enough” to keep you going can create inertia that defeats your belief that there’s more out there for you if you persist.

Realtytimes.com contains a rich library of articles to answer your questions and help you explore alternatives. Below are a few from my ongoing column “Decisions & Communities” that reveal the range of opportunities available to those on the path to homeownership:

As you research ownership ideas and opportunities, stay skeptical. Ask for details and persist until you understand exactly what you and others involved will be responsible for. Beware of anyone promising overnight success or cheaper-than-believable housing. Stick with professionals who have verifiable credentials and proven expertise.

Since the downturn, you’ve had years to consider homeownership. Is it time for action before rising interest rates and increasing demographic demand move real estate ownership further out of reach?

WRITTEN BY

Home Looking Drab? Boosting Curb Appeal Is Easy And Worth It

Improving the curb appeal of your home will not only bring a smile to your face when you pull up after a long day, but it will leave you smiling all the way to the closing table. Boosting the exterior aesthetic of your home adds to your enjoyment, but also can dramatically improve the value at resale. By focusing on the three main areas of your home’s exterior, you’ll be proud no matter who is driving by.

Improving the driveway, garage, and walkway

In most homes, the driveway and the garage comprise a significant portion of the home’s curb appeal, yet they are often overlooked by homeowners. Ensuring your driveway is in good condition and free of weeds will automatically freshen the exterior — edging your driveway with coordinating stones or pavers can also enhance the appeal.

Also, take some time to inspect your exterior walkway. Is it in good condition? Does it enhance the other exterior features? Upgrading a walkway with pavers or flagstones is relatively inexpensive and can dramatically change the way you feel walking up to your front door.

Garage doors can also set the tone for a home’s appearance. Consider touching up garage door paint or replacing your door altogether. With a wide variety of materials to choose from, a new garage door can transform your home’s exterior. Doors are available in wood, steel, and fiberglass with countless choices in design and color.

Attending to your home’s exterior

A home with siding and paint in good condition that blends well with the neighborhood and surrounding landscape will offer a more serene experience. Even if your paint is in good condition, consider power washing the exterior to remove dirt and grime that can diminish its appeal. Renting a power washer for the weekend is inexpensive but can reap massive rewards in how your home looks and feels.

Small changes to the entryway can have a dramatic impact on visitors. Replace broken or rusted lighting fixtures, update door hardware, and embrace symmetryat the entry point. Even the simple act of repainting your front door with a fresh shade can add tremendous appeal. Installing additional lighting along a walkway or dark areas can also enhance these exterior spaces.

Luscious landscapes

Landscaping is one of the primary ways to make a dramatic impact on how your home looks. Improvements in landscaping are thought to return about 4 to 5 times your investment when it comes to selling your home. To maximize your time and investment, first, assess what of your existing landscape can be used or improved. Trim overgrown bushes, prune trees and refresh mulch or other ground covering. Peeling back the overgrown exterior can attract some unwanted attention to your home — consider purchasing home insurance riders to protect any belongings not covered in your policy.

Adding plant beds to feature climate appropriate plants will help you maintain your landscape with less hassle and will enhance the natural beauty of your lot. Choose annuals to add bright pops of color, either in beds or matching planters at the front of your home.

Lastly, attend to your lawn. Patch dead areas with sod or seed and ensure you are caring for your lawn using recommended methods — mow regularly, use fertilizers and weedicides as needed, and make sure your clean up after any pets. Stubborn bare patches can be transformed into unique flower beds or improved with alternative ground cover, such as ivy, in areas where it is too shady for many types of grass.

With some simple and inexpensive fixes, you can create an exterior that you are not only proud of but that you enjoy spending time in. Not only will this improve your happiness in your home, but it will also reap benefits when you’re ready to move someplace new.

WRITTEN BY MIKKIE MILLS

Breaking Down The 50 Worst Cities To Live In

People looking to buy a new home or potentially relocate to a new city or state spend a lot of time checking out the “best of” lists to find out where the jobs, families, amenities, quality schools, and strong home values are. But have you considered the worst places to live?

You know, those cities where the home prices so far exceed the national average you need the income of a small, oil-rich country to afford to buy there?

Or one whose real estate market and/or job market is stagnant, or worse?

Or one with a crime rate that is enough to scare off (literally!) potential buyers?

There are also lists that outline where not to buy for these and various other reasons, like this one from 24/7 Wall St. that whittled down 550 cities into a scroll of “America’s 50 Worst Cities To Live In.” Their methodology was based on data “in nine major categories: crime, demographics, economy, education, environment, health, housing, infrastructure, and leisure.”

Many of the cities on the list are expected – places like Detroit that have been hard-hit by the economy and show few signs of recovery (more on that below). But, you might be surprised by the No. 1 city on their list of: Miami.


Miami Herald
“No city in the United States is worse to live in than Miami,” they said. “The city’s median home value of $245,000 is well above the national median of $181,200. However, with a median household income of only $31,917 a year, well below the national median of $53,657, most of these homes are either out of reach or a financial burden on most Miami residents.”

Unlike the images of seaside mansions and bikinied beachgoers that may spring to mind when you think of Miami, it turns out the city is not all glitz and glamour, thanks to a mindboggling disparity between the tippy-top of the city’s wealthy…and everyone else.

“According to recently released research from the nonprofit think tank the Economic Policy Institute, the top 1% of earners in the Miami metro area make about $2 million annually, 45 times greater than the average income of the other 99% of earners,” they said. “This earnings gap makes the metro area nearly the most unequal of any U.S. city.” The city’s crime rate is also a factor, with a “disproportionately large portion of Miami residents likely (to) experience” violent crime. The “rate of 1,060 incidents per 100,000 people is several times higher than the national rate.”

Second on the list, the aforementioned Detroit, whose problems have been well-documented. Low home values and a high poverty level, not to mention the city’s bankruptcy in 2013, make progress a challenge. But the high crime rate and educational issues might be the most upsetting factors.

“Although it’s hard to pick out the city’s biggest problem, crime is a worthy contender,” said Area Vibes, who named Detroit No. 1 on their list of worst cities. “A criminality rate that’s 155% above the national average will have residents huddled in their homes after dark. Detroit’s struggles extend to the classroom, with a bare 70% of area residents graduating from high school.”

Detroit was also No. 3 on Neighborhood Scout’s website of the Most Dangerous Cities. This site breaks out crime rates by violent and personal, and then further breaks down the data by type – a useful tool for those who want specific info related to cities they might be considering. East St. Louis, MI was No. 1 on their list of Most Dangerous Cities.


MLive
The rest of the “worst” according to 24/7 Wall St. include:

3. Patterson, NJ – “Like many American industrial cities, Paterson’s economy is no longer prospering as it once was,” they said. “More than 30% of the area’s residents live in poverty, nearly double the national poverty rate.”

4. Hawthorne, CA – “The poverty rate is not as high as in some other cities on the list, but the home values that are just astronomical make it near impossible for many of Hawthorne’s residents to afford a home,” said Cities Journal. “It should also be pointed out that Hawthorne is a very polluted city where the air is hazardous about 15 percent of the year. The national median is about 6 percent.”

5. Fall River, MA – “The median household income in Fall River is only $35,037, just roughly half the income a typical Massachusetts household earns and about $18,500 less than the income the typical American household earns,” said 24/7 Wall St.

6. Birmingham, AL – Low home values, low incomes and a poverty rate of 30.5% – almost double the rate across the country – put Birmingham on the list.

7. Memphis, TN – Despite its deep musical roots, Memphis has experienced hard times of late. About a third of those in the city are living in poverty and violent crime is nearly five times higher than the national rate.

8. Flint, MI – The city of Flint, Michigan “has seen more than its fair share of struggles in the past few years, said Business Insider. “It’s known as one of the most dangerous cities in America, and the poverty that afflicts the city is part of the reason its residents have been exposed to such dangerous levels of lead,” which led to a state of emergency in the city. Flint has the second – highest poverty rate of any city in the U.S., at approximately 40%.

9. Cleveland, OH – At just $24,701 a year, Cleveland’s median household income is the second lowest in the country, and its 39.2% poverty rate the fifth highest.

10. Gary IN – “Gary was called the murder capital of the world in the 1990s, but violent crime is down dramatically in Gary in recent years,” said Forbes on their list of Most Miserable Cities. Still, the city is “plagued by high foreclosures and migration out of the city.”

In fact, 24/7 Wall St. reports that, “Gary’s population is shrinking faster than that of any other U.S. city. The number of people that call Gary home has dropped by 26.7% in the last decade and by 25.5% in the last five years. A declining population is not especially surprising given the city’s bleak economic conditions.”

WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI

The Purchase You Can’t Afford To Ignore

Real estate owners who stay in touch with their neighbors can be first in line when the neighbor of an abutting property wants to sell.

Abutting or adjoining properties are neighboring real estate with at least part of one boundary touching part of your property.

If you own a house, semi-detached, recreational property, or even a condominium unit and the owner of a property bordering on yours considers selling, you want to be among the first to know and to act on that knowledge.

There are strong advantages to owning abutting property as well as your current real estate:

Proximity to neighboring homes may limit what you can do on your property. In turn, an adjoining neighbor’s add-on or build-up may have negative impact on your home. Buy the property beside you and you’ll have renovation “elbow room” and can escape being over-shadowed by a neighbor’s expansion.

Buy the adjoining real estate and you’ll may be able to combine the properties into a large lot that which would enable you to build an even larger home or add more amenities or trees.

Rent out the second property and you’ll have income, deductible maintenance costs, a say in who lives there, and full benefit of that property’s appreciation in value.

Owning adjoining properties is equivalent to having a sound and privacy barrier—breathing space—between your real estate and that owned by others.

Townhomes and condominium units with common walls provide opportunities for expanding space without moving. Check out the legalities of such possibilities when you buy the first property or at least long before an abutting unit is on the market.

If you own a recreational property, buying an abutting property could improve your enjoyment by extending your waterfront or expanding your view. You’ll definitely have control over more of the environment.

Larger properties provide opportunities for development to add multiple units or build up, all of which can increase property value.

You’ve chosen to live in an area you believe in. With two properties you’ll at least double your investment return as local real estate values rise. Buy more—whether you hold separate title on each property or combine some—and you’ll be investing in something you can live on or in and enjoy as it grows in value.

Here’s how buying the house across the driveway worked out for one couple: Mike and Melissa Russell (not their real name) struggled financially to buy their first house: one of the more modest detached two-storeys on a tree-lined residential street in the best neighborhood they could afford. They put location ahead of decor and house size knowing location could not be changed, and decor and size were what renovation was all about.

Years passed and the house became too small for their growing family. Moving was out because they had so many friends in the area, had so many connections to the neighborhood, and their children loved their schools. Then, the elderly neighbor living directly behind their property died suddenly.

The Russells knew the house and decided to approach the estate to buy it. After appraisals to establish fair market value and discussions between their lawyer and that for the estate, the Russells were proud owners of a second house.

They quickly completed cosmetic improvements on the house and rented it to cover costs including taxes, maintenance, and a mortgage designed to be paid off as quickly as possible. The two backyards were combined. The Russells created a large vegetable garden, outdoor kitchen, and patio. Over the years, friends helped the Russells add a pool and a basketball court to maximize the double yard.

After a few years as landlords, they could afford to carry the second house themselves. With the help of friends, the Russells transformed the basement into a sports playroom for the children, added a separate smaller rental unit, and created an office for Melissa’s online business.

Their plans for the future include selling the second home to subsidize travel and modernizing the original house once Mike takes a pension from his job. Living in their original home will mean no downsizing required, renovation without a mortgage, and staying in the neighborhood the Russells have always loved.

Whether you buy the house across your mutual driveway or backyard fence, the end unit beside you in your townhouse row, or the condominium unit above yours, buying abutting real estate should always be considered as a serious option before the opportunity is lost.

Be sure you have done your “homework”. You may only have a short headstart before everyone knows the property adjoining yours is for sale. Here are a few of the questions that help you prepare in advance:

  • The location was an excellent investment for your home, but does this neighborhood warrant further real estate investment?
  • Is staying in this location the best short and long term decision for you and your family?
  • How will you finance the purchase of the second property? Will rental rates cover mortgage payments and other expenses?
  • What municipal bylaws and other legal issues may undermine your projected use of the second property?
  • If you did not make this investment, how else would you put your money to work for your future?

Buying an abutting property is not always the right idea, however, it is always the right thing to consider very seriously when an opportunity to purchase presents itself. Be prepared by considering your options well in advance. You never know when a neighbor will knock on your door and ask…

WRITTEN BY

8 Things You Should Do Before Moving Into A New House

Moving into a new house? Your task list doesn’t end once you pack up your old place – and we’re not just talking about all the fun unpacking you have ahead of you. There’s a few more things you’re going to want to do before you get in and start living it up.

Change the locks

It doesn’t make you paranoid to want new locks on the doors to your home. It makes you smart. “Who knows how many people have keys to what’s now your home? The fix is easy: ‘It’s usually a minimum charge for a locksmith to come to the house,” said Ron Phipps, principal with Warwick, Rhode Island-based Phipps Realty and past president of the National Association of Realtors, on Bankrate. Phipps’ advice: Don’t just re-key the locks – replace the hardware, too. You get a nice update, plus peace of mind.”

Don’t forget to change your garage door opener code, too.

Do an in-depth tour of the house

Do you know where the water and gas shut-off valves are? How about the electrical box and water heater? Any idea how to use your sprinkler system? Familiarizing yourself with all the ins and outs of the house and making sure key members of the household are also aware can help avoid disasters.

Seal off rooms you don’t use – or won’t be using right away

The first few months in a new home might be a revelation financially – and not in a good way. Between moving costs, new furniture, any renovations that need to be done, and the cost of turning on all your utilities, you’re probably going to want to save a few dollars where you can. Sealing off rooms you won’t be using for a while can help lower your heating and cooling costs.

Meet your neighbors

Your neighbors may be planning to come by once they see that you’ve moved in, but think about beating them to it. You never know where you might make a new best friend (or find one for your kids), and being friendly and outgoing from the get-go establishes good will.


Mindful CommUNITY
At the very least, being able to see a friendly face or two in the neighborhood will help you acclimate – and it won’t hurt to have someone point out the neighborhood gossip, tell you which Starbucks makes the best lattes, and help you find the most traffic-free route to the elementary school.

Join Nextdoor

Need a babysitter, a dog walker, a handyman, or a recommendation for the best Chinese restaurant in your new neighborhood? Nextdoor will help you find it.

Clean your carpets

A thorough cleaning of the home should have been done when the sellers were moving out. In some cases, it’s stipulated in the contract, and a seller who fails to live up to that aspect is “at risk for a lawsuit,” said Realtor.com. But unless specific cleaning tasks are called out, the house may not be as spic-n-span as you want.

Even if the house looks clean and tidy when you move in, they may have skipped the carpets. A good cleaning can extend their life, improve air quality, and remove allergens.


Mallary Carpets
“Little do most of us realize that what we are seeing is only a tiny fraction of the soil that a carpet contains,” said the National Carpet Cleaners Association(NCCA). “The visible grime we notice is only the tip of the iceberg; up to 85 per cent of the dirt the carpet holds is buried deep within the pile. And when you consider that a carpet can eventually trap its own weight or more in soil – as much as 150 pounds for an average-sized living-room – you’ll agree it’s no trivial matter.”

Wipe out drawers and cabinets

This is another oft-ignored task, and one that could be responsible for leaving germs, or at least crumbs, behind.

Change your fire alarm batteries

The U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that fire alarm batteries get changed twice a year. Since you probably won’t know when the last time this was done, it’s best to change them when you move in. That way you won’t be awakened at 3am by a blaring alarm your third day in the house.

WRITTEN BY JAYMI NACIRI

How Color Helps Sell Your Home

Yes! Just like curb appeal matters, the colors of your home can and will influence buyers. With that in mind, we explore which colors tend to appeal to the masses.

The color scheme of your home, from the outside in, sets the tone. It’s like going to see a theatre play and seeing an intricately crafted and appropriately painted set for the production. It can immediately intrigue you–before the play has begun and even if you know few details about the play.

When it comes to color, be sure to consider the location. A peach-pink home in a retirement community might be okay, but that same color in an upscale, urban city may be unappealing to younger city dwellers.

The outside of your home is one of the largest areas potential buyers will see. So make your decision carefully and be sure to have a professional paint job done. If you choose white for the exterior, your home is likely to appeal to the masses, according to one study that indicated upwards of 40 percent of people liked white homes.

The great thing about a white home is you have plenty of options to make the home stand out by using an accent color for the trim. The downside is that white gets dirty very fast and shows it more than other colors. So before you list your home, make sure that you have a fresh coat of paint applied or pressure wash the exterior to bring back that newly painted look.

Also take into consideration the color of other homes on the block. Typically, white will not look out of place. However, if you had a purple home on a block where the homes are mostly beige and neutral colors, you’ll get noticed but won’t likely get the kind of attention you want.

Beige with neutral-colored trim is another popular color scheme. Both beige and white are safe exterior colors. They don’t turn buyers off.

There’s also been a trend to paint just the front door a deep, rich color like red. This may not be appealing to all. However, buyers would tend to overlook it because it’s a simple change as well as one that can easily and cheaply be changed to the new buyer’s choice. As long as the colors look good together, this wouldn’t necessarily turn buyers away.

The paint inside your home is equally important. In fact, one good tip for sellers is that if they can do nothing else, they should get some fresh paint up on the walls. The new paint helps showcase the home and gives it a new-home feel.

There are a wide variety of interior colors. Don’t feel like you have to go with only beige. You can be a little more daring, using bold accent colors. Just make sure the paint colors you choose don’t give a dark, closed-in feeling. Aim to create comfort, a sense of calmness, relaxation, and a place where family can unwind. Earth-tone colors convey this very well.

For a more chic and sophisticated look, interior designers often choose from the grey palette. A dark grey color can create a bold statement and attract the eye to a particular area.

Whatever colors you choose, remember that your aim is to appeal to the masses. Test the colors out first. Get opinions from the experts.

Your real estate agent has likely been in hundreds of homes and can offer you some very good guidance.

WRITTEN BY REALTY TIMES STAFF