I’m a Realtor, an Accredited Staging Professional and a member of the International Association of Home Staging Professionals. Part of my job is real estate staging and sometimes that includes telling people to tone down the “personality” of the property a bit, for selling. You know… paint the purple wall, take down the mounted moose-head, the Jesus on the crucifix and the framed portrait of George Bush… that sort of thing. (All real examples, by the way!) Real estate staging can make a significant differences to the number of days on market and the sold price. In this market it’s not uncommon for a nicely presented, properly staged and priced house to attract multiple buyers and competing offers.
You might be surprised at how often I ask a buyer if they would like to see a certain listing and they tell me “Oh, not the one with the red dining room. We couldn’t live with that.” Or “that house is not what we are looking for, with its green shag pile carpet.” Let’s talk wall colors for a minute… While have no real objection to beige as a wall color, I don’t believe beige is the only solution in real estate staging either. In saying that, I realize that there are those who do think beige of some description is the only way to go and that’s OK too.
What I do believe in, is keeping the color palette coordinated, so a potential buyer feels comfortable and wants to linger. Combining those “almost the same” beiges, can be just as disastrous as any other poorly chosen color palette. The buyer should be able to imagine their furniture in place and shouldn’t be left with the nagging sensation of wanting to leave the room. Real estate staging and use of color can change the way a buyer feels about a room or property, for better or worse!
When choosing a color palette you need to keep the undertone the same. Colors that appear to be in the same family but when clustered together, just look bad, have an undertone problem. The thought upon entering the room is “something is just not right here, but I can’t quite put a finger on it”. The buyer may not run screaming, but they may not buy the house either.
Every color – even whites, greys and beiges – have predominant tones and undertones. The undertone is the hint of another color that peeks through. You may have noticed that some whites appear bluer, some more yellowish or even pink? White is the overtone, blue/yellow/red is the undertone.
One good way to try and figure out the undertone, is to hold the color in question right alongside the hue you think is the undertone. That pinkish-beige should be held against red, the blueish-white against blue etc. If the undertone is present it will appear brighter. It is a learned skill and will take time to fully develop, but practice makes perfect and your living room (as well as your wardrobe) will thank you for it!
I have had a “thing” with color theory for a long time. I enjoy combining my passion for color, design and function with my skills in real estate staging. I am an Accredited Staging Professional. Whether you are contemplating listing your home and would like a Realtor with expertise in real estate staging or are in the throes of buying “off-color” real estate with me, I am happy to help. Very happy! After all, paint is a very easy, inexpensive and quick fix… If you get the color right the first time. 🙂