Homeowners typically spruce up their properties before listing them, taking steps such as decluttering and repainting to make their houses more attractive to buyers. A new analysis suggests that sellers may want to choose their interior paint colors carefully since they might make a difference in a home’s potential selling price. 

Bathrooms painted a sky blue color were the big winner, with buyers saying they would pay almost $5,000 more for homes with the restrooms painted this shade, the real estate listing website Zillow found in a recent analysis, which surveyed about 1,300 recent or prospective homebuyers on what they’d be willing to pay for homes based on specific interior paint colors. Blue appears to be a long-standing popular color for bathrooms, with Zillow finding in 2017 that homebuyers preferred that shade for their powder rooms and could impact a home’s price by as much as $5,000.

The price premiums are based on the typical home value of $290,000, Zillow said.

The other winner: Bedrooms painted a “moody dark blue” color, with buyers saying they’d pay about $1,500 more for homes with that shade on their bedroom walls. 

To be sure, the hot real estate market may make it seem like any property can attract multiple offers above asking price — but even in a seller’s market, some homes may struggle to attract buyers concerned about future costs of their new homes. An earlier Zillow study found that fixer-uppers are selling for about 13% less than expected despite the current overall higher demand for properties. 

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Bedrooms with dark blue colors like this one are associated with a sales premium of almost $1,500, the Zillow analysis found. Repainting interior rooms can prove an effective bang for the buck, given that the average cost to repaint is about $385 per room. 

Zillow/Behr Paint


Repainting a home can prove a cost-effective way of attracting homebuyers, and possibly increasing the perceived value of the home, Zillow said. The typical cost of repainting an interior room is about $385 per room, the company said.

It pays to play it safe with colors, the analysis found. Buyers threw shade on trendy colors like mint green kitchens, saying they’d shave about $1,800 off the purchase price due to this tint. Other trendy colors were snubbed by homebuyers, including Pantone’s Color of the Year — a sunshine yellow tint

“Our study found homebuyers may be particularly sensitive to paint color, despite paint being a relatively easy and inexpensive change, because they’re navigating a complex environment with a lot of uncertainty,” Kate Rogers, a senior behavioral scientist at Zillow, said in a statement. 

Aside from appealing paint colors, homes with certain features like high-end kitchens are also associated with price premiums, Zillow has found. One classic caveat: Correlation doesn’t mean causation, with Zillow noting that adding features like gourmet appliances or appealing colors won’t automatically guarantee a higher selling price.

High-end kitchen appliances such as steam ovens and pizza ovens were associated with higher selling prices, the earlier Zillow analysis found. That comes at a time when consumers are spending more time at home and cooking more home-prepared meals amid the ongoing pandemic.