Black-and-White Kitchens, Gray Front Doors Put Money In Your Pocket

So says Zillow's 2018 Paint Color Analysis. Beware the gray bathroom, though.

Black tops and white bottoms combine to your benefit in your kitchen when it’s time to sell, according to this year’s Zillow paint color study. | iStock photo by jodiejohnson

Are you selling your home and looking to make a few more bucks?

Two minor adjustments can make a huge difference!

Zillow’s 2018 Paint Color Analysis study showed that homeowners ready to sell should really consider two paint jobs: the front door and the kitchen cabinets.  After looking at some 135,000 photos of sold homes from around the country Zillow experts found that homes with black or charcoal gray front doors and tuxedo kitchen cabinets — upper and lower cabinets painted in two contrasting colors — sold for more.

Now if you’re looking for what made the highest premium, front doors painted charcoal, smoky black, or even a rich jet black color generally made a premium of over $6,000. Painting the door is one of the least expensive prep projects, so get out there and do it!

As for the kitchen, Zillow’s study suggests “white or light colored upper cabinets with dark navy or black lower cabinets or kitchen island cabinets, typically paired with lighter wall color for a pop of color/high contrast” produced the greatest return: $1,547 on average.

Speaking of wall color, Zillow home design expert Kerrie Kelly says in a news release, “While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color — particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black — are becoming increasingly popular. Contrasting colors, especially in kitchens and home exteriors, add interest and dimension to a room that plays very well in listing photos and videos.”

But even though dark doors up the sale price, dark walls do the opposite. Homes that had dark red or brown wall colors deterred buyers, causing homes to sell for as much as $2,310 less than expected. A pop of color can increase the sale price, but be sure the “pop” isn’t the entire room.

Gray on your front door may put money in your pocket, but gray in your bathroom does the opposite: In the Philadelphia area, homes with gray bathrooms got a whopping five percent, or $11,000 on average, lopped off their sale prices in this year’s analysis. So if your bathroom sports that popular neutral color, you should get out your paintbrush right away if you’re planning to sell.

One last thing that could increase your premium: central air conditioning! You’re in luck if you have it. Across the country, houses with central air sold for an average of $5,486 more than similar homes without central air. So invest in a central air conditioning system and crank it up at your open house to make a few extra bucks.

Next time you’re thinking about selling, make sure you consult an expert and pick the right paint. It could mean as much as $18,000 more in your pocket if you do.