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How Cosmetic Factors Affect Home Selling Points

A statement-making front door can boost a home's curb appeal and its value according to new research from Zillow, finding that homes with slate blue or black front doors appeal to more recent and prospective buyers —potentially selling for a higher price. On the other hand, pale pink and cement gray front doors could possibly negatively impact a home's value.

This new front door paint color analysis is based on a Zillow study of recent and prospective home buyers who were randomly assigned images of front doors painted one of 11 colors. The home's interior was the same for all study participants.

Each color received a score based on buyers' perception of the home, likelihood of buying the home and the price they would be willing to pay for the home. National price premiums were calculated using the typical U.S. home value of $334,141.

Homes with a front door painted slate blue —specifically a chalky light blue-gray color— received the top overall score with buyers. Most recent and prospective buyers liked the home with a door painted this color, would likely purchase the home and, on average, would be willing to offer an estimated $1,537 more.

A black front door was associated with the highest offer price, with buyers saying they would be willing to pay, on average, $6,449 more for a home with this high-contrast front door. However, black was more polarizing than other front door colors, with some buyers saying it is "imposing" and "doesn't give positive vibes at all." Olive green is another good option, with recent and prospective buyers saying they would be willing to pay an estimated $969 more for a home with this front door color.

"This research shows how seemingly minor home improvements can make a big difference in the way a potential buyer views and values a home," said Amanda Pendleton, Zillow's Home Trends Expert. "A front door is often the first thing that captures a buyer's eye, and first impressions matter when buyers need to make swift decisions in today's fast-moving market. When going through a stressful process that brings half of all buyers to tears, visual cues like color can have an outsize impact on decision making."

Certain front door colors were particularly off-putting to recent and prospective buyers. Some study participants described homes with a pale pink front door as "kind of shabby looking" and would be willing to pay, on average, $6,516 less than expected. Cement gray front doors received the lowest overall score.

While a home's ultimate sale price is determined by a myriad of factors, this research shows it pays to be strategic when sprucing up a home for sale. Most sellers make two improvements to their home before listing it, and painting is one of the most common projects they take on. By selecting the right front door paint color, sellers can appeal to more buyers and potentially boost their bottom line.

Buyers, meanwhile, should be aware of how cosmetic factors like front door paint colors can skew their perception and valuation of a home. To avoid this and to find a home that truly meets their needs, they can use tools like Zillow's Homes to Compare feature to see how their saved homes stack up against each other on more than 70 key listing details.

To read the full report, including methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport magazines with more than eight years of writing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is an avid jazz lover and likes to read. She can be reached at [email protected].

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