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People Seem to Think Gray Paint Sells Houses

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Home buyers prefer cemetery industrial gray to any joyful colors, according to a Zillow study. Photo: imaginima/Getty Images

People are suckers. That’s the conclusion of a study that found buyers will pay thousands of dollars more for a home if it has gray paint in a single room.

The study, run by Zillow, with a fairly small sample size of 4,700 homes, compared offer prices and concluded that buyers are offering $2,512 more for places with “deep graphite” kitchens, and $2,553 more if the room is “mid tone gray.” Dark-gray living room? $1,755 more.

Architectural Digest posited that gray had this particular effect on people because of calming properties which presumably lull people into spending money. A designer it interviewed in 2022 said, “When you come home you just want to shut the door and have peace and a soft, calm home.”

An alternate theory: Gray strongly signals the house was painted fairly recently, and by someone with a Pinterest account. Two of Joanna Gaines’s favorite paint colors, per a blog post titled “Fixer Upper Paint Colors — The Most Popular of ALL TIME,” are “Repose Grey” and “Mindful Grey.” HGTV’s Jasmine Roth’s favorite paint color is Dunn-Edwards Faded Gray — a hue she claims to slather on “80 percent of walls.”

But more than taste or the sheen of a renovation, the matter may be more about subtle deception. As one architect told me: “One thing that darker colors do is they hide imperfections. Lighter colors highlight them.” That’s borne out by the study, which showed a bright-white kitchen knocking $612 off an offer.

Via Curbed

Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey
Joyce Rey

Joyce Rey is one of the most respected names in luxury real estate worldwide, having represented some of the most significant properties in the world.

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