Why “Neutral Colors” When Selling A Home?


Neutral colors

Preparing your home is critical when it comes time to sell and you want to achieve top dollar.  From improving curb appeal to doing smaller repairs and refreshing a home, you want to create a lasting, positive impression for your home buyers.  One part of preparing your home is freshening up paint or a new paint job.  And you often hear real estate agents talk about neutral colors and neutral decor.

Why are neutral colors important when staging a home?

Let’s delve into why neutral paint colors and decor are important for selling your home and why agents recommend using neutral paint colors and decor when prepping your home. 

If there are areas of your home that need a touch-up or entire areas that need a new coat of wall paint, work with your REALTOR and choose the right wall colors.

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What Is A Neutral Color?

In the strictest sense, a neutral color is a hue that lacks color.  Whites, greys, browns and blacks are all neutral paint colors.  Neutral colors do not clash with primary or secondary colors and will compliment them.

When it comes to a home’s wall colors, years ago white or off whites reigned supreme as the go-to wall color when getting your home ready for sale. 

Then beige paint which morphed to taupe paint became the go-to neutral paint color for a home’s walls.  In the past few years, greys have been all the rage and now in 2021 “greige” is the go-to neutral paint color consumers are trending towards.

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What Is Greige?

Greige is a mix of grey and beige, a greyish-neutral color with warmer undertones.  It complements both cool and warm colors.   And greige is still considered neutral and will accompany almost any color scheme.

Greige is the new neutral of 2021

Why Use Neutral Colors When Painting Walls In Your Home?

When it comes time to sell you want to take out any “personality” that is very unique to you.  You want your home buyers to take ownership of your home while on a personal showing. Bold color choices for wall paint can be a very personal decision.

A highly personalized, bold color could turn off a buyer.  They may even go far as to hate the color, like a deep red in a dining room or strong yellow in a bedroom.  A bold color can limit the color scheme of a room’s decor.  A neutral color scheme will have a much broader appeal to your buyers.

Rooms painted with a neutral wall color gives the room more versatility when a buyer is bringing their belongings to make your home their home.

Instead of looking at a deep, personalized color and thinking their current furniture and decor won’t work, a neutral paint color gives the buyer possibilities of working their style into the room.  Instead of hating a color and/or thinking they have to take the time to repaint or buy new furniture, they can see themselves in the home as-is.

If you allow them to take ownership of a home they are thinking of how it can all fall together instead of thinking negatively about areas of your home and how much time and expense they have ahead of them to make it work.

Let your buyers put their energies into how easy they can work your home into their life rather than how they have to alter a home and the expense and time that is needed to make it work.

You don’t want a buyer focusing on your personal choices instead of the home itself.

In the photo below, the blue room, as well as the decor, is bold.  Too bold for most people’s liking.  You will leave the buyer wondering how and if they can work their decor into the room.

Most buyers will not be that bold with color and the deep blue walls leave few options to decorate the room with their current decor.

The other photo is very neutral.  A neutral wall color is not pigeonholing the buyer into a particular color scheme.  They can work in any color decor they want.  And if they want some bold color they can bring it in with throw blankets, pillow, artwork, accent pieces etc…

The grey will appeal to far more buyers and not distract them from looking at the full potential of a room.

Neutral paint colors in a living room

What Is a Buyers Takeaway?

After working with buyers for 20 years, it is never good when you talk about a home after a showing and all they remember is ….. “was that the house with the horrible brown walls?”

If that is all a home buyer remembers about the house that doesn’t bode well for you.  You want them to identify your house with positive thoughts like “the house with the bright kitchen and great breakfast bar”  or “the home with an open floor plan”.

They Can Change It When They Move In

Many home buyers lack vision, it is always best if you show a buyer the finished result rather than tell them.  Many buyers will just think they are stuck with it the way it is or thinks about how much work it will be to change it if you can even get them to look past the current colors and decor.

With the bedroom scene below, both the wall color and most of the decor are neutral.  A little pop of color is brought in from accent items like the throw pillow the artwork, the painted box and the nightstand by the window.  The choice of wall color and floor do not define the color scheme of the room. 

A buyer can work any color scheme into this bedroom… they aren’t distracted by personal decor choices or, forced into a color scheme and best of all you are giving them a clean slate to envision their belongings in your home.


Neutral colored walls with Neutral decor with a pop of color

Neutral Colors Tend To Be Timeless

Decor choices trend and that includes interior paint colors. 20+ years ago a deep red was in especially for dining rooms.  Or mauve was a popular color choice back in the ’80s or olive green in the ’70s But on the whole, those colors are no longer in vogue and can make a house look dated. 

Trends may seem like a good idea at the time, but many trends have a short shelf life.  When using trendy decor realize a trend can quickly become a fad with no staying power.  It can be a gamble.

On the other hand, neutrals tend to be timeless.  Many of the more muted, neutral colors that were popular from 20 or 30 years ago, would still work in a home today. 

Even if you think you are in your forever home things change.  Staying away from trendy color choices will give a broad appeal to home buyers for a long time to come.  And. it is always important to keep resale value in the back of your mind.

Neutral Paint Color Don’t Need To Be Boring

Bleck….white, black, brown, grey sounds kind of boring! In reality, many neutrals can have underlying color tones.  But those undertones are can be very subtle or a distinct color softly muted or lacking deep saturation. 

Today, neutral colors can cover a wide variety of muted colors blues, greens, etc….. Soft, muted blues and greens are now considered by many to be part of a neutral color palette.  But any color can be used like a neutral if it is soft and unsaturated consider a soft, chalky yellow or a red with lots of black and grey in it.

Using Neutral Paint Colors For Your Walls

You may think neutral paint…  what difference does it matter what you choose for a color?

Neutral paint colors can be very complex and you should try a paint sample before painting an entire wall because of underlying color tones.  Try using a paint sample first on a section of your wall first.

What you thought had a slight bluish tone in the paint store could look slightly magenta or green when you get it on your walls.  Because the color undertones are subtle in a neutral color, lighting, decor and flooring in your home can drastically alter the color.

Neutral Decor

Neutralizing your home’s decor starts with choosing neutral wall colors and carrying them over into the decor of the home.  You can add a little color pop with accent items if need be.

Keeping your decor to the neutral side will help a homebuyer focus on the home rather than your personal items.

Thinking neutral will:

  • keep a timeless decor that won’t look outdated.
  • be versatile when decorating a room.
  • have a broader appeal for home buyers.
  • allow buyers to focus on the features and benefits of your home not design choices.
  • makes a house turn key.

Making bold, trendy, highly personal color choices:

  • can look outdated quickly.
  • have home buyers focus on your decor choices rather than the home.
  • leave buyers thinking they can’t work their current decor work in your home.
  • be a turn-off.
  • leave buyers thinking about the time energy and expense of painting after moving in.

Talk with your REALTOR or home stager about what rooms may need to have a paint job with a neutral color choice.  Always think about your money rooms first… the kitchen, baths, living rooms and master bedrooms.  Prioritize what areas should be repainted and what areas can be left alone.


Massachusetts Real Estate Blog author and owner. Kevin Vitali- Haverhill Massachusetts REALTOR

Author Bio

Kevin Vitali is a Massachusetts REALTOR that serves Essex County and Northern Middlesex County in Massachusetts. If you want to buy or sell a home, let me use my years of experience to get you the best possible outcome.

Feel free to contact me to discuss any upcoming moves. I am always happy to answer your questions 

Call 978-360-0422     Email kevin@kevinvitali.com