Hard Sell: 7 Pretty House Colors That Scare Buyers Away

Getting ready to sell your house often involves a good deal of decluttering and sprucing up so that every room will look its best. But this presale prep shouldn't stop at the front door. The exterior of your house, including its color, is just as crucial as your interiors. "First impressions are important," says Colleen Badagliacco, regional vice president of the National Association of Realtors in San Jose, California. "From the moment buyers get out of their car, you want your home to look welcoming and inviting." So, when choosing exterior paint, it's best to stick with classic colors and light neutrals. While any of the shades pictured here might look wonderful in a certain region or in the context of a particular architectural style, if you're painting your house for sale, you should try to appeal to the broadest possible group of buyers. "Now is not the time to get creative," Badagliacco says. Here are 7 house colors that might do more harm than good when it's time to sell.

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  1. Foreboding Black

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    Black definitely makes a dramatic statement, but covering a home's entire exterior in this classic shade can evoke more of a foreboding feeling than a welcoming one. If you're going for a bold look, consider a medium to dark gray with white trim, or incorporate black in accents like shutters or the front door for a simple yet still striking effect. 


    Related: The Most Taboo Color Infiltrates Home Design

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  2. Tree Green

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    If you ever plan to sell your home, it's smart to choose a color that blends in with the overall look of the neighborhood. Choosing a swatch that blends in with the surrounding foliage, however, is not so smart. Darker shades of green tend to recede into the front yard, making it more difficult for prospective buyers to admire, or even notice, your home. Instead, weave a deep green into the picture through porch accents or bushes, so you can still get the color you want without sacrificing selling potential. 


    Related: 12 Reasons Why Your House Isn't Selling

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  3. Citrusy Green

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    On the opposite end of the style spectrum from deep, dark greens are bright shades of apple and lime. While these will certainly stand out, they probably won't appeal to a majority of buyers. If you have your heart set on green, opt for a soft shade of on-trend sage.


    Related: See the 11 Paint Colors Set to Take Over 2016

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  4. Blinding Bright Yellow

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    Yellow homes evoke a happy, cheerful tone, but stray too far into the lemon or sunflower zones, and the visual effect quickly becomes overwhelming. Toned-down shades like pale straw and ocher are better bets for those determined to stick with this color family.


    Related: Cure Your Cabin Fever with 20 Easy Paint Projects

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  5. Dingy Dark Brown

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    Like black, painting a whole house dark brown can result in a forbidding, uninviting look. Softer shades of brown and tan are a good alternative—especially ultrapopular putty. Brighten the look further with crisp white trim and light accents to give the facade a welcoming pop.


    Related: Sell High: Top 7 Value-Boosting Home Renovations

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  6. Overpowering Purple

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    There's no denying the whimsical energy of a purple house, which explains the color's popularity with artists and creative types. But to achieve widespread appeal, you'll want to choose a more classic hue for your home's exterior. As a compromise, channel your love of bright colors into a flower garden brimming with cheerful blooms.


    Related: The Best Paint Pick for Your Personality Type

    Flickr via rainchurch

  7. Not So Pretty in Pink

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    A pink exterior on anything but a quaint beachside bungalow is a hard sell for most home buyers. Keep in mind that the same traditional farmhouses and cottages that might look sweet painted pink, always look timeless and appealing when covered in a classic white.


    Related: 8 Exterior Paint Colors to Help Sell Your House

    Flickr via wonderlane

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