February 2012

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Lately, I have been asked several times the same question in regards to my dislike of the color I call “Real Estate Buffy Beige.”  It is not that I “dislike” the all too common beige theme that buyers encounter during their quest to find their perfect house, it is that the color is has been over-used for years and by folks who just either can’t think outside themselves for longer than 5 minutes to those who are just plain clueless in regards to color marketing to the potential buyer.

The first thing I ask each class that I teach color psychology and home sale marketing is to tell me how long ago was it that they went and saw several homes, and then remember “the home that stood out to them the most” and “why?”  Many in class just sit there and shake their heads at me not recalling any one home in particular, especially those homes that you visit on “Parade Home Showcase Homes” where the homes are upwards into the 6 digit figures or higher.

“Why is it that so many good homes get passed up by the supposedly “finicky” buyers?”  Especially, when other investors and “rehabbers” flip a home and put in the so many great high end items and doll them up, and then can’t understand why the home hasn’t moved.

Here’s why I teach what I teach. 

1) You can’t just paint your favorite color theme or theme to your tastes

2) Look at who is buying into the neighborhood.

3) who are they and what do those folks tend to like in color schemes

Know who is moving into the neighborhood by checking out your neighbors.  Is it a distinct ethnic group?  Is it an eclectic neighbor hood where history and art is the main attraction to the neighborhood?  Are the neighbors older? Younger?  This is important to know because each group has its main color attraction.  Only in artsy and historical neighborhoods do I see that “anything” is a go!

The only times I tell folks to use beige as a “safe color” is when the neighborhood is pretty much an uptight, conservative, and traditional type of neighborhood.  The second reason to use beige may be for mid to high end apartments with high turn over.  The color helps hide damage and dirt easier than white along with it will go with every new tenant’s decor.  The third reason to use beige is if your home or the neighborhood attracts the “real artists” who possess tons of art work or the heavy duty art collector with no one art theme.  These folks need the neutral color on the wall to show off the various colors on their art pieces and to bring all the art into a cohesive enjoyable view (very much like an art museum does).

So, don’t discount beige entirely, especially, if your only other choice is a simple white.  White is great on the modern home when the home’s style calls for it.  Otherwise, your Asian population group will avoid the home at all costs thinking it as a “death house” while some of us will think or feel like we are locked up in some insane asylum.