Brian Sprouse

As stories go about the profitability of color, this is a good one:

A Phoenix-area home was on the market for two years. The desperate owners continually dropped the asking price. One day a real estate investor sniffed a bargain and discovered the property was discounted at $90,000 below market value. Hmmmm …

Detecting a gift horse, the investor immediately offered $100,000 below asking price in cash with a 10-day close. The owners snapped it up. Just 17 days later the investor re-listed and sold the home within a day at nearly full market value, netting a huge, fast profit.

What changed? Exterior and interior color, of course.

Money on the Table?
No one disputes the role of color in home selling. What can be vigorously debated is why home builders and developers aren’t doing more to take advantage of this obvious selling asset.

Just ask Shawn Hardy, senior vice president and general manager of integrated products at Associated Materials, the parent company for building materials brands such as Alside, Gentek, and Revere.

“Some builders take better opportunity of color than others, for sure,” says Hardy. “A drive through a new development often presents on-trend colors. But frequently the palette is very tight with only three or four colors represented. Why not six or seven colors? It’s an opportunity to broaden scope,” observes the veteran housing industry professional.

new luxury home with elegant touches including covered entrance, columns

Smartphone Culture
Hardy worries that new subdivisions that are all dark blue, gray and brown may fall into the same look-alike rut as the old days of white-, tan-, and clay-sided homes. Color can certainly help differentiate competing builders, especially as more and more millennials flood the home buying space.

“Everything is about individualism now. The millennial home buyer is conditioned by an on-demand, smartphone culture to expect individual preferences. I believe home builders who limit color choice are going to struggle against home builders who are more flexible,” asserts Hardy.

Competitive Edge
Hardy cites the darker, saturated color palette now available to designers and home builders through the industry’s top-selling cladding material, vinyl siding. “For example, Alside Siding’s Explorer Collection breaks new ground with seven on-trend vinyl siding colors, including Rustic Timber, Riviera Dusk, Sterling Gray, and four more. Sophisticated, luxury-look colors like these are a superb way for homebuilders to differentiate their homes at surprisingly affordable price points,” Hardy explains.

$6,000 Door
Zillow, the online real estate database company, recently researched the impact of color on sales price. One of the more celebrated conclusions: Front doors painted charcoal, smoky black or jet black added $6,271 to the closing price.

For Hardy, findings like these aren’t surprising. He has seen how color can transform curb appeal through siding, windows, and new looks in trim. “Home builders are all-in on color but within an unnecessarily narrow band. Pigment science and infrared-reflective technology have transformed what is possible with today’s most popular cladding material,” he says.

Builders have never had so many ways to harness the power of color. To learn more about how to differentiate your brand and influence home buying decisions through color, download this free 19-page brochure.