As many marketers know, color theory plays a vital role across multiple industries, especially real estate. Here’s a brief look at how these visual effects relate to home buyer psychology and behavior.

Basic Color Principles

What people identify as colors can be broken down into components that add up to color schemes. The blending or arrangement of colors communicates perceptions, emotions, and memories, although each individual has a unique interpretation based on their personal experiences. At the same time, there are commonalities among the masses on basic color associations.

Colors are composed of hues, tints, shades, and tones. A hue is the pure appearance found on a color wheel. Tint is a hue mixed with white, while shade is a hue mixed with black, and tone is a hue mixed with gray. The three primary colors are red, yellow, and blue. Secondary colors that mix these primary elements are orange, green, and violet. Tertiary colors are yellow-orange, red-orange, red-violet, blue-violet, blue-green, and yellow-green.

Effects of Color Associations

People develop associations with colors at a young age based on their environments. Since the earth and its plant life are closely associated with green, many people over time naturally think of it as the color of earth or nature. Water is actually clear, but often seen as blue since it reflects the sky. The sky is mostly perceived as blue in the daytime, and many people are taught at a young age of its association with heavenly imagery, giving it associations with trust and friendship.

Red is associated with danger, as every driver knows it’s the color of stop signs. It’s also thought of as powerful. Orange and yellow evoke images of the sun, as they trigger bright and happy feelings. White conveys cleanliness while black communicates power, but also death or darkness. Black, white, and gray each trigger different emotions, depending on the shade. They also blend well with other colors.

Home Exterior Decisions

The first step in deciding what color scheme works best on a home’s exterior is to survey the surrounding environment. Ask yourself if the home should blend in or stand out. Homes in older neighborhoods often have similar color schemes that add to traditional value, commonly composed of brown, white, and gray imagery. Modern homes allow for greater flexibility and creativity. Keep in mind dark hues absorb sunlight, which is good for warming the home in the winter, while light colors help cool homes in the summer.