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By Julia Glum
June 20, 2018
Folio Images—Alamy

You don’t need a touchscreen refrigerator, a WiFi-enabled thermostat or color-changing lightbulbs to pump up the sale price of your home.

In fact, all you need is a black door.

That’s according to online real estate database Zillow, which released an analysis Wednesday after examining some 135,000 photos from listings across the U.S. since 2010. Zillow found that on average, houses with black or charcoal gray front doors sold for as much as $6,271 more than expected.

“For a seller, painting a front door is one the least expensive home prep projects, but also one that can have a powerful impact on a home’s sale price,” Zillow design expert Kerrie Kelly said in a news release. “While cool, neutral wall colors like tan and light blue are still popular, we’re seeing a notable shift in home design where pops of color — particularly in darker hues of blue and gray to even black — are becoming increasingly popular.”

It may sound emo, but painting your front door black is actually a tried-and-true way of increasing home value. According to Realtor.com, a black door gives buyers the impression that your house is a serious, stately and safe choice. It’s so popular that two of Sherwin-Williams’ top 50 paint colors fit the bill: Peppercorn and Tricorn Black.

Plus, fixing up your house before putting it on the market is just a good move in general: HGTV says exterior improvements, when done right, have a return on investment of more than 95%.

“A fresh coat of paint in on-trend colors for a house is always going to look better than a dated color scheme with paint that is peeling, faded and worn,” professional home stager Jennie Norris told Opendoor earlier this year.

A black door isn’t the only upgrade you should consider if you’re selling a home. Zillow also discovered that light taupe living rooms sell at a nearly $2,800 premium over their white-walled counterparts. The same was true for light blue bathrooms.

But take a second to think before you go crazy with the rollers — there are some paint colors that can actually end up hurting your wallet. Zillow found that homes featuring red kitchens, for example, sell for about $2,300 less than expected.

DIY with caution, and then check out Money’s other ideas for affordable renovations here.

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The purpose of this disclosure is to explain how we make money without charging you for our content.

Our mission is to help people at any stage of life make smart financial decisions through research, reporting, reviews, recommendations, and tools.

Earning your trust is essential to our success, and we believe transparency is critical to creating that trust. To that end, you should know that many or all of the companies featured here are partners who advertise with us.

Our content is free because our partners pay us a referral fee if you click on links or call any of the phone numbers on our site. If you choose to interact with the content on our site, we will likely receive compensation. If you don't, we will not be compensated. Ultimately the choice is yours.

Opinions are our own and our editors and staff writers are instructed to maintain editorial integrity, but compensation along with in-depth research will determine where, how, and in what order they appear on the page.

To find out more about our editorial process and how we make money, click here.

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