The kitchen is often thought of as the heart of the home — so it makes sense as to why a tiny, outdated kitchen can be a sticking point when attempting to buy or sell a home. It’s no wonder why homeowners remodel more than 10.2 million kitchens each year. If your kitchen doesn’t work for your family, how could it possibly function for another buyer? That said, not all renovation jobs are created equal.
There are plenty of eye-catching kitchen trends already emerging this year, but will a huge remodel with a passing fad in mind really help to sell your home? Maybe not. You might want to stick with some tried-and-true techniques instead. They’ll certainly help you spruce up your space and will offer a more likely payoff.
Remember to “Floor” Your Buyers
Your kitchen floors are bound to show a lot of wear and tear over the years, and neither time nor public opinion is kind to old flooring. But although millennials made up 33% of the home-buying population in 2017, that doesn’t mean that conventional kitchen components are on the outs. One of the most enduring and endearing features you can have in a kitchen is beautiful flooring — specifically, hardwoods.
Wood is actually the most energy efficient material with which to make products, and as far as resale value is concerned, there’s nothing better than hardwood flooring. That said, it doesn’t come cheap. If you have hardwood flooring already that’s in need of a tune-up, consider refinishing it prior to listing your home. And if your flooring needs to be replaced but new hardwoods aren’t in the cards, consider a less expensive alternative that provides the aesthetic of the real thing without the steep price tag. Engineered wood, vinyl, and even porcelain tile can perfectly mimic the look of true hardwood while allowing you to stick to a budget.
Freshen Up Your Cabinets
Believe it or not, your kitchen cabinets can make or break your ability to sell your home quickly. If buyers notice your cabinets are beat up or look antiquated, they probably won’t be too keen to make an offer right away. You could replace them, but this may cost a lot more than you planned to spend. In fact, replacing your cabinets could cost you up to $12,000 — a princely sum you probably won’t earn back in the final sale price of your home. And opting for inexpensive cabinetry as a way to save money can be a huge mistake.
You’d probably be better off if you painted your cabinets white and replaced the hardware with something a bit more modern. You may be surprised to find just how a big a difference a can of paint and a couple of new handle pulls can make.
Count On Your Countertops
If you already have a desirable countertop, don’t give into the urge to replace it with something even better. But if your current countertop is laminate, you’ll probably need to take that plunge prior to selling.
Simply put, buyers do expect to see a solid-surface countertop; if they don’t find it during the open house, they may look elsewhere. That doesn’t mean you have to go with a granite countertop (though homes that include the word “granite” in the listing can sell 38 days sooner and for 4% more than homes that don’t), but granite and quartz are certainly the most popular options.
Most realtors will advise you that the investment here may well be worth it, particularly if your current countertop is beat up and doesn’t have a lot to offer buyers.
Let There Be Light
A dark kitchen is a sad kitchen, which means no one will want to spend time there. The lighting in this part of your home needs to be warm, inviting, and bright. That’s the best way to welcome buyers in and allow them to see themselves (literally!) in your house.
If your existing fixtures are outdated, you may want to consider swapping them out for something a bit more contemporary. Since Americans spent an average of $70.89 on lamps, lighting fixtures, and ceiling fans in 2016, this is probably an expense you’ll be able to afford. Dim bulbs should also be switched for ones that provide better luminescence. And if you’re able to improve the natural light sources that exist in your home’s windows and doors, all the better. When staging and capturing listing photographs, make sure to let in as much light as possible to attract buyers like moths to a flame.
Ultimately, buyer tastes will differ and kitchen trends will come and go. The feature backsplash that was once en vogue may be considered gauche within a few years. It’s important to spend your money wisely when you’re planning to sell, particularly when it comes to fixing up this space. But if you follow these tips, you should be able to showcase your kitchen at its best and appeal to those who are ready to buy.
image: Curtis Adams