Perhaps you’ve gotten used to opening the refrigerator door with the towel you have looped through the hole where the handle used to be. And maybe you don’t even think twice any more about the fact that the linoleum floor is an exact match for the pattern on the polyester pants you wore in 1975. But if you are thinking of putting your house on the market, it is worth mentioning that potential buyers will NOT overlook those things. The kitchen is probably the first thing a potential buyer will look at, it is worth more per square foot than any other room in your house, and it can absolutely make or break a sale. It is most definitely to your benefit to invest a little time and money into this room in order to get the most come back your way. Here are some things to look at and consider improving in order to make your kitchen attractive for sale . . . .
- Plumbing fixtures – If your plumbing fixtures are more than 10 years old, consider upgrading them. If you have standard grade fixtures, such as chrome finish, opt for higher end finishes and materials. Brushed nickel, antique copper and brass fixtures are relatively inexpensive to replace. When it comes to the sink, choose plumbing fixture collections that offer matching faucet, control, and sink sprayer.
- Kitchen appliances – If your appliances are more than 5 years old, consider updating them. Newer models, a more designer finish, or more features will help home buyers take a second glance at your kitchen. For top of the line appliances consider stainless steel and professional series lines. If that’s not in your budget, at least give the appliances you have a thorough cleaning with professional cleaning products to improve their eye appeal.
- Kitchen cabinets – The cabinets undoubtedly make the look. When entering a kitchen, the first thing to hot the eye is the cabinets. Cabinetry can be at the highest end of kitchen costs, but also show the most return. Choose wood over laminate surfaces and add custom features like crown molding, wine racks, glazing, and custom woodworking, to set your kitchen apart and make it memorable. Again, if this is not in your budget, then look at refacing cabinets and add door and drawer hardware, for a new look without the cost of new cabinetry.
- Countertops – You can add great value to your kitchen simply by upgrading your countertops. Obviously, the better the countertop that you can afford, the better the potential return. Plastic laminate countertops are considered the lower end grade, solid surfacing, concrete and granite is considered to be the higher end grade. Consider overlay countertops that are made from composite granite/resin combination for the look of granite at a fraction of the cost.
- Flooring – Flooring is often the forgotten upgrade. The general rule for flooring is that the more resilient and longer lasting, the higher the cost of the upgrade is, but the higher return is on investment, as well. Vinyl flooring and low end carpet is at the bottom of the upgrade spectrum. Consider wood, tile, and natural stone for flooring options to add value and appeal to your home.
- Color – Even if you are a big fan of a current, loud color, avoid those trend-setting colors that can make a home look dated later. Those avocado appliances and pale turquoise countertops that were so popular in the 1970’s will make today’s buyer turn on their heels and run for the hills! Nature-inspired colors such as terra cotta and granite can add some nice flair while maintaining a classic elegance that isn’t particularly personal and off-setting to others. Softer tones in lighter colors create a more open, roomy feel, and allow you to make a grand color statement with accessories.
Taking a quick look around your kitchen through the eyes of others can be a wise thing in preparation for selling your home. Think of how much living is done in a kitchen. It’s the epicenter of the home. Most buyers won’t want missing rangetop covers and avocado colored dishwashers in their “epicenter.” Wisely spent time and money in this room of the house can make the sale for you, and be a very wise investment. And be sure the refrigerator in your NEW home has a handle!