Staging Your Kitchen
When it comes to selling your home, your kitchen can be a deal-breaker. At an open house, most potential buyers will spend considerable time in the kitchen to check out the finishes, appliances, fixtures and, more importantly, the amount of space and storage. Having an inconvenient and inadequate kitchen can be a curse to homeowners. Before you may have had long fought battles with your kitchen, but the buyer of your house doesn’t have to feel that way. Just think of your kitchen as product; what do most people like to see in a kitchen?
Even if your kitchen is out-dated, this doesn’t mean you have to burn a hole in your wallet to make it look appealing and attractive. Home staging is a vital part of home resale, and even though it’s good to do for every room in the home, the kitchen is especially important because of the amount of time most people spend in there. Refreshing, refining and staging one of the most important places in your home will have prospective buyers smiling, and not running for the door.
Tidying, not just the countertops — but everything
If you’re like most people, you at least do one thorough cleaning of your kitchen once a week. Well, imagine doing that, but with ten times more effort. You must scrub every countertop, clean every visible mess and remove all clutter. But, homebuyers are particularly picky and nosy people. They will open your fridge, open your cabinets, and yes, they will open your dishwasher. Be sure to have everything organized. For the dishwasher, make sure there are no dishes in there, especially dirty ones. Use vinegar to rub out any hard water scale and build up inside of the washer.
You’re going to have to depersonalize your kitchen a bit. Remove pictures and some items that you use everyday – which someone else may not – off the counter tops. As well, remove almost everything off your fridge. You want to optimize the space in your kitchen so the potential buyer can visualize their things in the space.
Refresh, refine, stage!
There are many different aspects of the kitchen, so take time to focus on each one at a time. You may have to pay a little to get some of the changes you need, but here are some tips for each section of the kitchen:
- Countertops: If you’re moving, you probably don’t have the budget to purchase new granite or marble countertops. Instead, thoroughly clean your countertops, including you sink. If you feel you need to refurnish, then buy new faucets and maybe new – and usually inexpensive – laminate countertops. Tile, for countertops, is relatively cheap too. Though you’re optimizing for space, you may want to decorate; think as if you’re inviting your celebrity crush to your kitchen. Add some vignettes, nice look ornaments and maybe put out a pitcher of cold ice water and some nice looking glasses for refreshments.
- Cabinets: Like replacing a countertop, it can extremely expensive to install new cabinets. To rejuvenate the look, use warm water and mild soap or wood cleaners, such as lemon oil based cleaners. You may also want to refinish them too. If you have some cash lying around you could also hire a company to reface your cabinets. While it is possible to reface them yourself, it is difficult and extremely time-consuming to do so. Clean and organize the inside of the cabinets too. Remember, people are nosy.
- Paint: Repainting can be an option. Neutral colours work best, but try not to choose ones that are boring. Lighter, yet neutral yellows, reds, and oranges work well in the kitchen. This will brighten up the room and make it look larger. But keep in mind the colour of your cabinets and countertops – you want it to match.
- Lighting: Lighting in a kitchen is particularly important because most people like to see where they’re cooking. Most kitchens do have a lot of natural lighting during the day, but during the evening lots of light is vital as well. Make sure you generate as much lighting as you can. You can also install lights underneath cabinets to highlight working areas.
To many, the kitchen can make or break a sale. Small, cluttered and narrow kitchens are somewhat tough to sell, but with some refreshing and de-cluttering, you could make your kitchen a shining part of your home – something that buyers love.