The kitchen is a great place to focus on since it has a significant effect on price. Plus it affects how buyers perceive the home. You do not have to spend a bunch of money either!
The 2017 Cost vs. Value Report found that a minor kitchen remodel had a return of 80.2% compared to a return of 65.3% for a major kitchen remodel. Your budget should be based on the value of your home and the kitchens of the competing homes.
Updating a kitchen can get expensive. You do not want to spend too much because you may not get all of the money back that you spend! A local Realtor will know what buyers want and expect in your area.
Your Realtor can help you to focus on the changes and updates that are expected for homes in a certain price range. There is no reason to put a high-end gourmet kitchen in a starter home!
There are ways to prepare your kitchen for the market without spending too much. Let’s look at some ways to update or remodel a kitchen when you are selling a home in the Anderson area!
Clean and Organize Your Kitchen
Buyers MUST see your kitchen as a clean, organized, clutter-free, functional room. Help buyers believe they will be happy cooking and socializing in their new kitchen.
You don’t need to totally transform your kitchen when selling your home. The first step is both the most important and the least costly: Cleaning!
I have seen buyers get turned off because a kitchen was not clean. A dirty kitchen makes buyers wonder about the condition of the rest of the home.
You may be living in your home while it is on the market but you need to clear out everything you can. Removing extra pots, pans, and utensils makes your kitchen feel larger and uncluttered. When you are selling a home, clutter and dirt are your enemies!
Buyers will look inside the pantry and cabinets. Make sure these areas are clean, organized and uncluttered. This lets buyers see the kitchen and not your stuff. An untidy kitchen is never attractive to any possible buyer.
You will need to remove all personal items such as pictures and artwork from the refrigerator. Your prized collection of refrigerator magnets will also need to be removed…
Painting Your Kitchen
Fresh paint has a huge impact on homes for sale. Especially in the kitchen. Next to cleaning and clearing out clutter, painting has the biggest bang for the buck!
You need to use neutral colors and use semi-gloss paint. Using the right type of paint is important. Semi-gloss paints are your best bet. They’re best suited for the frequent cleaning that occurs in a kitchen.
You will need to make sure you clean the walls and ceiling thoroughly. There may be grease on the walls that will prevent you from achieving the best results.
The color you select will depend on the color of appliances, cabinets, flooring, etc. Take your time and think things out!
I suggest reading Painting the Interior of Your Home
A Spotlight on Your Kitchen’s Lighting
Lighting can make a world of difference in a kitchen. It will make your kitchen look larger and brighter. A room that is dimly lit feels smaller and less inviting.
Updating and changing the light fixtures in your kitchen can help it to feel more modern. Buyers love under cabinet lighting and it is not too hard or expensive to install.
I recommend adding pendant lights over islands or counters without overhead cabinets. You can find attractive ones at Lowes and Home Depot.
Over sinks and food prep areas, you will want to use recessed lights or track lights. I prefer recessed lights but let your budget and skill level be the deciding factor.
Updating the Appliances
The highlight of any renovated kitchen will likely be the cabinets and appliances. Buyers love shiny new energy-efficient appliances and old appliances turn buyers off.
Look for appliances with the Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances use less power and are better for the environment. Buyers love energy efficient!
You must find appliances with the same color and style. While stainless steel is big right now, it is more important that the appliances match. Mixing brands is OK as long as the color and style match.
Remember your budget and shop smart!
Improving Kitchen Cabinets
It doesn’t matter how much of clean freak you are, dirt collects on kitchen cabinets. Clean the cabinets, inside and out, to remove this build-up. If your cabinets are in good shape, think about repainting or refinishing them.
New cabinet hardware can produce a spectacular improvement without blowing your budget. You will often see cabinets that are in excellent shape but appear dated due to the hardware. Swapping the hardware is a simple and inexpensive update!
Painting or re-staining cabinets achieves a new look without requiring a giant investment. The most critical thing to keep in mind is that proper preparation makes all the difference.
Be sure to fill in any holes, scratches, and cracks. You need to sand and thoroughly clean the surface of the cabinets before applying stain or paint.
Adding crown molding to the top of your cabinets can make a big difference without spending too much. Check out Install Kitchen Cabinet Crown Molding
Updating Kitchen Countertops
Your countertops will make a huge difference to buyers. This is another area that requires proper planning while thinking about your budget. Match your new counter tops with the color of the cabinets, appliances, flooring, and walls.
The big buzz word for countertops is granite or solid surface. Either choice can get expensive quick. It does not make sense to put high-end counter tops in a starter home. It is also bad to put cheap countertops in an expensive home.
If you have dated looking or damaged laminate counter tops, I recommend looking at replacing them. While it is possible to paint or patch laminate countertops, the results are not impressive.
Removing and replacing laminate counter tops is not simple and may require paying a professional. Still, the cost will be lower than upgrading to granite.
As with all the updates, think about your budget and the price range your home will be in. Look at the competing homes on the market and their counter tops.
I suggest reading Should I Install Granite Counter Tops When Selling My Home
Updating Your Kitchen Flooring
You may want to think about replacing the flooring as well. One of the most popular floors for kitchens is linoleum or vinyl.
Depending on your budget and competition, this may be suitable. However, these floors can look out of place compared to tile in some price ranges.
Tile is great for kitchens since it’s resistant to wear and is waterproof. Plus there are plenty of colors and styles to pick from so you can create any style that you want.
I would advise against laminate as it is not water proof.
The Sink and Faucet
A shiny new faucet can be a great way to update a kitchen without breaking the bank. Replace the sink if it is looking rough or stains cannot be removed.
Add a Stylish Backsplash
Painting your backsplash is the quickest and cheapest way to update it. Use latex paint and waterproof caulk where the counter top and wall meet.
The new peel and stick tiles make updating your backsplash easier and cheaper than you think.
Or you may find some of the fake metal backsplashes are a good option. You can find this as plastic panels or in a roll at home improvement stores. They are easy to install and look great when you are done.
There is also pre-finished beadboard that is made of either plywood or fiberboard. Or you may find PVC planks to be a good option. Be sure to use waterproof caulk to seal the seams.
Ceramic tile flooring might blow your budget but you can install a small tile backsplash cheaply. This does require more money and skill but the results can be worth it.
Using a mirror for a cheap backsplash is a great idea because it will also brighten your kitchen. The drawbacks are it can be heavy and breaks easily. Also keeping it clean for showings may prove difficult for some.
The Take Away:
Kitchens sell homes. Plain and simple…
But it is easy to go overboard and over budget when updating or remodeling a kitchen. Take your time to research the costs and what the competing homes look like.
You probably will not get back all of the money you spend to get your kitchen ready for the market. But you can make small changes that will help your home sell faster and for more money.
If you have any questions about the best improvements you can make to a kitchen when selling a home in the Anderson area, please contact me!