You don’t have to be an impeccable housekeeper when selling a home – you just need to look like one. That’s the beauty of staging a home for sale – it gives buyers the perception of “impeccable,” and perceptions sell.
In fact, staging has been shown to increase a home’s perceived value. “A consumer’s perceived value of a good or service affects the price he is willing to pay,” claim the experts at Investopedia.
Since the kitchen is the most popular room in a home, at least according to homebuyers, paying special attention to how it’s staged should be your first step when thinking about getting your home ready for the market.
Declutter the Kitchen
Your kitchen is now a product, and like any product, you’ll need to ensure that it’s sale-ready. Just as you wouldn’t dream of selling a car that’s cluttered with kids’ stuff, fast food wrappers and paperwork, neither should you tolerate everyday living-type clutter in the kitchen.
- Clear off the top of the refrigerator, leaving only one decorative item, then remove all the fridge magnets and the photos, report cards and child artwork they hold.
- Clear off the countertops completely, putting small appliances out of sight and displaying just a few decorative items.
- If there’s a pot rack in the kitchen, consider removing it. Buyers want storage space and they’ll feel your kitchen lacks it if you need a pot rack.
- If your kitchen trash receptacle isn’t hidden away, consider buying one that will fit in the pantry or a cupboard. An exposed trash container broadcasts to potential buyers that there isn’t enough cupboard space in the kitchen.
- Most of us tend to collect clutter near the kitchen sink – bottles of dish soap, sponges, rags, scrub brushes and more. Remove all of it to the cupboard under the sink.
- Organize the contents of the refrigerator. Yes, buyers will look, especially if appliances are included in the sale.
- Rearrange the contents of cupboards and drawers, removing large items that make the spaces appear cramped.
Over time, kitchen walls become grease-stained and splattered. A fresh coat of paint will cure that problem and give you a refreshed backdrop on which to work your decorating magic.
While grey was the go-to kitchen color in 2017, Elle Décor took a look ahead to 2018 and predicts that midnight blue will be the “it” kitchen color.
A 2017 Zillow study also found that blue appeals most to homebuyers.
But, since we’re talking staging, you may want to choose a lighter, softer shade. In fact, the study revealed that blue kitchens earn homeowners an average $1,809 boost of their sale price.
If your budget allows, and you decide to make investments in the kitchen, start with the appliances, because those are the hot buttons common among homebuyers. In fact,
“Studies show that sellers recoup every penny they spend on appliances,” according to HGTV.
The next item to splurge on is lighting. Kitchens can never have too much light, both overhead and task lighting. Consider installing LED lights under the cabinets and switching out the overhead fixture if it’s dated.
Additional items you may want to consider include:
- A new kitchen faucet
- New hardware for the cabinets and drawers
- Rugs and curtains (in small kitchens, avoid busy patterns)
- If you have an eat-in kitchen, consider a striking centerpiece for the table
Freshly-painted walls and organized and decluttered cupboards are the first steps. Cleaning the kitchen – impeccably – is critical.
Yes, you’ll need to keep it that way while the home is on the market, but remember: It’s only temporary.