Buyers look at a lot of things when scoping out homes on the market. But if there’s one room in particular that captures their attention first, it’s the kitchen. In fact, the kitchen can literally make or break a deal.
It’s not uncommon for buyers to make their decision about whether or not to buy a home based on the kitchen. Given the weight of this important room, it warrants plenty of attention when it comes time for you to get your home ready for the market.
If you’re in a bit of hurry to get your home ready for the market and are taking a DIY approach to staging your kitchen, here are a few tips you may want to consider.
The kitchen is notorious for bad smells lingering from last night’s dinner or a garbage can that’s festering with food scraps. Before buyers show up, make sure to take the trash out and light a candle to freshen up the scent.
Clean inside cupboards and containers, and pour a little white vinegar down the drain. And whatever you do, do not cook anything that leaves a potent smell to linger, such as fish or dishes with strong-smelling spices.
2. Tidy Up Your Open Shelves
If your kitchen features open shelves, make sure they are tidied up and arranged neatly. Use that open shelving to show potential buyers how useful and pretty they can be, even though they may really be a bit difficult to keep in order at all times.
Don’t overcrowd the shelves, and be sure to leave some open space between items. Only keep out matching sets of dishes or glassware in order to keep things orderly. Displaying your open shelving properly can actually help to visually expand the space, especially if your kitchen is a bit on the small side.
3. Organize Your Cabinets and Pantry
Buyers will open every single door and drawer, and that includes the kitchen cabinets and pantry. As such, you’ll want to be prepared for such snooping by cleaning out and organizing these areas. Toss out whatever is not being used and organize whatever is left according to the category.
Match food storage containers and line up glassware. If there are still things you need to store but they’re not doing much for the aesthetic factor, consider tucking them away in a box and store it out of sight until you find a willing buyer.
4. Clear the Counters
You use your kitchen every day and likely have a few items that you use frequently. But as convenient as it is to have them handy at all times, they do nothing but create clutter on your counter space.
Ideally, the only things that should be left out on your counter are your toaster, coffeemaker, and perhaps your phone. Everything else should be put away. And once you’ve cleared the clutter, be sure to thoroughly polish the counter space, too.
5. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
When it comes to breathing new life into a room, a fresh coat of paint always works like a charm, and the kitchen is no exception. Painting is one of those projects that bring in the highest ROI compared to the minimal upfront cost to do it.
Add a fresh coat of paint to your kitchen in a neutral tone that also goes with the color palette in the room to make it look newer and more updated.
6. Scrub the Sink and Faucets
Take a closer look at your sink and faucet. Unless you polish them on a daily basis, they likely have some amount of build-up or stains on them. You can improve the overall look of the room by simply giving these components a good scrub-down and polishing them until you see your face shining in them.
7. Clean Your Appliances
While you’re at it, give all of your appliances a good cleaning job, too. If you’re like many other homeowners, your fridge is probably covered in fingerprints and your stove top might have caked-on food on it that you just haven’t gotten around to cleaning off.
And don’t forget to give the inside of your oven a deep cleaning job as well. Dirty appliances can be off-putting, but gleaming appliances can have the opposite effect.
8. Put Out New Towels
Any towels that you may have hanging off your dishwasher, oven or sink should be fresh and free of stains. Add new tea towels. Brand-new towels are an easy, quick, and cost-effective way to add some color and design to a kitchen, especially to neutral kitchens that may be a little on the boring side.
9. Put Out a Bowl of Fresh Fruit and Flowers
A bowl of colorful, ripe fruit on the countertop and a bouquet of fresh flowers on the table can add a splash of color to the kitchen while giving off a waft of sweet smells.
10. Set the Table
Your kitchen table should be neatly set with your best dishware and cutlery. Don’t forget the placemats, napkins, and centerpiece to finish it off.
The Bottom Line
Your kitchen is the hub of your home and deserves much of your attention when you’re prepping your house for the market. If you don’t have the budget nor the time to take on some improvement projects, there are still plenty of ways to spruce up the look of this space to impress buyers.