A spacious master suite or a finished basement are nice to have, but what really sells a home is the kitchen. The kitchen is the heart of the home and the showpiece for potential buyers. Home buyers want up-to-date kitchens. If you’re planning to sell your home in the near future, consider making some renovations that will make your kitchen, and your home, stand out to potential buyers.
The first thing you need to do is determine how extensively you need to renovate. Several things factor into this. If your kitchen hasn’t been updated in decades, you probably need to make some significant upgrades. On the other hand, if your kitchen is relatively up-to-date, you may be able to get by with making repairs and minor cosmetic changes. If you’re remodeling your kitchen to sell your home, you should stick with the current architecture rather than make any structural changes. One exception is if your kitchen is not part of an open floor plan, consider knocking out some walls to open it up.
One mistake many homeowners make is spending more on a remodeling project than their home value can support. Experts recommend that you spend about 6 to 10 percent of your total home value on a kitchen remodeling project. A real estate agent can help you determine the current value of your home and tell what comparable homes in your area are selling for and what kitchen amenities they offer.
There are a variety of changes you can make to your kitchen to help it stand out to prospective buyers, including:
- Update the light fixtures, especially if they’re more than 10 years old. Opt for energy-efficient lighting.
- Replace older appliances with new, energy-efficient appliances. Buyers are currently favoring stainless steel appliances.
- Install granite countertops. Real estate agents report that more and more homeowners want granite countertops, especially in higher-end homes. But you don’t have to buy the most expensive granite. There are lots of great options at the lower end of the price spectrum.
- Replace or update the cabinets. New cabinets are a major expense in a kitchen remodel. If your existing cabinets are in good shape but just need some updating, consider painting, staining, or refacing them.
- If you have hardwood floors, consider having them professionally refinished to make them look like new. If your hardwood floors are in good shape and showing only minimal wear, recoating them could be sufficient.
- Replace the hardware, sink, and faucet. These simple changes can make a big difference.
- Clean the grout and replace any that is crumbling.
- If you have the space and your budget allows for it, consider adding an island. It adds additional work space, as well as additional storage space underneath.
- Incorporate some convenience features into your design, such as extra drawers, pantry drawers, a recycling center, and under-cabinet lighting.
- Give your kitchen a fresh coat of paint. Just be sure to stick with a neutral color.
In general, when remodeling your kitchen before putting your home on the market, it’s best to make changes that will appeal to a broad range of people rather than designing it to your tastes. Stick with a simple style and neutral colors.