One of the most important rooms to pay attention to when preparing your home for sale is the kitchen. Along with bathrooms, it is one of the rooms that buyers will inspect the most thoroughly. A clean, bright, and inviting kitchen will go a long way towards making your home appear valuable. Buyers want to know that your home has been well cared for, and the cleanliness of your kitchen and major appliances offer a good indication of that. Therefore, a clean, carefully staged kitchen is vital in order to successfully show your home.
#1: Clean inside appliances
This step is so, so important! Some homeowners forget to clean out the inside of the stove or fridge when getting ready for a showing. It’s an easy task to forget about: after all, when you give the house a quick once-over before heading out the door, unwashed oven racks or dirty vegetable drawers will be hidden from sight. However, you can almost guarantee that buyers will be looking here. For one thing, they will be curious. What does the layout of the fridge look like? How big is the oven? More importantly, they will judge how well the home has been looked after based on how these large appliances look. Caked on grit, greasy burner plates, and month-old melons will not make a good impression on buyers. Giving the inside of all appliances a good heavy duty scrub is well worth the elbow grease! Buyers will get the feeling they are looking at a well kept home, and will view your home more favourably. If you want to really go the extra mile, hire a professional to give your whole kitchen a thorough clean from top to bottom. This saves you time and labour, and helps guarantee that not a single surface is missed!
#2: Clear off the counters
Removing most of the small appliances and knick knacks that have accumulated on your kitchen counters will go a long way towards opening up your kitchen. Clean, almost entirely bare counters help make your kitchen look larger, which is always a good thing! Yes, hiding away items like the toaster or coffee maker most certainly won’t help with day to day convenience. But one of the most important things to remember when staging your home is that your new look will be focused much more on appearance than practicality. At most, you should only have two appliances on your counter space, so choose these two wisely! Keep in mind that old or mismatched appliances are not the ones you want to be visible, even if they are the most crucial to your morning routine. Scrap papers, bills, homework projects, and so on should also be placed out of sight. Remember that buyers will most likely be opening cupboards and drawers, so sweeping any extras into your trusty “junk drawer” may not be the best move.
#3: Watch out for Odours
Keeping your kitchen from smelling like last night’s dinner or the week-old leftovers you just chucked in the garbage is essential. During the first week that your house is on the market, this may mean a lot of cooking with the windows open, opting to eat out instead of cooking at home, and constantly changing the garbage. When buyers come through for a showing or open house, you want your kitchen garbage to be empty, so that no offensive smells can put off potential buyers. Taking the garbage out to a sealed garbage bin at the end of each day is one of the best ways to keep odour to a minimum. Opening a few windows and spraying just a little bit of lightly-scented air freshener will also help your kitchen feel fresh. Watch out for pet-related odours as well!
#4: Minor Renovations
If your kitchen is looking especially outdated or dinged up, a few minor renovations may be necessary in order for you to successfully show your home. This includes things like replacing old drawer handles and filling in large scratches. You may even want to consider adding a fresh coat of paint to your walls and cabinets. Light, neutral colours are the best option for a clean and spacious feel. Replacing the hardware in your kitchen cupboards is a simple and cheap renovation that you can do yourself, and is definitely worth it if your hardware is especially worn, scratched, or outdated. Large scrapes or scratches in the walls, dents, loose chair legs, and other small issues should also be fixed.
Throwing in a few pops of colour and cheery decorations is one of the more enjoyable aspects of staging your kitchen. A vase of fresh flowers or bowls of juicy fruit are some of the most classic decorations you can use. Other options include tiered cake trays with cupcakes, cookies, or other small pastries, and clean cookbooks. To add some personality to your stove top, you can place a single item on one of the back burners. Choose something aesthetically pleasing, like a pretty teakettle or a new, brightly coloured pot. These accessories help make your home feel “move in ready” and attract the eye of potential buyers.