Staging Your Kitchen for a Home Sale
Are you planning the perfect open house to make your home marketable and fast-track a sale? It takes a lot of work to whip your place into shape to land a buyer with a dream offer. For a terrific open house—the kind where every room looks magazine perfect — keep in mind, the kitchen is always the heart of a home. Here are some simple tips to stage your kitchen to make a great impact for minimal effort or money.
- Replacing an old light fixture with a nice modern one from your local home improvement store can brighten the look of your kitchen. Turn on all the lights in the kitchen to highlight the space. Apply affordable, battery-operated lighting that stick on with an adhesive under counters for added illuminated workspace. Simply press them into place wherever you want.
- Swap outdated drawer pulls and cabinet knobs for something more stylish — brushed nickel or copper are hot right now and can change the feel of an entire room.
- A fresh coat of paint is a quick and easy way to update the space to bring maximum appeal and make the kitchen feel fresh and new. Use a light color palette of no more than two or three different tones. If cabinets and walls are all the same light color, a small space will appear larger.
- Electrical outlets should match the wall colors to keep the eye from stopping at each one.
- Clean the windows inside and out as well as window treatments. Large windows that let in too much blazing light can be treated with attractive silhouette blinds to filter and soften harsh glare. Or, add a simple window valance for color and texture but keep the style classic with clean lines. No poufs or ruffles.
- Declutter your counters. Keep it simple, yet elegant. The more bare countertop you see, the larger the workspace will appear. Clean and organize the interiors of your cabinets – people will look inside to see the storage space. Streamline the look of your food pantry by organizing boxes and cans by shape and size.
- Once you’ve decluttered countertops, add some pizazz. Decorate with pretty canisters, a colorful bowl of fruit, cookbooks, new tea towels, etc. — items you would typically find in a kitchen. Take all your papers and schedules, find a nice basket or box with a lid and hide them. Arrange knickknacks in odd groupings such as 3, 5 or 7. Cupcakes or cookies look irresistible when placed on a pretty tiered cake stand.
- Limit the countertop to no more than two appliances even if you have plenty of room. For small kitchens, remove all appliances to make your kitchen look more spacious.
- If your appliances are in bad shape, consider buying new ones. They don’t have to be expensive. The fact that they are new and clean will have a lot of appeal to home buyers. The most important thing about kitchen appliances is that they should all match.
- Your oven and dishwasher should be spotless inside and out when staging the kitchen. Home buyers WILL open them to peek inside. If they are squeaky clean, buyers will get the impression that the appliances have been well taken care of.
- Remove the art gallery, and banish all magnets, photos and shopping lists from the front of your refrigerator door. Anything on the outside of the fridge will make the entire kitchen look cluttered.
- For older electric stoves, purchase shiny new burner plates.
- Make any necessary repairs. Touch up the walls, floors, countertops and cabinets to fix any nicks or scratches.
- Clean your floors. A staged kitchen should be sparkling!
- Smaller tables make eat-in kitchen spaces appear larger. If the dining area is spacious, set the table for an intimate breakfast for two with pretty place settings.
- Buyers love kitchen islands! If you have room, add a movable unit. Don’t crowd an island with too many chairs, use bar stools instead. This shows that it’s a great place to hang out. A rustic farm table with warm wood tones adds charm and character, in addition to providing more work surface. You should have at least three feet of maneuverable space around an island.
- No island? No problem. If you have a single wall of kitchen cabinets and plenty of floorspace, consider getting an inexpensive rolling cart with a wood top and storage underneath. Wood warms up a kitchen and home buyers will appreciate the extra storage and workspace.
- Don’t leave bottles of dish soap, washrags, scrub brushes and sponges at the sink. Put away the dish rack, grimy dishtowels and potholders.
- Never have a garbage can on display during viewings! If you can’t hide it under the sink or inside a kitchen cabinet, take it outside during your open house.
- Place jut one live plant or vase of flowers on the counter, fresh flowers will add color to your staged kitchen. Avoid adding too many plants or ivy strewn across the countertops, tucked in a pile in a corner, or creeping down the sides of upper cabinets — the result always looks messy.
- To freshen your kitchen before viewings, run some lemon or lime halves through the garbage disposal.
- If you do plan on renovating your kitchen before placing your home on the market, avoid making it too trendy. Kitchen decor styles are change often and you don’t want to invest in a renovation that will go out of style quickly.
- Once your kitchen is perfectly staged, take photos before you open your doors to buyers. Make sure your photos(s) of the kitchen includes a wide angle shot and the kitchen is neat and decluttered. These photos are great to add to your realtor’s online gallery.
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