Although it may not be the first room in your home you see when you walk in the front door, the kitchen is undoubtedly the most important one to consider when selling your home. Think about it in terms of where you and your family spend the most time. While the living room may have been the most important room in a home just ten years ago, today’s homeowners spend a lot of time in the kitchen – and it’s not all prep time either.
Buyer expectations for kitchens
A potential home buyer has high expectations for this room that they know they will spend a lot of time in. Here are just a few of the top trends you may want to consider adding to your own kitchen.
Upgrade the countertops
Formica and tile continue to elude homeowners with granite and quartz – as well as their appearance – being the preferred kitchen countertop material. Doing this simple update will shave years off the look of your kitchen.
Add a tile backsplash
Even though tile is no longer the preferred countertop materials, it is still desirable when it comes to building a backsplash. Done the right way, a tile backsplash can complement your new granite or quartz countertop to produce a kitchen that is as beautiful as it is functional.
Use neutral colors
Neutral colors give the kitchen a soft and warm look. Although you may find using them a bit on the boring side, doing so will make your potential buyers happy. You can also add a splash of color with a brightly colored coffee maker or other small countertop appliance, for example. New paint is a big improvement at a small price, and should not be overlooked.
Stainless steel appliances
The addition of stainless steel appliances to your kitchen – especially if it leads – adds a classic style that serves to balance the rest of the room’s materials. When shopping, look for stainless steel appliances that are energy efficient. This is very important to today’s home buyer.
Knock out a few walls
Today’s kitchens are an extension of other rooms. By knocking down a few walls to create less of a barrier between them, your home will feel more open and air. This, in turn, encourages family, friends and guests to mingle effortlessly and move from the kitchen to other nearby areas.
Add an island
Plenty of counter space is always a welcome addition to any kitchen. The addition of an island – with or without a separate sink and burner – gives the new family an additional place to prepare food and other necessary kitchen tasks.
Is an update required?
If you’re like many homeowners, the thought of updating your kitchen when selling your house looms on the horizon isn’t something particularly appealing. After all, you won’t be there much longer so you won’t get to enjoy it much. In addition you can put the money that may have been spent to update the kitchen on the down payment or any other cost for your new home.
You might want to reconsider that thought process though. Compared to homes that have a move-in ready kitchen that has just been updated, you may find your home for sale stays on the market much longer than you would like. This can make it difficult for you to move forward with finding a new home because your funds are still tied up in paying for your mortgage and other expenses for your current one.
Updating your kitchen with the right materials, appliances and other necessities is a smart use of your time, energy and money. Not only will you be able to enjoy the updates for a short time before you sell your home, it is likely that you will sell faster as a result.
Greg Geilman is a Los Angeles native of over 40 years and owner of The Domo Group RE/MAX Estate Properties.