Okay, now that your bathroom is staged and ready to sell, it’s time to look at another critical room in the selling process: the kitchen.
The kitchen may well be the heart of the home, but it’s also a prime place for mistakes and blunders that could hurt your chances of selling your house. Ready to take the next step towards getting your home from “for sale” to “sold”? Let’s tackle kitchen staging!
1) Clean, clean, clean. When it comes to selling your house, there is no such thing as overdoing it when it comes to cleaning. Here are some common areas we tend to overlook when it’s time to sell. But buyers will notice all of these! Make sure you clean:
- The space behind the faucet set
- The fan above the stove (include the vent, fan blades, edges and casing.) Even if this area is unseen, greasy smells that linger inside can make buyers turn up their nose at your kitchen.
- The seals on your fridge and oven
- The edges of doors on the fridge, dishwasher and oven
- The area under the knobs on the stove
- Cabinet doors including edges, tops and the area around the knobs
- Cabinet and pantry shelves, including the sides and edges
- Backsplashes and wall areas that adjoin counters or appliances
- Drain rings and baskets
- Faucets and faucet handles, including spray heads and the hose that comes out to allow it to spray (yes, people do look!)
- Floor edges under the counters
- Door knobs (grabbing a sticky one is an instant buyer-turnoff!
- The area under the sink, including pipes and such
- Walls and ceilings
2) Take a whiff! After awhile, it’s hard to notice the smells in your own kitchen. But buyers will notice all those off smells and odd scents, and that could mean “No Sale.” Pay extra attention to potential odors from:
- Disposals (clean it out, then grind up some lemon or lime peel just before showings)
- Dishwashers — invest in dishwasher cleaner, wipe out catch screens and check drains of odd bits of food
- Refrigerators and freezers. Now is a good time to eat out! Or at the very least, make sure these appliances are spotlessly clean. Then add fresh boxes of baking soda to both.
- Stoves and ovens. Greasy smells can linger here, so clean the pans, burners and surfaces thoroughly
- Kitty boxes. Keep it spotless. Change the litter daily if needed. Or even better, invest in a litter box with a charcoal filter lid, and then clean it every day
- Curtains. Fabric absorbs odor, so take down and wash any fabric items like curtain, table cloths or placemats. Not washable? Remove them, or replace them with new ones.
- Walls. Yes, your painted walls and ceilings can soak up nasty smells over the years, so give yours a complete wash with a dilute TSP solution (available in the paint department at Home Depot or similar stores). Or have your kitchen scrubbed and repainted
- Wallpaper. Like paint and curtains, smells of grease, cigarette smoke and such can soak in. If it’s been up for several years, or if someone in your house smokes, consider removing the paper and painting instead.
3) Pay attention to the details. Little things like door or cabinet knobs, scratched stove tops or missing/broken lights can make all the difference in the world. Take photos of the details to see them with fresh eyes, and then replace whatever doesn’t work.
4) Give them space. No one wants a kitchen that seems cramped. And no one wants one that lacks enough counter or cabinet space. Your job as a homeowner is to make the space you have look like more than enough. Pack away extra dishes, stash non–essential appliances and create empty spaces throughout your kitchen. Not sure what should stay on counters? Talk to your Realtor, or wander through some model homes and take notes.
5) Consider something more. Renovations and updates on kitchens not only offer a great rate of return, but can also push a buyer into making an offer when they’re teetering on the edge. Check out other area homes for sale, and compare them to your kitchen. Would a face lift or some new appliances make your home more competitive? Talk to your Realtor about the average return on kitchen improvements in your area…you may find that it’s worth it to make your old kitchen into someone else’s brand new dream kitchen.