When it comes to selling your home, the kitchen is a key feature that potential buyers are looking at. The timeless contemporary kitchen is so much more than just a functional cooking space; it’s used as a place for food preparation and dining, watching TV and doing homework, socializing and entertaining. Truly the heart of the home, the kitchen is a showpiece that buyers take very seriously indeed.
If you are thinking of putting your house or flat on the market, take a long hard look at your kitchen to see if it’s in top condition and doing the rest of your home justice. Don’t shy away from updating your kitchen’s finishes and stage the space. ‘If your budget stretches to just one refit in the home, make sure it’s the kitchen,’ says Phil Spencer from Channel 4’s Location Location.
Here Dakota Murphey shares 7 ways to prepare your kitchen for a property sale.
The kitchen units is probably the first thing a potential buyer will notice. If yours have seen better days, you need to take action. Assess the condition of the cabinets and drawers to check whether they’ve come to the end of their useful life, or whether you can just replace the doors.
With painted kitchen doors and drawer fronts, you may be able to get away with a fresh paint job as the most economical option. For the broadest appeal, stick to a white, neutral or light color palette and avoid vibrant shades or dark tones.
Another way to freshen up your kitchen cabinets is to change or add handles or knobs. It’s a small change that can have a big impact on the overall aesthetic.
2. Quality worktops
Let’s face it, laminate worktops will never make anyone fall in love with your kitchen. Buyers want to see a durable high-end worktop surface that can stand up to daily wear and tear in the kitchen while looking effortlessly beautiful.
Aspirational worktop choices include solid wood (oak or beech), natural granite and engineered quartz in array of beautiful patterns and colors. A worktop replacement may not be the cheapest job in the kitchen, but it may be a shrewd investment to bring your kitchen up to date.
3. Designer Backsplashs
A backsplash is as functional as it is aesthetically important, so if yours need updating (or you don’t have one), this is an easy way to add extra kitchen appeal. Whether you go for traditional ceramic tiles or mosaics, minimalist stainless steel, or glass tiles or a made-to-measure glass splashback in an accent colour, choose a material and design that will appeal to a broad spectrum of people.
For a real wow effect, don’t forget that granite, marble or travertine can make wonderful backspashs, albeit at a higher cost.
4. Walls and ceilings
Look at the decorative order of your kitchen’s painted walls and ceilings. If the colors or patterns look dated, too vibrant (however much you personally may like them!) or grubby, it’s time for a makeover. Set aside a weekend, or get a professional decorator in, and switch up the presentation of your kitchen.
Choose light colors that make the space look bright and friendly; you want your kitchen to feel as big and airy as possible. White, creams and neutrals are good color choices, and grey is particularly on trend at the moment. Soft tones will offset dark cabinetry or furniture beautifully.
5. Practical flooring
Kitchen flooring needs to be practical and hygienic, so if yours looks like it might fall short of expectations, perhaps a floor upgrade should be on the cards. Don’t be tempted to cut corners by fitting cheap laminate or sheet vinyl – however much effort you put into upgrading your kitchen it will be let down by the budget flooring option.
Of course, hardwood flooring is ever popular, though not a cheap option. If the budget doesn’t stretch to premium oak flooring, why not investigate wood look options such as luxury vinyl tiles (LVT), porcelain tiles or bamboo that carry a lower price tag.
6. Kitchen lighting
Lighting is a key feature in creating an open and welcoming kitchen space that your buyers will love. Fix any broken light fittings and bulbs, or replace the fittings altogether if they are no longer in style or don’t provide sufficient illumination. Under cabinet lighting is another quick fix to improve your kitchen lighting. It’s relatively simple and inexpensive to install using LEDS, and will really brighten up your worktop space.
For added impact, why not use an interesting or quirky light fitting as a statement feature to add interest to the room?
7. Finishing touches
Finally, it’s time to set the stage. After you’ve decluttered your cupboards and cleared your counters of surplus kitchen paraphernalia to show off the available space, give your kitchen an in-depth clean to ensure everything sparkles. Place tables, chairs and furniture so that the room ‘flows’ nicely, feeling natural and open.
Display a few chosen accessories including fresh flowers and a carefully arranged bowl of fruit as inexpensive decorations that add color and life to your kitchen. Before your potential buyers arrive, make some coffee so that house smells nice and homely. It’s not a new trick but it works.