Home staging for realtors has offered me the opportunity to see many different kitchens. Some homeowners are concerned that their kitchen is not state of the art, but there are some steps to help overcome this when selling a home.
Cleaning and decluttering are the two priorities before staging a kitchen to help sell this very important room.
Purging cabinets, the pantry, even the refrigerator (yes, your prospective buyer will look in here!), will help with the decluttering. Remove all items from the face of your refrigerator including magnets and your kid’s artwork, and doctor appointment reminders.
Limit the stocking of extra groceries in the pantry, pre-pack holiday dinnerware, and items that are seldom used. Most importantly, do a thorough deep cleaning of the kitchen.
Start with removing about one-half of all the items in your kitchen cabinets, and then wipe down the inside of the shelves, and clean the outside of the cabinets from top to bottom. Stack similar dishes together such as plates, cups, glasses, and bowls to look organized.
Polish chrome fixtures that are on the sink and handles of the appliances.
Be sure to clear out items under the kitchen sink leaving just a few basics. If there are any leaks in the plumbing, fix them! Remove soap dishes, old sponges, or anything that does not appear model-home-perfect.
Eliminate any unnecessary items such as mismatched dishes, kid’s sippy cups, and plastic storage containers. The more space your prospective buyer sees when they open the cabinet, the more room they feel they will have for their belongings.
Get up on a ladder and clean the ceiling fan blades, motor, and lighting. Replace burned-out bulbs in light fixtures. Vacuum and then wipe down the baseboards with a soft cloth. Thoroughly vacuum and mop the flooring, and scrub the tile grout.
If kitchen fixtures are distressed looking or outdated, consider changing them out. This includes cabinet handles, knobs, faucets, and towel racks.
Smells can be very offensive to prospective buyers. Make sure the kitchen doesn’t smell of cooked food. Be careful of cooking Brussel sprouts or fish or other strong-smelling foods. The smell lingers for days and can hinder a sale. The stove top, oven, and broiler should be spotless. I can’t stress this enough: deep clean and leaving nothing to chance!
Staging a Kitchen | Owner Occupied
Limit the number of appliances on your counter-top to no more than two (but one is preferable). A coffee pot is acceptable and so is a toaster. However, pre-pack the toaster oven, crock-pot, and mixer. Counter space is real estate to a prospective buyer. Be sure to show off as much counter space as possible.
Buyers will likely open and peer into the dishwashers, so don’t leave dirty dishes in the sink or dishwasher when you have scheduled a showing or an open house.
Finish up by placing a bowl of oranges or lemons on the counter. Flowers or foliage in a vase is a nice final touch. The details in cleaning and decluttering your kitchen will tell potential buyers you maintain the rest of the home, giving them confidence in placing an offer.
Staging Kitchen Counters and Islands First
Staging kitchen counters is creating a ‘less is more’ look. Invariably there are a myriad of appliances and kitchen paraphernalia scattered cross kitchen counters: toasters, blenders, toaster ovens, coffee pots, cookbooks, and crock-pots.
All of these are necessary cooking tools for a practical and workable kitchen,but not required when marketing your home to the public.
In real estate sales, the kitchen is 30% of the buying decision of the entire house. This important and functional room should reflect good taste, updated conditions, cleanliness, and empty spaces on kitchen counters.
Staging kitchen counters is about creating an emotional appeal to the prospective buyer. A kitchen thoroughly cleaned of grime, dirty dishes, decluttered of objects, with lots of open counter space speaks volumes.
See Everything from a Buyers Perspective
A kitchen in this condition allows the prospective buyer to imagine the kitchen will always look this way. In their mind, this means they never have to cook or do dishes if they buy this house.
Think about going into a perfectly furnished model home – consider the feelings it emanates:
Perfection – every item is beautifully staged
No doing dishes – never a dirty dish or cooking pot in sight
Freedom to do more enjoyable things – a lifestyle change
Pride of ownership
Simple décor accessories on the kitchen counters will be more than adequate to stir buyer’s emotions.
Vases of greenery, cookbooks open to enticing pictures of fabulous meals, a bowl of lemons, and a French press with coffee cups waiting to be used will help stimulate the buying appetite of the prospective buyer.