When you’re preparing to sell your home, it’s essential to do everything you can to get the best price possible. According to the National Association of Realtors, 25% of real estate agents believe that proper staging can increase the selling price of a home by as much as 10%. After the living room and the master bedroom, the kitchen is one of the most important rooms when selling a house. In a buyer’s market, you want potential buyers to be able to visualize themselves in your home. It stands to reason that staging the kitchen can help to present your home in the best light when potential buyers see it. With that in mind, here are 3 key rules for staging your kitchen.
RULE #1: DEEP CLEANINGThe first rule of staging your kitchen is to make sure it’s clean. A clean kitchen will look its best and make a good first impression on buyers. You should make sure to wipe down all appliances, especially stainless steel ones, to ensure that they’re free of fingerprints and smudges. It may also be helpful to seal them with a non-toxic product that will prevent new fingerprints and smudges from appearing since you may have a lot of traffic through your home when it’s for sale. Next, wipe down countertops and remove stains and any food debris. Clean the backsplash and scrub any visible grout lines. If your kitchen has natural or manufactured stone countertops, they may have become dull with use. You can restore their natural beauty by using a multi-purpose sealer and protectant to minimize the appearance of scratches and make them shine.
RULE #2: DECLUTTERINGThe next step is to declutter your kitchen as much as possible. For many home buyers, the issue of counter space looms large. You want your countertops to appear as spacious as possible. You can start by putting all non-fixed appliances into cabinets and out of sight. Examples include your toaster, coffee maker or stand mixer. You may need to shuffle some things around your cabinets to make room if you’re in the habit of leaving these items out, but it’s a shift worth making when it comes to creating the illusion of more space. The same is true of utensils and kitchen gadgets. Many of us like to keep a countertop container with spatulas, serving spoons, and other items handy. Putting these things away will remove visual clutter and help people envision their own items there. It’s also a good idea to clear away any mail or papers that may be on your counter. The key here is to make your kitchen look as large and attractive as possible. It’s not uncommon for buyers to make the kitchen into a deal breaker, so you should take this part of staging seriously.
RULE #3: DEPERSONALIZINGOur kitchens often feel personal because they are personal. Kitchens are gathering spaces for families. Your kitchen may have a refrigerator that’s full of unique touches that are important to your family. That said, they aren’t important to buyers in the same way. The best decorating approach for kitchen staging is the minimalist approach. You can start by taking magnets, grocery list reminders and kids’ drawings off the refrigerator. These items are things you love, but remember, you want potential buyers to be able to see their own personal items in the kitchen. If they can’t, they may bypass your home in favor of another property. We should note here that depersonalizing doesn’t mean turning your kitchen into a bland room with no pizazz. There are some things you can do to make it feel inviting without impeding a buyer’s ability to visualize their own things in the kitchen.
- Place a vase of fresh flowers on the countertop or on the kitchen table.
- Put a bowl of fruit or lemons on the counter.
- Display your most attractive kitchen towels on your towel rack or oven handle.
- If your kitchen curtains are faded, replace them with new ones in a neutral color.