Prepping Your Kitchen for an Open House

Prepping Your Kitchen for an Open House

Real estate agents often say that kitchens sell homes - and for good reason. Kitchens are the heart of most homes, where you’ll spend time each day, entertain friends and family on special occasions, and make memories with kids. They’re also expensive and inconvenient rooms to renovate, meaning that buyers often look for a move-in-ready kitchen, even if they’re willing to put work into the rest of the house.

While the kitchen is often home base for your family, selling a home means inviting someone else to imagine their family’s life in the house. These quick tips can help highlight the positive qualities of your kitchen while helping potential buyers to feel right at home.

Reduce Clutter

Because they’re used for so much more than cooking, it’s easy for clutter to build up in kitchens. The kitchen might be your family’s multi-purpose room, but for the open house, it should be clean, clear, and free of overly-personal touches.

A good deep-clean is a must. Wash the windows to let in as much natural light as possible, and don’t forget to dust blinds and freshen up the curtains. Make sure faucets and fixtures are clean and polished, pay attention to the corners on countertops, and make sure tile grout is clean and uniform!

A place for everything, and everything in its place. We often store the kitchen tools we use most out on the kitchen counter, but buyers want to see your countertops as clear as possible. Make sure everything potential buyers might see is neatly organized, and not cluttered or crammed into too-small spaces.

Remove the nonessentials. Countertop appliances make life easier, but not all of them are necessary for an open house. Some appliances, like a microwave or coffeepot, can be left out. But if you often leave a slow cooker or toaster oven out, they’ll take up valuable counter space and make your kitchen feel smaller and less functional. Stow them out of the way when showing your home.

Highlight Selling Points

A great kitchen can truly make or break a home sale. Take a stroll around your kitchen and make note of all its selling points. These are the features that you love - and that you know would be useful to anyone who buys your home.

Draw attention to unique features. If your kitchen has selling points that buyers might not see in similar homes for sale, take care to highlight them. These may be interesting architectural features, a great view, extra natural light, or more.

Maximize your space. Even a small kitchen can feel roomy and airy with the right treatment. Bring in as much natural light as possible, keep walkways clear, and use light colors wherever possible to help your kitchen make the best impression.

Make your kitchen cozy and livable. It’s beneficial to reduce clutter and make your kitchen look a little less “lived-in” to help it sell, but any buyer should be able to imagine their own life in your home. If your tastes are unique, you may want to replace some of the unusual touches with more neutral decor for the open house.

Small Improvements

While a full kitchen remodel isn’t always practical, these small investments can go a long way to improving the resale value of your home. If you want to invest in any room before selling, the kitchen is a safe bet.

Keep it bright. Adding to or improving your kitchen’s lighting is always a benefit. If you have very little natural light, daylight-toned lightbulbs can help make a dim kitchen more inviting. If you’d like to add more light, under-cabinet lights are a relatively inexpensive way to make your kitchen look more high-end, and are incredibly useful when preparing food and cooking.

Update fixtures. Replacing old fixtures with quality new ones can be an instant facelift, and improves not just the look of your kitchen, but the feel. Drawer pulls, cabinet handles, faucets, and taps are some of the most-touched items in any kitchen, and many potential buyers will test them as they walk through. Updated fixtures can make a great impression on these detail-oriented buyers.

Freshen up paint. Kitchens are full of heat, humidity, and messes, which can be hard on paint. A fresh coat of easy-to-clean paint in a contemporary, neutral shade is a low-cost way of updating the look and feel of any kitchen. A satin or semi-gloss paint will stand up to a little scrubbing, making it perfect for kitchens.

Preparing your kitchen for an open house can be daunting, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to sell your home. Keep the focus on a well-organized, inviting space. If you can make buyers feel at home in the kitchen, you’ve already won half the battle.