Sellers know (and we Realtor's remind you!) that staging your home is a vital step in preparing to put your property on the market. But not all sellers give proper due to the kitchen during this critical process - in fact, it may be the most important room in the house to make an effort! Staging your kitchen is an easy way to appeal to homebuyers without having to knock down walls or spend a lot of money on pricey renovations.
The goal is to pull off staging that enables potential buyers to envision themselves cooking, dining, and entertaining in the home. Helping them envision their family and friends feeling both comfortable and impressed when sitting down to a meal at their table. So, if you’re staging your place without the help of a professional stager, put your best foot forward and avoid the following rookie mistakes. And rest assured, I can always provide personalized tips when we do a property walk through - you can count on that!
1. Don't leave clutter on the countertops
Potential buyers want to see the full expanse of your kitchen counters. So show them off by keeping counters clear of unnecessary items. Any clutter left on the counter—like a dish drying rack, mail, and personal odds and ends—will sully the appearance of your kitchen.
Impressive items, such as a KitchenAid stand mixer and a sleek espresso machine, can stay. Smaller appliances and gadgets, such as a toaster or waffle maker, have to go. Having extra items out makes it seem that there’s not enough kitchen storage...that is not the message you want to convey. If there’s just no room in covered cabinets for that stuff, it’s time to pack it up!
2. Do pay attention to lighting
A well-lit kitchen is of the utmost importance to buyers, as they will immediately notice the dark spaces in your kitchen. You may want to consider some DIY plug-in LED string lights either above or below the kitchen cabinets to draw the eye to the kitchen's best assets - whether it's to the high ceiling or skylight, or the gleaming countertops.
If there is an area that could be turned into an office nook, play it up with an elegant office chair and an open laptop. If additional lighting is needed, be sure to pay attention. You may want to consider the video backdrop setting, since zooming is now 'standard practice' for those who work at home.
3. Thoroughly depersonalize
As wonderful as your sense of style may be, potential buyers may not want to see your niece’s graduation photo or your travel souvenir magnets on your (their!) refrigerator. If you've ever been to an AirBnB, you can imagine the setting that most appeals to people. Remember that your goal is to make people comfortable. To think of them as prospective buyers who want to envision the space as their own.
4. Include the dining area
Strategically staging a dining area within the kitchen, such as a kitchen table or breakfast bar, can make the room more memorable. Adding place settings to a breakfast bar creates a memory point when buyers are reviewing properties. Buyers will remember your sparkling table setting when they reminisce on the attributes of your home. Make it memorable! Get creative with your place settings by adding cloth napkins and a fresh flower arrangement or orchids; just be sure not to go too far. You may want to visit Pinterest or the website of a trendy restaurant for inspiration!
5. Role up the rug
Another fun fact - did you know that rugs make a room look smaller? It's true! So, if your floor is ready for prime time, remove any rugs or mats to make the kitchen look as large as you possibly can. The eye will land on every rug, making the space feel chopped up and smaller in scale. Those potential homebuyers want to see a visually spacious kitchen. For that matter, newer floors anywhere in the house should be exposed.
6. Pay for a deep-clean
You have lived in this kitchen and have cleaned this kitchen countless times. You need a fresh set of eyes on the issue. The kitchen collects dirt, grime, and grease easily, so it’s important to get it professionally deep-cleaned before putting your home on the market. Professionals cleaners are worth their weight in gold when it comes to the kitchen.
It's best to do the cleaning the day before the showing or open house. You want to have some time to decompress after the cleaners leave, while you can enjoy your pristine home and leisurely take in all the special touches that have made it all it has been to you over the years. Now that all your hard work and planning is behind you, you can infuse each room with appreciation and fond memories.
7. Attract buyers with all their senses
Once the house is professional deep cleaned, your kitchen is sparkling, fresh-smelling and 'fluffed,' you are 90% 'home.' Now you want to turn up the heat with their olfactory senses. It's an old trick, but it works - nothing says 'welcome home' like something sweet fresh out of the oven. So bake some cookies or, if you have fruit trees from your own yard and have some either fresh, dried or frozen, play it up by baking with the bounty that your yard provides. It's a sure-fire home run!
I hope you’ve found this helpful. And if want to invest in some additional upgrades to your home, read my recent article for some ideas.
If you or someone you know is ready to discuss putting their home on the market, I’d love to schedule a phone call or meeting to see how we can make the experience easy – and profitable. Call me, Tracy Curtis, Coldwell Banker Realty, 415-910 0599.