June 4, 2020 by Mekaila Oaks
If you’re getting your house ready to sell, you might be wondering what upgrades you can make to help your home stand out amongst the competition. With the kitchen being one of the most memorable and important areas of any home, you’ll want yours to not only make a great first impression but also a lasting one. That’s why it’s essential that your kitchen has a modern appeal and valuable amenities that will wow potential homebuyers.
So, if your home has outdated features or appliances that are not working as well as they used to, now is the time to make those kitchen upgrades before your home hits the housing market. Improvements like smart-tech appliances, sleek fixtures, and modern cabinetry all add up to a worthwhile investment in the eye of a homebuyer. As you’re preparing your home for sale, consider these seven kitchen upgrades that can help your kitchen become the heart of the home for buyers.
1. Cabinetry that sets the tone for the entire kitchen
Even if the rest of the kitchen has been upgraded, potential buyers might not see it that way if the cabinets look worn out. Outdated kitchen cabinets can be a big turn-off, especially now that clean, modern finishes are more common and expected from potential homebuyers. Luckily, there are a handful of options for every budget when it comes to this type of kitchen upgrade.
If you like your cabinet’s current color and style, you can easily give it a fresh look by replacing the hardware. If your existing cabinets are structurally sound but need a face-lift, you can upgrade them by painting or restaining. You can try to tackle this kitchen upgrade on your own as a DIY project. But, if you’re someone that tends to color outside of the lines, consider hiring a professional to paint your cabinets for you.
Another kitchen upgrade to consider is refacing your cabinet doors. This is a great option if your cabinets are in good condition but have an outdated style. You’ll be able to give your kitchen a whole new look and design without the hassle of completely tearing it apart. However, if your cabinets are on the verge of falling apart, it’s best to just have them replaced. While it may be a more costly option, you won’t want the look of your kitchen cabinets to be the reason a buyer holds back from making an offer.
2. Upgrade to energy-saving and smart-tech appliances
Kitchen appliances are one of the most important aspects of any kitchen. These days many homebuyers are looking for sleek appliances with smart-tech and eco-friendly features. These can include WiFi-enabled refrigerators and dishwashers that connect to your smart home ecosystem and can be controlled using your voice or an app.
Large appliances that use a lot of energy are some of the main kitchen features that homebuyers want to be eco-friendly — both for the environment and their energy bill. So, if you’re planning on replacing appliances like your refrigerator or dishwasher before listing your home, opt for an energy-saving model. And as you’re looking for eco-friendly kitchen appliances, make sure you look for the Energy Star label. Kitchen upgrades like these can help set your home apart from others in your area and make a lasting impression on buyers.
3. Upgrade lighting and plumbing fixtures
While your appliances typically take center stage, small details such as the lighting, plumbing fixtures, and even the kitchen sink also get noticed by homebuyers. If the style is outdated or the lighting is too harsh, it can have a huge impact on your kitchen’s overall appearance.
Replace your outdated fluorescent overhead fixture with a modern lighting fixture, whether that’s pendant lights or a statement piece. Or, a transformative yet simple kitchen upgrade is to add lighting underneath cabinets. From LED strip lights to puckets, this can be an easy way to transform your space.
When it comes to plumbing fixtures, you should of course consult a plumber to ensure your plumbing system is working properly before listing your house. Beyond that, consider upgrading your exterior plumbing fixtures, like your faucet and kitchen sink, if the design is outdated or just doesn’t go with your kitchen’s new style. While plumbing fixture upgrades can be done on your own, it’s advised to have a plumber or handyman help make the switch if you’re not as experienced.
4. Attention-grabbing countertops
Kitchen finishes like durable, neutral countertops, and the right flooring are essential when it comes to upgrading your kitchen. Much like stainless steel has become a standard finish, the same goes for solid-surfaces and countertops. Upgrade your old laminate countertops with a more desired material like granite, slate, concrete, or tile. However, if you’re upgrading your kitchen on a budget, consider using composite countertops to give a granite appearance for a lower cost. Opting for neutral colors that compliment your kitchen cabinets and give an overall fresh, clean look is always a safe bet.
5. Make your floors stand out
When choosing flooring for your kitchen, many homebuyers want durable yet beautiful finishes. If you want to upgrade your kitchen floors to a long-lasting material then consider installing natural stone tile or wood flooring. Engineered hardwood, granite, and porcelain tile are among a few other great flooring upgrade options as well. Whichever flooring you choose based on your kitchen’s style and your budget, ensure that it’s installed properly. Some flooring options, like tile, can be difficult to install on your own and can be ruined entirely if installed incorrectly.
6. Upgrade kitchen amenities to stay competitive
As you’re preparing to sell your home, the overall goal of your kitchen upgrades should be to appeal to homebuyers. By upgrading your kitchen’s amenities to include unique or creative features, it can help really set your kitchen and home apart from others. If you’re living in a city, like Portland, where composting is a common and encouraged practice, consider building a convenient yet appealing under-counter composting unit. Or, if you live in an area where many kitchens have built-in espresso machines or built-in wine coolers, you should consider these kitchen upgrades as well. Of course, you don’t need to go above and beyond. But, if many homes in your area have unique amenities and features, you probably should too. You can browse listings online or you can talk with your real estate agent to get a better idea of what the desired kitchen amenities are in your local housing market.
7. A fresh coat of paint or new backsplash can be the final touch
As much as we’d all love an endless budget to upgrade our kitchen with the newest appliances and smart-home gadgets, that’s not always the case. Luckily, sometimes all a kitchen needs is a modern backsplash or a fresh coat of paint. Consider adding white subway tile or, for a more unique style, you could add a patterned tile to your backsplash. When it comes to painting the kitchen walls and ceiling, you can never go wrong with a white or neutral color. However, if you want to add character to your kitchen while still complimenting its modern style, you could paint the walls a fresh yet subtle shade of blue.