Whether you’re listing your home next week or looking for ways to add more resale value down the road, updating your kitchen offers one of the best returns on investment. As the heart of the home, a well-constructed kitchen is one of the top-selling points for any home.
According to a 2018 Zillow report, 58 percent of prospective buyers said seeing their preferred style of kitchen was extremely or very important when making a home buying decision. While it is impossible to anticipate every buyer’s taste, there are some updates that will appeal to most buyers. Working with a local real estate agent gives you an insider’s look at what buyers in your area want to see.
Here are some of the best upgrades you can make to help your home stand out and sell faster when you list it.
Freshen Up the Cabinets
Installing new cabinets and cupboards is one of the biggest and most eye-catching changes you can make to a kitchen. Over the years, everyday use adds wear and tear that can make a kitchen look tired. You can find new cabinetry in a variety of styles and price ranges. Stock cabinets typically range in price from $60 to $200 per linear foot while custom cabinets can cost between $500 and $1,200 per linear foot.
If replacing cabinets is not within your budget, you can save money and still add value by refinishing the existing cabinets. Painting cabinets in white, semi-gloss will brighten up the space and hide minor flaws to the wood.
You can also replace hardware like handles and hinges. New self-closing cabinet hinges are a popular and impressive choice for many of today’s buyers. They are available in most hardware stores and come in a variety of finishes, such as nickel and bronze.
Update the Flooring
Even if your kitchen boasts a new state-of-the-art range, chipped tile, torn linoleum, and scratched wood will be one of the first things a prospective buyer notices. If you’re looking to make a big statement, consider adding wood floors to your kitchen. A timeless feature, wood floors or wood laminate are easy to clean and available in multiple finishes that can be tailored to taste.
If your kitchen already has natural wood floors, you can save money by refinishing and polishing the floors. Likewise, you can sometimes find matching tile to replace any chipped or broken pieces on the floor.
Replace the Counters
Replacing your old countertops with a new surface can make a tired kitchen look new and add resale value. There are important factors to take into consideration when updating the counter. Rather than go with the year’s latest trend in decorating, take your home’s overall design and style into consideration.
If your home is older or more rustic, you might consider soapstone, a natural dark gray or black stone that is both durable and soft to the touch. Concrete countertops—which are durable and chip and scratch replacement—are ideal in industrial-style and modern homes.
Likewise, some countertops age well and are affordable. Quartz countertops are both durable and stylish, offering a variety of colors that can fit into different homes. A butcher block countertop—made from natural, reclaimed maple and oak—are a great choice for a cozy kitchen. They are also easy to clean and available in a variety of finishes, making them customizable.
Add a New Backsplash
A new tile backsplash makes a bold statement in any kitchen’s design. In addition to adding instant style, backsplashes also protect walls from water damage. They are also easy to clean. At-home chefs and bakers can attest how appealing it is to wipe up mixing bowl splatter with a quick towel wipe rather than risk staining a bare wall.
Tile backsplashes range in style and cost. White subway tile and natural stones are classic choices that are easy to find and will also age well with a home. Prices typically come in at about $10 per square foot, which makes it an affordable and stylish update.
Upgrade the Lighting
One of the best ways to brighten up a kitchen is with new lighting. This is essential if a light fixture is broken. Even if a kitchen has large windows that offer plenty of natural lighting, this room will be used throughout the day, including early morning and night.
Recessed lighting will look good in most home designs and comes in at about $150 per light if professionally installed. You can also add other fixtures, such as a chandelier or pendant light depending on your home’s look. These fixtures range in price and can often be installed on your own with a little elbow grease.
Choose Energy-Efficient Appliances
New appliances, such as a refrigerator or range, can be a great selling point to prospective buyers. Broken, dated, or mismatched appliances could draw negative attention. They will also be something a prospective buyer notices and become a bargaining tool for them later as they tally the cost of replacing the pieces.
If it is not in your budget to purchase all new appliances, switch out anything that is broken. Also, ensure it looks well with the existing pieces, including the rest of the kitchen’s style.
If you are buying new, consider looking into models that are energy efficient. This will create future savings for prospective buyers and make the kitchen a true selling point at the bargaining table.
Want to know more about the top kitchen upgrades that buyers are looking for in your market? Contact one of our Clever Partner Agents for a free consultation. Clever agents are top-rated real estate agents from major brands, like Century 21 or Keller Williams. They’re experts in local markets and can help you determine which upgrades will help you capture top dollar for your home.
They offer the same full services as other agents, only they’re making it more affordable for you by working for a flat fee of $3,000, or 1% if your home sells for more than $350,000. That means even more money in your pocket.
Contact Clever to secure your discount and get connected with a top, local Partner Agent who will help your home stand out.