Don’t Neglect The Most Important Room When Prepping Your Home To Sell
There’s no doubt that the appearance of your house is crucial when it comes to showing it off to potential homebuyers. And, while it’s imperative to have the entire house neat, clean, and smelling nice, there is one room, in particular, that deserves special attention. Surprisingly enough, it’s not the living room.
Actually, according to many real estate pros, it’s the kitchen. Many realtors agree that a spotless, tidy-looking kitchen with absolutely no signs of clutter is a huge drawing card for many home searchers. It is especially appealing to families who plan to spend a great deal of time cooking and dining in there home. The overall appearance of the kitchen, and the impression it confers to buyers, is of prime significance when buyers weigh the pros and cons of a potential residence.
Above all, many real estate insiders note, the importance the seller must place on eliminating clutter in the kitchen is paramount in conveying a sense of organization and more-than-ample storage space. You should give buyers the impression that there is plenty of room to store all of their things. In that regard, you should be expecting that buyers will open all of the drawers and cabinets during their visit. And, if they look cluttered and disorganized in any way, it will likely send an immediate negative message to them – in short, a complete turn-off – even if they find everything else about the kitchen perfect.
In particular, try to focus on the following:
- A thorough scrubbing of the entire kitchen will be in order. Don’t neglect the walls, refrigerator top, cabinet tops, and other hard to reach areas, as well as appliances – interior and exterior.
- Initially remove everything from the drawers, cabinets, pantry/closet to give the interiors a good cleaning – pay special attention to removing any spots, stains, or odors.
- Remove, and store away junk, personal items, and utensils from the drawers and cabinets, which you rarely or never use. For the drawers containing often-used utensils, organize them as neatly as possible.
- Cabinets containing dishes, glasses, cups, etc. also should be organized neatly.
- Remove (at least temporarily) any small appliances from the countertops – this can create a sense of extra space in the buyer’s mind – a real turn-on.
- The area underneath the sink is also vital. Besides being spick and span, any water spots, or signs of past water damage or leaks should be eliminated. If there is any structural damage – for example, rotted wood as a result of water damage – it should definitely be repaired first.
- Air out the room (that goes for the entire house) shortly before potential buyers are scheduled to arrive, but close the windows immediately before they enter your home – this will provide the room with an aura of inviting freshness. Also, any curtains or blinds should be opened to allow the maximum amount of light into the room, but leave the artificial lights off — natural lighting provides its own unique charm – something many buyers look for.
- As for the walls – even if the best of cleanings won’t take off all those years of grease, grime, or Junior’s best imitation of Pablo Picasso, it would be wise to apply a coat of neutral-color paint.
- Pets are a no-no – get rid of all signs of them, especially the odors Of course, that doesn’t mean you have to turn little “Fluffy” loose into the woods once and for all. Just make sure they won’t be inside the house when buyers are present. – after all, not everyone will be a fellow-pet lover.
- No dishes should be visible in the sink, or anywhere else for that matter – clean or dirty. Also – don’t leave anything in the dishwasher – many buyers will open and inspect its interior.
- Remember, for the cabinets and drawers with things remaining inside, less is better, so, if you must leave items inside them, do so very sparingly.
It may seem like a lot of tedious effort, but be aware that there have been more than a few instances when a home for sale was rejected based on Miss Jones or Mrs. Smith’s conclusion that there just wasn’t enough kitchen space to display here beloved Cuisinart food processor or prized rooster napkin holders.