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Getting Your Hurst, Texas Home Ready for Selling... Part 1

There are so many things that can be done by the homeowner to help get their prized possession... their home... ready for sale.  So many of these things are the really "small" things.  Things so small that many sellers wouldn't think they would make a difference... and things so small... that they probably we not even aware of.

Probably one of the main areas of concern... is the kitchen.

Recently I read a blog post about another Realtor who was trying to point out as many positives about a home as possible... all designed to get a certain buyer to commit to buying the home.  After naming off a litany of features and benefits... the buyer stopped the Realtor and simply said... "I know this is a nice house... but for us... it just doesn't 'feel like home.'  We want to keep looking."

So... a trip to the kitchen... and spending some time there... not only might, but could be a great way to not only shorten the time it takes to sell your home... but may even cause your home to sell for more than it otherwise could have.

Everybody likes a comfortable, roomy, airy, bright and cheerful kitchen.  So... look around.  Are the walls a dark color ?  If so, paint them a lighter, softer color.  Perhaps pick one of the softer light-beige-is tones many of the builders use.  Sort of an "ecru" comes out very nicely.

Is your kitchen wallpapered ?  If so... does it look old, used, or out-moded ?  If so... you really might want to remove that wallpaper... sand down the walls, or clean off all the leftover wall-paper paste... and buy a few cans of that ecru paint mentioned above.

How do your cabinets look ?  Are they painted ?  Or, if they are wood-finished... is the finish uneven, worn, or faded ?  You might be wise to consult a professional painter-wood refinisher for this one... but nothing quite sets off a kitchen... than sparkling, soft-satin finish wood cabinets.  You might be able to get away with simply replacing the doors.

How about the counter-tops ?  If you have the old Formica finish... take a very, very close look at the counter surfaces.  Are they chipped ?  Are there cut-marks in them ?  You might be better off just replacing the formica finish.  Some might suggest a hard-surface, granite-type counter-top.  That... can get very, very expensive... and I have at times seen sellers replace Formica counters with granite, only to find that most of the prospective buyers did not like the "finish" that the seller selected.

Sometimes a kitchen has fewer cabinets than might be needed.  The easiest way to improve that... if there is no room to add cabinets... is simply to "thin out" the cabinet contents.  Nothing trumpets a too-small kitchen... than cupboards that are crammed with everything "except the kitchen sink.

There are many more things that could be done to improve a home's sale-ability... but focussing on the kitchen... is a great place to start.

Comment balloon 14 commentsKaren Anne Stone • April 05 2010 05:47PM

Comments

Hello Karen and I have to agree with you about your thoughts on the kitchen, very interesting and true. Also featured at one of my favorite groups around the rain........

LATE NIGHT - EARLY MORNING AT ACTIVERAIN

Vegas Bob

Posted by Robert Vegas Bob Swetz, Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale (Realty ONE Group) over 9 years ago

Mister Vegas:  Thanks for featuring this in the Late Night - Early Morning group.  This is when I am usually blogging.  With me here right now... I barely know what to do... with the sun actually out and shining.  I kinda know how a vampire feels.  Or maybe... gulp... maybe I AM a vampire.  Yikes...

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) over 9 years ago

Hi Karen, so true. Kitchens sell houses. A nice splash of granite goes a long way and it's very cheap right now.

Posted by Ellie McIntire, Luxury service in Howard County & Catonsville (Ellicott City Clarksville Howard County Maryland Real Estate) over 9 years ago

Karen, this is so true.  When visiting our close friends at social gatherings it always seems as through we gravitate to the kitchen.   A kitchen is where meals are prepared (or microwaved), famiiles gather, friends tell their stories.  I definitely agree that making the kitchen a friendly inviting visit on the tour is essential. Thanks for reminding us.

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®) over 9 years ago

We all gravitate to the kitchen when at friends or when entertaining at home or just having a cup of tea in the afternoon. I enjoyed your post Karen, thanks for the tips.

Posted by Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!, So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR (Prado Real Estate South) over 9 years ago

Karen Anne,

Great points...the kitchen is so important and one of the areas buyers check out the most.

Jo

Posted by Jo-Anne Smith over 9 years ago

Great post Karen Anne. Much can be done with a small amount of money and the results can be pretty terrific, not the least of which may be a faster sale.

Posted by Barb Szabo, CRS, E-pro Realtor, Cleveland Ohio Homes (RE/MAX Trinity Brecksville Ohio) over 9 years ago

Hi Caren!
I couldn't agree more...a kitchen can make or break the interest a buyer has in a house. All of your suggestions are great ones. (Although I cringed a bit at the cupboard paint issue...mine are in sore need of a fresh coat!)

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 9 years ago

The kitchen often does make a house a home... It is important for the kitchen to be appealing and you have made a lot of good points and suggestions.  I agree it is not necessary to go with granite in many cases.  There are some wonderful alternatives out there that look great!

Posted by Joan Whitebook, Consumer Focused Real Estate Services (BHG The Masiello Group) over 9 years ago

I tried to get my husband to let me build a house with no kitchen... he wouldn't and I guess you are on his side huh?  I 'spose if I ever decide to sell it might come in handy, but I can promise you, it will still look new. LOL

Posted by Tammy Lankford,, Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville (Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668) over 9 years ago

I give up. Sometimes people buy the strangest house, and I can't figure why. Just recently my client made and offer and got the contract on a house, which I would not have bought be I in his shoes.

So difficult to predict. Granite is so popular as countertop material, but there are people who do not like that stone thing when you put a plate on it (and I agree with them). We have granite and it is not 'friendly', I wold rather have something 'softer'.

But that's the beauty of Real Estate. Each home has its buyer. Not they they always meet, though

Posted by Jon Zolsky, Daytona Beach, FL, Buy Daytona condos for heavenly good prices (Daytona Condo Realty, 386-405-4408) over 9 years ago

Hi Karen Anne... Kitchens can definitely be the decision making room in a new home purchase.  Great guidance here!

Posted by Steve Shatsky over 9 years ago

Good morning Karen Anne,

Very good advice. The kitchen tends to be the focal point of many buyers decisions and all your suggestions should be taken to heart if you are a seller!

Posted by Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR, Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate (Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899) over 9 years ago

Karen I have seen this room kill deals, so it is wise to pay attention to the kitchen and make it as attractive as possible.

Posted by Jennifer Fivelsdal, Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection ( JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571) over 9 years ago

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