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A minor kitchen remodel in 2017 offers the fourth best return on investment (ROI) of any home improvement project. Buyers tend to value and appreciate a nice kitchen, so if you plan to sell your home in the near future and your kitchen could use a good tune-up, remodeling it can be a solid investment.
But it’s easy to find yourself underwater on a kitchen remodel, spending way more than you could possibly recoup in your sale price.
“Making improvements to increase the home’s value is a delicate process,” says Cedric Stewart, real estate expert and team leader of Entourage RG in the Washington D.C. area. “Fully renovated kitchens with high-end appliances and finishes usually get folks excited and a nod of approval from appraisers, but one must be careful not to ‘overdevelop’ the home.”
As a general rule, you shouldn’t spend more than 10% of your home’s value on a kitchen remodel. This means that it’s important to prioritize projects that will add value without driving up costs. Here are a few improvements that can help your home sell faster.
Kitchen Improvements that Sell a Home Quicker
Improvements that increase the visual appeal of your kitchen are your best bet. Features that can give a strong first impression are likely to help influence a buyer’s decision to make an offer.
“Clean, modern, functional kitchens sell faster in today’s market,” says Stewart.
Nothing can brighten up your kitchen more than a nice backsplash – similarly, nothing can make a kitchen drabber than a grimy, dark panel behind the counters.
“A backsplash is an inexpensive upgrade that makes your kitchen look more luxurious,” says Jonathan Self, real estate broker for Center Coast Realty in Chicago. Bright backsplashes look great when clean and give your kitchen an appealing look that you don’t get from paint or wallpaper.
Nobody likes buying a new home and immediately needing to spend additional money for new appliances. Whether it’s a fridge or a washer and dryer, buyers consistently appreciate new appliances. If you’re looking to replace a dishwasher or microwave, consider bypassing the usual black and white options. Don Stevens, a Syracuse, New York Realtor, is confident this will help sell a home faster.
“I’m always asked by sellers what to do in the kitchen to make their homes more desirable and I mention stainless steel appliances,” he says.
Like appliances, buying a home that needs new cabinets can be a pain. They’re not only difficult and painstaking to replace, they’re expensive to do right, which means that shoddy cabinets might be a deal breaker for most buyers. In most cases, you won’t recoup your investment from replacing cabinets, However, as an eye-level feature, people won’t fail to notice beautiful new ones.
The Little Things
If you’re eager to sell your home quickly, you need to make it appealing to a wider audience. That means any kitchen improvements should not show off your style, but should feel depersonalized and open to the buyer. Make sure countertops are clean and open so shoppers can really picture themselves occupying your kitchen. You can also add small, yet appreciated details that will entice buyers.
“Thoughtful ideas can peak a buyer’s interest, such as built-in wine racks, lazy Susans, soft-close drawers, pot fillers, pot racks, USB outlets and built-in speakers,” Stewart says.
Kitchen Improvements that Increase Property Value
When renovating your kitchen, it can be difficult to strike a balance between money spent and value added, so make sure to choose the projects that add value without leaving you in the hole.
One of the few kitchen improvements that would be worth mentioning on a listing is a new countertop. And for good reason – they’re often the centerpiece and first impression buyers have of any kitchen.
“Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to choose the most expensive marble to appeal to buyers,” Self says. “Quartz or butcher block countertops cost less, are easier to maintain and still look great.”
Look at lower-grade granite or other cheaper materials that have a great shine but a more reasonable price tag – this is sure to help your ROI.
“A nice waterfall at the end of the counter or a kitchen island will get folks excited,” Stewart adds.
If your cabinets could use a shot to the arm but you can’t justify the cost of replacing them, replacing the hardware just might do the trick. New knobs and handles can give cabinets a fresh and modern feel for less than $100, giving a great potential return. “Overall, changing hardware provides a fast, affordable cabinet refresh,” according to HGTV.
Anyone who has lived in a small space can attest that kitchen storage is precious. Buyers will appreciate if they have room to store their pots, pans, and dry goods without needing to compromise or make do.
“An accessible pantry space for dry goods is a huge plus that can add a lot of value,” says Self .
One Eye on Buyers, the Other on Your Wallet
If you are looking to spruce up your kitchen to help a home sell, it’s important to keep both cost and appeal in mind. By looking for improvements that will attract buyers without putting a strain on your own financials, your kitchen can be yet another tool to increase property value and sell your home quickly.
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