Beth Richardson

Real Estate Made Real Simple

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Why do kitchens (and bath rooms) sell houses?

Why do kitchens (and bath rooms) sell houses?

Oh, let me count the ways… First, let me start with what I hear sellers say as to why they should not update their kitchens before selling:

1. It was good enough for me and nothing is wrong with it.
2. It costs too much to change it.
3. The new buyer might not like my choices.

Hmm….So kitchens sell houses because:

1. People like to hang out where food is being served. Have you ever heard the old adage that the kitchen is the heart of the home? This seems to be more and more true.
2. Many, many people enjoy the process of food preparation and like nice tools and a lovely setting to engage their hobby.
3. Many others have bought into the culture that keeps up with the Jones and that culture says kitchens should have stone counters and stainless steel appliances and be relatively large.
4. The more other sellers have come to make the updating of a kitchen part of selling, the stiffer your competition will be if you do not.

To address the above comments that I hear as to why you would not, here is the argument for why updating is important:

1. Whether it is right, wrong, moral, immoral, ridiculous, etc, etc. our culture is such that when something is 20 years old and certainly if it is more than that, it is seen to be dated. Sometimes the same seller who tells me nothing is wrong with their kitchen will acquiesce immediately when I say that the 20 year old roof needs to be updated… A kitchen is the same thing. A buyer sees an old kitchen as deferred maintenance.

2. It costs too much. This is the sad reality for the buyer as well. They can’t afford it either and they are not willing to live with it. BUT, for you as a seller, even if you have to borrow $10,000 on a credit card, you are about to get that money back at the closing. $10,000 will do significant updating to a kitchen. Remember this, your first price reduction could be $10,000 if you get lots of showings and no bites due to lack of updating.

3. The buyer might not like my choices…this is true but this is why we have stagers and interior design professionals who prepare houses for sale. One simply follows their advice.

Is all of this a hassle? of course! This is why I say to all of you and others who call me…selling a house is not nearly as much fun as buying one so be prepared!

Hope this helps!



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