Kitchen Q&A special: What to do before a sale
There’s a saying in estate agency that goes ‘kitchens and bathrooms sell homes’ and we tend to agree. We’re often asked by prospective sellers what they should do to make their kitchen ultra-appealing and many ask if it’s possible to add value too. Our answers to the most commonly-asked questions should help inform your kitchen plans.
Q. Should I completely replace my kitchen?
A. Our answer would follow an in-person visit. Exceptionally dated or poor-condition kitchens can put buyers off and decrease a home’s value, so we may recommend a refit before the property goes on the market. How much value a new kitchen adds varies – it can be as much as 10% – but we can help you establish whether the cost of a refit’s labour and materials is more than the price uplift achievable.
Q. Is there a cost-effective alternative to replacing my kitchen?
A. Buyers are looking for bright, social and practical kitchens and if your kitchen doesn’t deliver, it may be seen as a negative. If your budget or time scale prevents remodelling, illustrating what’s possible is an option. A small investment in plans for a revised kitchen layout and creating a mood board to show prospective buyers will highlight potential. You may go as far as obtaining drawings or even full planning permission for a kitchen extension – it will cost a fraction of actually undertaking the work.
Q. My cabinets are from the 1990s – should I change them?
A. Cabinetry fashions change over time and the style makes it possible to pinpoint the age of a kitchen. If your carcasses are in good condition, a cosmetic makeover may be enough. It’s possible to replace the doors – or have them resprayed – and a change of handles can make an instant impact. You can also replace worktops, or have poor-condition surfaces wrapped or overlayed.
Q. I have freestanding appliances – will they hinder a sale?
A. While research by Ideal Home found UK buyers would pay £1,761 extra for fitted appliances, freestanding appliances are rarely so off-putting they cause a prospective purchaser to walk away. Indeed, we feel integrated appliances are ‘nice to have’ rather than essential. What matters more is the brand, the energy rating and the age of the appliances – the newer the better.
Q. You can’t sit down to eat in my kitchen, is that a problem?
A. There are advantages to an eat-in kitchen if you haven’t got a separate dining room. If space is at a premium, you may wish to consider a slim bar-height table with stools, a drop-down table that can be folded flush against a wall or a drop-leaf dining table with integral chair storage. Alternatively, make use of bench-style seating in alcoves and bay windows, and save space with fold-up dining chairs.
Q. Should I upgrade the lighting in my kitchen?
A. Kitchens have evolved from merely a place to prepare food to social hubs, and a variety of lighting options can help set the scene. Overhead task lighting – such as spotlights – is essential for cooking but being able to switch to pelmet and plinth lighting is an attractive feature. Pendant lights over an island or peninsula also make a great design focal point.
Q. I haven’t got much of a budget, are there cheap ways to improve my kitchen?
A. Yes! Some of the best transformations follow a simple trip to a DIY store. You should never underestimate the power of a clean kitchen, so pick up a limescale remover, a degreasing product and a stainless steel cleaner to make your kitchen sparkle. Cleaning your oven and hob are also must-do jobs before a sale. Decluttering will help make your kitchen feel more spacious and a coat of neutral paint will freshen the walls. Add a scented candle or reed diffuser to your shopping basket to help neutralise cooking odours, and a houseplant or vase of flowers never fails to add finesse to a set of property photos.
If you would like advice regarding your kitchen or a free, no-obligation valuation, please contact us today.