Do Kitchen Appliances Sell a Home?

Reblogger Dale Taylor
Real Estate Agent with Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois

The Seller has invited me over to present the results of all my research evaluating how their home will fit competitively within the marketplace. Upon welcoming me into their cherished home, they're eager to take me on a tour. 

When I'm invited into the kitchen the first time catching my eye is all those beautiful magnets reminding the Owners of all the amazing destinations they've traveled.  Those magnets serve a dual purpose because they either hold great family photos or a reminder of an event or something motivational to accomplish. 

Needless to say, the stove shows signs of good use by an excellent cook, and although well maintained, every appliance appears to have been from an era of the previous decade. 

As I prepare to present them a marketing plan to procure a Motivated, Cooperative, Well Qualified Buyer, I am thinking of how do I say to them without insulting them they need to do something about this beloved appliances challenge?  Then, I found these classy words from Barbara explaining how appliances play a key role in selling a home... 

Original content by Barbara Altieri RES.0781237

Do Kitchen Appliances Sell a Home?

A short time ago I listed a house that was 20 years old with original kitchen appliances.  Very clearly worn and quite frankly a bit grungy, these appliances were a distraction from the rest of the kitchen which was remarkably in pretty good shape by contrast.

When a home buyer sees older appliances that show considerable wear and tear and appear poorly maintained, reliability fears will surface.

So, this seller was faced with a kitchen marred by appliances that had seen better days.  What were the options?


  • Use some serious elbow grease to degrease and clean them.  

  • Remove food stains, rust, and any unidentifiable stains.

  • Remove ALL magnets and any other hanging paraphernalia. 

  • Clean inside and out thoroughly. Buyers WILL look inside. 

After this thorough cleaning, is the improvement enough?  Maybe ….. but oh, the age is still going to be an issue. The buyer WILL figure in the cost of appliance replacement into an offer. Under this scenario, if the appliances can be replaced for say $5,000, the buyer will double that in his mind.

With my seller, the appliances did not look a whole lot better after the ‘power’ washing. Age did not help either. 

The seller agreed to replace the appliances within his budget with Energy Star appliances which would be a great selling feature appealing to ‘green’ buyers.

Now, what finish to buy? The present appliances were almond. A big NO to that. Home buyers have a fondness for stainless steel kitchen appliances.  The pricing on stainless has come down considerably.  The return on the investment will pay off. 

The seller got a great stainless package deal, and the new appliances made that kitchen sparkle as well as the eyes of buyers who quickly placed an offer.  I am convinced those new shiny stainless steel appliances sold that house.

But what if the seller can’t replace the appliances with new energy efficient stainless steel ones?

Here are some ideas:

  • Repeat:  CLEAN inside and outside.  Nothing hanging from any appliance…not even a dish towel….and PLEASE….NO MAGNETS or pictures on the refrigerator front or sides!

  • If a total replacement is unfeasible, try to replace that old energy hog refrigerator.  Only word of caution here is that it could make the older appliances look worse by comparison.

  • If the appliances are not too old, sometimes a door replacement is possible. 

  • Apply a coat of appliance paint, which comes in black, white, and, yes, even a faux stainless steel. 

    There is also stainless steel film to ‘experiment’ with. Both concepts are interesting to say the least.

  • If you don’t already have one, prepare a binder with all the present appliance manuals.  Makes the buyer feel a ‘little’ more comfortable buying older appliances.

  • Offer a home warranty  to cover repairs/replacement of the present appliances.

If new appliances are purchased, they should be in line with what current comparables are offering. A $200K home would not warrant a Sub-Zero refrigerator or Wolf range, while a $1 million+ home should not have a lower end refrigerator and range.  Buy accordingly.

Remember. There is a lot of competition out there.  Sellers need to prepare their homes BEFORE listing by improving any areas or items that might raise red flags in the buyer’s mind.   

Kitchen appliances can contribute significantly to getting the home sold. Homebuyers are infatuated with stainless steel. In a competitive housing market home sellers must do everything within means to make their home as attractive as possible to the home buyer.  Newer kitchen appliances do help the selling process. Make it stainless steel and you have a winning combination.

Do Kitchen Appliances Sell a Home?



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Barbara Altieri, REALTOR
Listing and Buyer's Agent
Certified Short Sales Specialist
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Patrick White
Home Driven Realty, Inc - Baldwin, NY
Driven to bring New Yorkers home

Good Evening Dale

Thanks for the post and re-blog. Have a great week.

Jan 22, 2012 11:30 AM #1
Bill & Cyndi Daves
Hiawassee, Young Harris, Blairsville, Hayesville, Murphy and Beyond! - Hiawassee, GA
TeamDAVES - Your REALTORS In the GA/NC Mountains!

Dale - Barbara is right, old appliances will surely make a buyer start doing the math to replace them.  We always suggest to a seller to offer a home warranty if they are unable to afford to replace them.  This normally does the trick.


Jan 22, 2012 11:36 AM #2
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

Thanks Patrick, Bill, and Cyndi!  It is so great when someone else can give you the words to say so we're ready when the opportunity presents itself.

Jan 22, 2012 11:44 AM #3
David Spencer
Keller Williams Northland - Kansas City, MO
Show Me real estate in Kansas City

Have the seller or you buy a home warranty and place it on the fridge with a magnet. No money out of pocket until closing.

Jan 22, 2012 11:50 AM #4
Carlotta Remong
Berkshire Hathaway HS N.E. Prime Properties - Newport, RI

Dale thanks for the re-blog...kitchens sell the home and stainless steel appliances are usually a part of the package.

Jan 22, 2012 12:30 PM #5
Dale Taylor
Re/Max 10 New Lenox Illinois - Frankfort, IL
Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos

David, you gave me a chuckle.  Thanks.  Carlotta, I appreciate your comments.  I think it is great when someone else can say it so our Valued Clients don't get angry with us for hearing the truth.

Jan 23, 2012 05:00 AM #6
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

This is a great re-blog.  I live Barbara's ideas!

Feb 21, 2012 12:53 PM #7
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Dale Taylor

Realtor = Chicago Illinois Homes Townhomes Condos
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