The Kitchen Is One Of The Most Important Rooms In A Home: Is Your Kitchen Making Or Costing You Money?

Home Stager with CM Staging Solutions Inc

To many buyers kitchens are one of the most important rooms of the home.  The kitchen is the hub of the home; it is seen as a room for entertaining, food preparation and socializing.  Canadians spend a large part of their day in the kitchen and for that reason a kitchen can make or break the sale of any house.  As many real estate agents will concur, when a kitchen has cutting edge equipment and a luxurious feel it beckons to buyer to “buy me”.  The goal is to make sure your kitchen is in good working order, clean and up to modern standards.  Below are a few tips to prepare your kitchen to list.

 1.  Make Sure Your Kitchen Is In Good Working Order.  Make sure all of the appliances are working and the taps and sink/s are in good working order.  If the sink is leaking, get it repaired.  Neglecting to give the proper attention to the workings of a kitchen speaks strongly to a buyer as to the condition of rest of the home.  After all, isn’t this a room you use EVERYDAY?!  Even if the buyer will not be purchasing your appliances, the way you care for your kitchen tells a buyer the way you have cared for the rest of your house.  Make sure it works!

  2.  De-clutter Your Kitchen of Odds and Sods.  Remove any trinkets, magnets and clutter that have accumulated over the years.  The refrigerator should be clear of magnets, personal pictures and notes.  This will make your floors, surfaces and bench tops look more spacious.

   3.  Give Your Kitchen A Thorough Cleaning.  Get out the elbow grease and remove any grime and surface stains from the front of cabinets, counter tops, appliances and floors and don’t limit your cleaning to superficial surfaces.  Give the inside of cupboards, fridges and stoves a good hard scrub too.  Light plates and back splashes should also be clear of cooking grease and food splashes.

    4.  What is the Aroma Of Your Kitchen?  People in general are very susceptible to smell.  Don’t think it is only about visual presentation when selling your home.  Smell, especially strong cooking smells can really deter a potential buyer if that food doesn’t appeal to a buyer.  A great way to ensure you drains are smelling good is pour some lemon juice down the drain prior to showings or grind up lemon peels in your garburator.  Open all the windows and air out the kitchen, since you’ve already clean out your fridge you know there won’t be any soiled food odours, right?  Also if you keep your garbage removed in your cabinets to avoid any unsavoury smells wafting into the kitchen.  Some would recommend baking an apple pie or cookies prior to showings.  Fragrance is a very personal experience and can evoke an array of emotions, unless your buyers like the smell of your cookies or like apple pie I would not do any baking prior to a showing and for the duration of your sale, you may want to consider a couple nights a week, having “date-night” or “family-night” and eating out.

   5.  Now’s The Time To Clear Off Your Plate.  Get Rid Of Any Outstanding Maintenance Concerns.   If your taps are leaking or you have been putting off replacing the washer, the sink is leaking, light bulbs are out or the lights flickering, now is the time to clear your to-do list of any maintenance issues that have been building up.

    6.  Modernize Your Accessories.  If your kitchen is fairly up-to-date, then you may only need updating of the details.  Updating door handles and light switch plates is a good start.  Your kitchen may even benefit by updating your appliances and depending on the price of your listing it may only be “update” or it may mean “upgrade”.  What I mean is this, if the comparables in your neighbourhood have “updated” their appliances without splashing out on top of the line Wolf appliances, etc. then you may want to simply switch your dated fridge and stove for a low-end stainless steel. 

       Stainless Steel Fridge

Upgrade Fridge


     You can buy a new fridge, stainless steel for as low as $799 or depending on where you live and the price of your home you may want to spend a little more.  Here is one for $1300. 

                                        Update Stove                 Upgraded Stove


      The stove can really send a buyer over the edge, either way they fall, whether it is running to get away as fast as possible from your home to another listing or running to write an offer, for around $500 or upgrade slightly for approximately $990.  That is a $1300 update to a $2200 upgrade that could bring in an additional $3000-$5000 of value to your home.  If the bones of your kitchen are fairly passable and would benefit from some simple updates, don’t overlook the appliances.  They can be VERY impactful even if they are not high-end.

     7.  Should You Consider Gutting Your Kitchen & Doing A Full Renovation?  This will depend on what you want to ask for your home and the condition of comparable properties.  If you are competing against other modernized listings in your area, then yes renovate.  A good rule of thumb to remember – You should be prepared to spend 10% to 20% of the value of a home in order to renovate a kitchen.  That means if I were putting in an offer on a home with an outdated kitchen compared to other homes in the neighbourhood I might consider deducting 20% to 25% (for just in case) if I were to buy that dilapidated home.  The benefit if you renovate before you sell, you can spend less, still have a presentable kitchen and make back 20% - 25% on your sale.


If you have any questions or like to book a consult on what to do with your kitchen, feel free to give us a call.



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For more information on home staging in the Toronto area or furniture and accessory rental, contact me.   To see information on the show click on the Income Property button below.


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Comments (5)

Fred Griffin Florida Real Estate
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

The Aroma!   A lot of "How-To-Sell" books and blogs suggest baking cookies or heating vanilla in the oven prior to a Showing.  I like your idea of just CLEAN the kitchen instead.

May 25, 2013 12:39 AM
Rachel Craggy
CM Staging Solutions Inc - Toronto, ON
CM Staging, Toronto Home Staging

Thanks Fred, smell is really a personal preference and adding aromatic fragrances to a kitchen can actually turn off buyers if they don't like the "flavour" of the smell.  Aroma is like colour, often you like it or you don't!  Thanks for your comment.

May 25, 2013 01:13 AM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

Rachel, I can imagine buying a home for myself based on the kitchen, but I am impressed at how well the homes that I own rent if they have a fancy kitchen.

May 27, 2013 07:24 AM
Rachel Craggy
CM Staging Solutions Inc - Toronto, ON
CM Staging, Toronto Home Staging

Hi Bob great point.  Kitchens can really sell a house!

May 27, 2013 11:22 AM
Fred Carver Personal Real Estate Corporation
RE/MAX Camosun Victoria BC Real Estate - Victoria, BC
Accredited Real Estate Consultant

Hi Rachel...Great Advice for soon to be Home Sellers, Who Doesn't like to see a Clean Kitchen when looking for your Next Dream home.


Oh By the Way..Thanks for posting in  Canadian Re/Max Agents Where I featured your Post.

Aug 06, 2013 03:34 AM