"The kitchen is outdated!" complained the buyer

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

"The kitchen is outdated!" complained the buyer. "I know, isn't that fabulous!" responded the REALTOR® (me)

During one of my open houses I engaged in a conversation with a visitor who was obviously very interested in the home. She had spent a good amount of time walking around, admiring the view, opening doors and closets, walking up and then down again ..

"This is a great home" she said "but the kitchen is outdated!" "I know, isn't that fabulous!" was my response. While the word outdated will turn off some buyers, others will get excited for one of 2 reasons:

1. If the home is older, "outdated" can be a real treat. By that I don't mean 1980s remodels but original, vintage features (by definition, the 80s now fall into the vintage category, too, but we are not quite there yet (???) when it comes to homes).

original 1960s vanity, Ellicott City, MDThere is a (growing) trend to reuse, repurpose and recycle. There are more and more Restores, vintage markets, retro renovations and rehab addicts (I am a huge fan). There is even a national movement to "Save the Pink Bathrooms"!

Original features mean character, personality and warmth and often times quality, too, and a lot of buyers are looking for just that.

2. If the outdated features don't fall within the vintage category, then it's an opportunity! Just think about it, how many remodeled kitchens have you seen that match your taste 100%? Unless we are looking at overimproved homes or high-end-no-expense spared remodels, chances are slim.

There is always something that is not quite the buyers' taste: "I should I remodel my outdated kitchen before selling the house?don't want stainless steel, you can see every fingerprint.", "I would prefer white cabinets", "I'd rather have silestone/granite/corian/concrete/recycled glass counters than those", "I would have chosen a different back-splash" ....

Instead of having to live with an updated-but-not-quite-right kitchen or having to improve an improvement why not seize the opportunity?

Wouldn't you rather live in a home that is all you vs the previous owner?

"The kitchen is outdated" complained the buyer. "I know, isn't that fabulous!"

As for my open house visitor, she didn't buy this property. But the wheels were turning in her head. "You have a good point" she said before she left.

P.S. If you are looking for vintage or an opportunity in Silver Spring, MD and beyond, give me a call at (240) 593-2860, I have a couple available!

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Diary of a Realtor
Advice for Buyers
vintage properties in silver spring md
why an outdated kitchen is an opportunity
dont buy the sellers taste
should i remodel my kitchen before listing it for sale

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Pamela Seley
West Coast Realty Division - Murrieta, CA
Residential Real Estate Agent serving SW RivCo CA

Andrea Bedard that is so true! Many renovated kitchens are not choices buyers would have made. Sometimes it's better not to update and sell as is. Great post, love the save the pink bathrooms. 

Jan 22, 2015 01:27 PM #1
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, Keller Williams Fox Cities - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

I like the old vintage homes too Andrea, and I own several of them.

One of my favorite things in these old kitchens is the one piece countertop/sink combo.


Jan 22, 2015 02:03 PM #2
Pete Xavier
Investments to Luxury - Pacific Palisades, CA
Outstanding Agent Referrals-Nationwide

I'd take an outdated or destroyed kitchen any day if everything else was kosher.

Jan 22, 2015 03:01 PM #3
Dorie Dillard CRS GRI ABR
Coldwell Banker United Realtors® ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
Serving Buyers & Sellers in NW Austin Real Estate

Good morning Andrea,

Great post and advice to a buyer. Make it your own!! The problem with some is they have no imagination or know what they want! For those that do..perfect way..... to have it your way!!

Jan 22, 2015 08:20 PM #4
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Hi Pamela, I alwasy sigh when I see a flip with a remodeled kitchen that is a Home Depot special..

You made my vintage heart jump for joy Bob! Love it.

Me, too, Pete! Many of these homes are in great condition, clean and maintained .. just the kitchen has never been touched. That's a bonus in my opinion.

That's true Dorie. I've been brainstorming ideas to help potential buyers see what a gem an original kitchen can be.

Jan 22, 2015 10:23 PM #5
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

What a great attitude....how clever of you to turn that around as an advantage!

Jan 22, 2015 10:30 PM #6
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Hello Andrea ... this is a great post and so true!

What very few buyers understand that is:  Carpets, Walls, Kitchens, etc can be painted, replaced and or undated to their taste 

Jan 23, 2015 02:02 AM #7
Norma Toering Broker for Palos Verdes and Beach Cities
Charlemagne International Properties - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA
Palos Verdes Luxury Homes in L.A.

The right attitude opens up more options and opportunities--good post.

Jan 23, 2015 06:06 AM #8
Troy Erickson AZ Realtor (602) 295-6807
Good Company Real Estate www.ChandlerRealEstate.weebly.com - Chandler, AZ
Your Chandler, Ahwatukee, and East Valley Realtor

Andrea - What a great response by you. I will have to remember that one.

Jan 23, 2015 08:40 AM #9
Debbie Laity
Cedaredge Land Company - Cedaredge, CO
Your Real Estate Resource for Delta County, CO

Well as long as the price takes the outdated kitchen into consideration, I think you are right on. I don't like stainless appliances, either. I like pets and kids and these can't be kept clean with those animals running around. LOL. I do like retro. My idea of retro is 1950s. 

Jan 23, 2015 02:27 PM #10
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

My glass is always half full Sharon!

"Undated", I like that word VB! It's true, let's focus on location, view, flow, room sizes .. those things are much harder or impossible to change.

It sure does Norma, thank you!

I always try to see the positive Troy, it does wonders.

Some sellers don't take it into consideration Debbie and then it's a problem. My idea of retro are the 50s, too, but who knows, the 80s already made a come back in fashion (although not in my closet).

Jan 24, 2015 12:05 PM #11
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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