Top 4 Ways to Stage a Kitchen

What are the 4 top ways to stage a kitchen to help sell your home? Do you put pots on the stove to demonstrate that it's a great place to make a meal? Or do you have cookies baking in the oven when the house is being shown? Our response is no; there are more effective ways to appeal to buyers who critically view what is usually the busiest room in the home! Kitchens are a main center of activity so they can easily become messy and cluttered. Keeping a spotless kitchen if you are living in your home while it is on the market can be a challenge. But if you are committed to selling, both by pricing your home correctly AND keeping it in great showing condition, then your market time should be blessedly short! Here are our Top 4 Suggestions for staging your kitchen. 1-When it comes to the kitchen, CLEAN and SANITARY is the name of the game! It must be white glove clean! Make sure every appliance is sparkling clean. Empty and wipe down the drawers and cabinets inside and out, sorting out and reducing contents before refilling them. Clean and touch up the finishes on all cabinet and drawer fronts. Set the oven to CLEAN, scrub it thoroughly and make it look as close to new as you possibly can. Pay attention to your dishwasher, it can be an odor trap. Clean the inside according to manufacturer directions and empty the debris catcher. The dishwasher (and sinks) should always be empty when a house is being shown. Many homes have stainless steel appliances, but they are only beautiful when they are clean and free of smudges and fingerprints. Also, don't forget to clean your garbage disposal; run ice cubes through it first and then follow that by grinding citrus chunks (with rinds left on) of oranges, lemons or limes which will fill the room with freshness! Keeping the trash pail empty is important as well. Your countertops should be spotless, whether formica, granite or tile. If there is tile anywhere in the room the grout should be clean and in good repair; please sure to fill in any broken tiles or gaps in the grout. Another stager secret is to remove all the area rugs in the kitchen and bathrooms as they make rooms appear smaller.

2-Once everything is clean, now you can see if fresh paint will help brighten the room...and frankly, it almost always does! Kitchens that are painted in dark colors may look dramatic but they also make the space look smaller. Dark colors aren't popular choices in new homes, bright and modern is the going trend. New tile, or other material, backsplashes that are coordinated with your countertops, in today's color shades and tones will help enliven the kitchen too. Replacing older light fixtures, sinks and faucets and even cabinet hardware can make your kitchen seem almost like new and will make it much more appealing. These are all bargain 'fixes' that usually increase your property's value while engaging the majority of buyers.

3-Less is always more, this is an excellent rule to follow in the kitchen. It's easy to ignore things you always see, in fact your eyes probably pass right over them, but that isn't true for your future buyers. A collage of school papers on the fridge, a collection of tea cups or the like are distracting and they are clutter. Anything that collects dust needs to be removed. Please put away canisters and small appliances in order to better showcase the counter space. Even when you have ample counter area, leaving it open, with minimal kinds of furnishings improves the appearance of your kitchen. If you must have one appliance on the counter it can be a coffee maker that is scrupulously clean. Alongside it you might set up a nice little vignette with a couple of pretty mugs, a clean spoon and a plain covered sugar pot. Take away anything that isn't vital to the use of your kitchen. Holiday dishes, slow-cookers that you use infrequently, specialty pans and other culinary furnishings can take up lots of space, making the usability and storage areas seem less adequate than they really are.

4-Once you’ve deep cleaned, freshened the paint and decluttered your kitchen it's time for the fun stuff. Counters shouldn't be completely empty; consider the coffee vignette we just described, or fill a nice bowl with pretty, multicolor fruit, a small group of olive oils and vinegar and pickled vegetables in decorative bottles and jars can all become charming additions. An open cookbook with beautiful photos and a few ingredients in the recipe alongside can stir buyer's imaginations-pardon the pun! Fresh flowers, fresh and new kitchen towels, a nice, high quality soap dispenser (think William Sonoma) near the sink...these are all practical accents that complete the look of your kitchen without overdoing it.

Remember, a clean and inviting kitchen sells many a home. Buyers want their kitchens to be a place where they entertain friends and family and that they can create lots of happy memories. If you follow our 4 suggestions you'll soon discover you may be looking for a new kitchen, inside a new home of your own!

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