Realtors and builders all across the nation know its power. What is this not-so-well-kept secret of real estate?

Kitchens sell homes.

Kitchens are where we spend much of our time with our families.

Kitchens are integral to entertaining and in today’s age of open floor plans, they’re a focal point of many family rooms.

It’s because of this that kitchens play such an important role in the home sale process.

The cost and time of a kitchen renovation can be a major deterrent to buyers as they consider a complicated array of flooring, appliance, cabinet, and countertop options.

Most buyers want a kitchen ready for use the day they move in.

If a kitchen is in average to below-average shape, a low-cost renovation by the seller usually pays for itself in the final sales price.

What do buyers look for in a kitchen? A lot depends on your home’s price range.

The main thing as a seller is to not price yourself out of your market. 

Use open houses in your area or MLS listings to see what area kitchens look like. 

Do they have new solid wood cabinets and granite counters in today’s designer colors? You’ll be wise to make the same move.

Are they including new stainless steel appliances and add-ons like wine-coolers and trash compactors?

Your older home may have a highly functional kitchen, but a buyer will take one look at your Formica counters and white appliances and become lost in the stress of how much money and time it would take to remodel.

What the seller may perceive as an opportunity for a buyer to renovate the kitchen in their style, the buyer perceives as a huge project even as they are dealing with everything else in their move.

Don’t be overwhelmed.  Sometimes an update can mean doing just a few minor changes.

Update the appliances, paint the cabinets, change the pulls, or get a high-end looking counter for a fraction of the cost (faux-granite or lower end granite).