Addressing Kitchen Clutter

In our market, it seems as if most buyers are looking for an upgraded kitchen. That being said, the kitchen is a great place to focus when beginning the process of preparing your home to sell.   Most of the problem in kitchens is clutter.  If a potential home buyer sees clutter in a kitchen, they automatically assume that there is not a lot of storage space. “The current owners don’t have enough room to neatly put stuff away, how will my stuff ever fit?” By addressing kitchen clutter and preparing the kitchen to be shown to the public, you are giving your home a big leg up on other listings.

Start by completely clearing the counter tops.  Find new homes for items that you use every day and pack away the excess.  Keep you toaster and even the… GULP… coffee pot, under the counter.  While you’re at it, stick pots and pans you rarely use in that box as well. Then organize then to make it look like you have plenty of room.

(Helpful Hint: don’t store those pre-packed boxes somewhere else in your home, consider renting a storage unit to optimize space)

Simple truth; house shoppers will open your kitchen cabinets and drawers. Not because they are snooping (okay, maybe some people are being nosey) but because they want to see if their stuff will fit.  Organizing those cabinets and drawers is not enough.  The trick here is to clear it out: Yes, get rid of it by eating it, donating it, packing it away or holding a yard sale.

Tackle that junk drawer! When people see a junk drawer they write it off as unusable space, even if your junk will be removed before you leave. Your goal is to have as much “free space” as possible.  Remember your kitchen in college, yeah, now you’re getting it.

Depersonalize. Maybe you have a very cheery apple themed kitchen or you have a 100+ display of delicate tea pots.  Now is the time to secure those items and make sure they will be protected, organized and ready to adorn your new place.  Bear in mind, if your kitchen décor is too… individualized… it may turn off potential buyers.  You want to try to take your personal style out of the kitchen to make it appeal to everyone.

Now clean as if your house depended on it, because guess what, it might. Top to bottom your kitchen should sparkle. Scrub down anything that’s not moving and keep try to keep it that clean while your house is on the market.  Pay particular attention to appliances and fixtures because these are items that catch the buyer’s eye.  After you’re finished cleaning, make sure to remove all extra cleaning supplies from beneath your sink because people will be looking there too.

Prepare for buyers. Before you leave your home for a showing, make sure that the dishes are washed and put away. Remove linens, towels and all items from the fridge door, including those fridge magnets that we all have. Open blinds or push back the drapes to allow as much light in as possible.  Place something like a nice bowl of fruit or a brightly colored cookbook on the counter top to keep it from looking too sterile.

Wise sellers know that the kitchen of any home can make or break a deal. Even if your kitchen is enormous, clutter can cloud a buyer’s perspective on space.  Since most buyers dread a costly and aggravating kitchen remodel, making your kitchen appeal as large as possible is just good marketing.   Following these tips will make your kitchen the jewel of your home.

Want more tips on how to make your home stand out? Contact any of the Realtors® at Carter & Roque Real Estate today at 301-759-0100.


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