Should you renovate your kitchen before selling the house? That’s a good question, one that many homeowners ask themselves when planning for a home sale. It’s true, a kitchen renovation can completely transform the look, feel, modernity, and functionality of a home’s shared spaces. But is every kitchen renovation worth it? It’s also possible to put in a lot more than you get back in the home’s value. Kitchen renovations can be the best upgrade before a home sale – or the worst – depending on how your renovations impact buyer motivation.
To know if a kitchen renovation is worth the cost (and time) before a home sale, it’s important to know your market and to do the math.
In today’s real estate market, there are a few key factors to raising your final selling price:
- Move-in Ready
- Attractive Neutrality
- Curb Appeal
- Modernized Living
- Energy Efficiency
Taking a kitschy 70s era kitchen and upgrading it to a sleek modern-minimalist kitchen is more likely to be worth the cost than adding designer tiling to an already lovely kitchen. It’s all about what you put in and what you get out.
Kitchen Renovations and Home Value ROI
When determining if it’s worth it to redo a kitchen before selling, ROI is always your most important calculation. ROI stands for Return On Investment. If you put in $25,000 on an all-new kitchen but it only boosts your home price by $10,000, your ROI is -15 grand. But if you spend $5,000 on a few key upgrades and it increases your home price by $10,000, your ROI is a positive 5 grand.
Did you know that most home renovations achieve less than 100% ROI? In fact, the “Best” renovations for selling a home are those typically around the 70-80% range in return on investment. Only the most strategic renovations – often in the “shabby to chic” category – will offer you a positive net worth on any major home project. Home renovations are done primarily for the joy of the homeowner and, done well, they can also boost the value of the home.
On the other hand, moving a kitchen from unappealing to elegantly modern can have a significant value impact with just a few strategic updates. It’s all about balancing what you put in to what you get out.
Does kitchen renovation increase home value?
Your kitchen renovation can add to the inherent value of the home, and modern kitchens are more valuable than outdated ones. But buyer taste will ultimately decide how much value was added for any kitchen renovation.
Know Your Audience: What Home Buyers Want in a Kitchen
The next element of the question is which kitchen renovations provide the most value. What tips the scale above or below 100% ROI on home value improvement? It your buyer’s motivation. Buyers will offer and bid higher when they love the kitchen. A kitchen can sell a house. The more you know about your buyer trends, the better you can tailor a kitchen renovation to delight buyers, sell the house faster, and increase bidding motivation.
Your region may play a party; some regions like cottage kitchens, some have a strong trend for minimalist kitchen design. Your neighborhood may draw generational families or vacation home buyers. These trends should influence which renovations your local buyers will pay the most for.
Shabby to Chic: The Kitchen Renovations for Home Selling
Let’s say you know your home’s kitchen is a problem. It’s a few decades out-of-date with a chipped backsplash, discolored countertop, and a dishwasher that’s seen better decades. This is the type of kitchen for which renovation before sale was introduced. The kitchen may well be bringing down your entire property value as buyers suddenly imagine cooking on artificial countertops with ancient appliances.
Shabby to chic kitchen renovations can absolutely add value to your home sale, and have a higher potential of 100% or greater return on investment. Replace the aging appliances with new models. Repaint the cabinets and replace the handles with new hardware. Put a new faucet in the sink, re-tile the backsplash, and place a glowing new piece of stone on the benchtop. It will be an all-new kitchen without a single major renovation. This will allow buyers to see your kitchen with delight and begin writing future family meals into the space.
What Kitchen Renovations are Worth Doing Before Selling?
- Repaint the Walls
- Replace Old Appliances
- Refinish the Cabinetry
- Replace the Countertops
- Upfit the Sink
- Replace Cabinet Knobs, Glass, and Doors
- Re-Tile the Backsplash
- Install In-Unit Laundry
- Composite Plank Floors
When you’re preparing to sell a house, renovations should enhance the features that already exist. Now, naturally, is not the time for major structural changes – but everything else can change. Your goal in any pre-sale kitchen renovation is to take the existing fatures and modernize them to an “Elegant Neutral”.
Neutrality is essential for selling a house, leaving stylistic room for buyers to write in their own tastes. This means updating the tile is the best move when you’re exchnging 70s rooster prints for a cool gray geometric. Replacing the appliances will have the best ROI when you’re upgrading from an ancient dishwasher and rattling stove to stainless steel digital appliances. You are bringing up the total functionality and value of the kitchen.
To transform a kitchen’s entire look and feel with a limited renovation budget, repaint the walls, refinish the cabinets, and replace the countertop with a slab of natural polished stone. The kitchen will look freshly built for a luxury condo without changing any of the essential structure.
What Should You Not Do Before Selling a House?
We’ve talked about the most valuable renovations. Now let’s talk about the worst. What renovations should you avoid before selling a house?
- Personalized styles
- Non-neutral colors
- Designer tiles
- Major renovations
- Minimal change
A valuable kitchen renovation improves the look and function of a kitchen in a way buyers appreciate. The changes upgrade the kitchen to a design that buyers will want to spend more to attain. Bad kitchen renovations sink too much money into changes that don’t make a big difference. You could reinstall the cabinets, but why tear down and rebuild when you can merely repaint or replace the cabinet doors alone?
Watch out for big investment sinks that might not pay off. Don’t splurge on designer tiles, your buyers won’t recognize designer so you might as well choose something stylish in a practical price range. Don’t renovate in a way that suits your personal tastes too closely, either. Neutral is what sells houses so that the home can easily be adapted to the tastes of the new residents. Major renovations are rarely worth the investment,while strategic cosmetic renovations tend to get the best ROI.
Don’t invest a lot to change a little. Seek to have a bigger visual impact than a structural one. New countertops can transform a kitchen, but there’s usually no call to move any walls.
Here at Arch City Granite, we’ve helped to transform a great many kitchens before a home sale, so we know what works and what doesn’t. Let us help you update your kitchen with a beautiful piece of polished stone. Getting the best price for your house is all about exceeding buyer expectations with a reasonable pre-sale investment. Take a look at our selection by exploring our gallery today!