Home Staging Secrets: The Kitchen

The kitchen is one of the hottest selling points for any listing, as it is the center for a lot of activity within a home. While you may renovate your kitchen before selling--or at least replace outdated appliances and add some fresh paint--staging is another crucial part of making your kitchen buyer-ready.

Make it sparkle. Cleaning your kitchen top to bottom is the first step in home staging. Polish all fixtures, clean out the inside of the stove, dust that ceiling fan, wash windows, scrub your baseboards, clean cabinets and polish or replace knobs and handles.

De-clutter. Remove all appliances from the counter, take magnets and photos off the fridge and most of the photos off the wall. Don't remove everything, or it will look cold and unlived in. Instead, allow an opportunity for the buyer to imagine their own lives enfolding in the room.

Make use of space and color. Replace your large kitchen table with a smaller one to make the space seem roomier. Replace heavy drapes with lighter ones to brighten the room. Make sure your color scheme is subtle and complimentary, not extreme or jarring.

The less things shoved into your space, the larger it will look. Put something simple, like a cookbook or bowl of fruit on the counter or kitchen table .

Sweat the small stuff. Go above and beyond to make your kitchen look like a place where your potential buyers will want to spend time. Try not to cook anything with a strong odor in your kitchen during the time your house is on the market, like fish, bacon or curry. Of course, baking some fresh bread has always been a go-to home selling secret.

Also, be sure never to leave any dirty dishes in the sink or the dishwasher. Sellers like to open things, and your dishwasher is not excluded from this.

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