People spend a great deal of their time in kitchens; they cook, share meals, work, and have heartfelt conversations around kitchen tables or over breakfast islands. Creating a market-ready kitchen means having a room that "Wows!" Fortunately, this can be achieved in an inexpensive way. It's merely a matter of remembering to create a space that's inviting, balanced, and harmonious.
Nowhere is it more important to take a less is more approach than in the kitchen. Almost every home buyer is looking for a larger kitchen, so help your homeowners emphasize the spaciousness of their kitchen. Remove area rugs, put away appliances that are on the countertops, remove that container of utensils and the spoon rest. If it’s not permanent, put it away.
A “Wow!” Kitchen is spotless, inside and out. That means tidying the interiors of the cabinets and removing anything not needed. Potential buyers want to see lots of cabinet space with room left over, not stacks of cans and boxes crammed in. Shoppers will open dishwashers, drawers, and pantries, so make sure they are market-ready. Polish the door hardware and faucets until they shine. Make sure there are no lingering cooking odors or trash smells when showing the house. Homeowners may want to eat out on nights you're showing their home, and trash should be emptied daily.
Turn on every light in the kitchen - if the room still seems dark, suggest to homeowners that they add some inexpensive, under-cabinet lighting in critical areas. They can also switch to higher wattage light bulbs in fixtures and open any shades or curtains to let light in (read more about the do's and don't of hanging curtains here). A single, decorative element such as a bowl of fresh fruit or a small succulent plant in a darker corner will add interest and brighten things up without seeming too cluttered.
Now the kitchen is ready... to “Wow!” potential buyers!