How to Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home

Four Parts:Removing Clutter and CleaningDecorating Your Kitchen to SellMaking Necessary UpdatesHaving a Successful Open House

Kitchens are at the heart of any home and a kitchen that is presented beautifully when selling is a must. Whether you are tweaking a few features, or considering a full-blown renovation, make sure you know your market and what features attract positive attention.

Part 1
Removing Clutter and Cleaning

  1. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 1
    Do a deep cleaning of your kitchen. Clean your kitchen from top to bottom when you are preparing to show it. This means cleaning countertops, floors, inside the fridge, the stovetop, and inside cabinets. Go from top to bottom, and then from left to right—this will help you make sure you haven’t missed a spot.[1]
    • Be sure you are using the right cleaning products for different surfaces. The labels on most cleaning products will specify which types of surfaces to use them on.
  2. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 2
    Put away or store personal items. Avoid leaving personal things out on the counters, or even inside the drawers. Things like paperwork, mail, photos, and even magnets on the fridge should all be taken out of the kitchen and packed up or stored elsewhere. Potential buyers want to see a clean slate, so that they can imagine their own lives in the space, rather than feeling like they have walked into someone else’s.[2]
    • Keeping the counters as clear as possible will help showcase the spaciousness of the kitchen to potential buyers. If you have a lot of small appliances covering the countertops, store those elsewhere when showing the home. Consider boxing and storing things you don’t really need out, or that might be cluttering your countertops, like coffee mugs or spice racks.
  3. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 3
    Remove extra furniture. If you have large furniture items in your kitchen, like hutches or unattached islands, consider getting rid of these when staging your kitchen. They can make your space feel more closed in and appear smaller. By removing these items, your kitchen will look larger to potential buyers, who will then be able to imagine putting their own imprint on what they see.[3]
    • If you have bar stools at the kitchen counter or chairs around the dining table, remove extras you may have added. Use as few of these items as possible to let the room feel open.
  4. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 4
    Stay on top of kitchen odors. Since you will likely still be living in your home while trying to sell it, chances are you will still be using the kitchen to cook and have meals. When showing the home, avoid cooking meals that leave lingering odors. Air out the kitchen and take the trash out daily to keep any odors from lingering in the kitchen.[4]
    • Keep pet food dishes and items out of the kitchen when showing the home. These can create smells you might not notice yourself, as you are used to them.[5]
    • Drop a piece of citrus into your garbage disposal. A chopped lemon works well. This will defeat odors in your sink and leave a lasting, pleasant aroma in the room.
  5. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 5
    Clean up messes as you make them. Rather than spending a large amount of time cleaning the kitchen prior to showing it each time, just do one deep clean, and then clean up smaller messes as you make them. Wipe counters, and wash and put away dishes after cooking and serving meals. Put away items that may have gathered on your countertops throughout the day.[6]
    • When you start to cook, fill the sink with hot water and dish soap. This way, you can drop dishes in it to soak while you eat, and cleaning up will be much easier and faster as the dishes will be easier to wash after soaking.
  6. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 6
    Organize items in your pantry and cabinets. Potential buyers will likely open the cabinets and pantry door to take a look inside and get a better feel for the storage space in the kitchen. You don’t want them to open them and find cluttered messes. Keep dishes and food items organized and neat.[7]
    • Consider removing some or most of your food items and storing them in a box elsewhere during showings. You can also purchase a set of storage containers that match to showcase your pantry while still utilizing it.

Part 2
Decorating Your Kitchen to Sell

  1. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 7
    Take down family photos. Buyers will be imagining their own family in your home, so remove your family photos to help them do so. Try replacing or removing any artwork, as well, since taste in art can vary deeply from person to person.[8]
    • Small or decorative mirrors are good replacements for photos and artwork. Not only are they neutral, they also can give the illusion of a room being bigger than it is.
  2. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 8
    Remove any rugs from your kitchen. Buyers care a great deal about the state of the kitchen floor, and what material it is made of. Keep the floor clean and free of area rugs or kitchen mats. The room will feel cleaner and look more spacious without them.[9]
    • Roll up and store kitchen mats or rugs during showings, but you can put your kitchen rug or mat back down between showings to protect the floors from spills and dirt.
  3. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 9
    Use neutral colors with metallic accents. Since color itself can cause buyers to like or dislike a certain room, avoid using any bright or obtrusive colors. Stick to a neutral pallet on the walls and cabinets, like white or off-white. A metallic accent or decoration like a mirror with a metallic frame can also make the room feel a bit more modern and luxurious.[10]
    • Try using a shiny, new tea kettle on the stove as an accent piece. If you do choose to put out a kettle for decoration, make sure it is new and in great condition.[11]
  4. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 10
    Put out new, clean tea or dish towels. While keeping the rest of the kitchen neutral, you can use small towels to bring in small amounts of color to brighten up the room without being overpowering. Towels are not permanent fixtures, so a buyer won’t be worried about their colors or patterns.[12]
    • Hang the towels over the handle of your oven, or fold them neatly on the countertop beside the sink. Make sure you use clean towels that are in good condition. Consider purchasing new ones for the sake of showing the home.
  5. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 11
    Set a bowl of fresh fruit out. A quick way to add some life and color to your kitchen is by setting out a bowl of fruit. Use a nice bowl meant for being displayed, and place in some fresh, ripe fruit. Avoid leaving any fruit in the bowl that turns brown or starts to go overripe.[13]
    • You can also use fresh flowers in a nice vase on the countertop. Change out the flowers if they begin to wilt or die, and keep the water in the vase clean and fresh when showing the home.

Part 3
Making Necessary Updates

  1. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 12
    Paint dated cabinets and dark walls. If you have cabinets that are a bit outdated or worn, a few coats of paint can be an easy update. White is a great option, as it brightens things up and gives the appearance of being newer and clean.[14]
    • Painting the cabinets and walls white can also help the kitchen appear larger, as the cabinets will blend in with the walls and things will look a bit wider and more spread out.
    • Adding a fresh coat of paint to the cabinets or walls is a cheap and effective way to make any room feel newer and updated when trying to sell your home. Just stick with neutral colors that are on the lighter end of the spectrum (like white) to make your kitchen feel bright and open.
  2. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 13
    Update the light fixtures. If your home is on the older side, you might have older light fixtures that could potentially turn off buyers. Go to your local hardware store and purchase an inexpensive light fixture to update the one in your kitchen.[15]
    • Choose a light fixture that allows a lot of light to come through. A fixture that only produces low or dimmer light doesn’t work well in a kitchen.
  3. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 14
    Consider upgrading appliances. If you have the budget to replace old appliances with newer ones, you should. Potential buyers don’t want to find old appliances in the kitchen and have to worry about how much longer they will work until they need to be replaced.[16]
    • Try a big box appliance store or warehouse. You can often get good deals on newer appliances at these places, and stay within a smaller budget for upgrading.
    • Contact or laminate paper is also a great way to upgrade an existing dishwasher without replacing it entirely. Put a sheet of contact or laminate paper in a glossy or shiny hue over the existing front panel, and you’ve got a dishwasher that looks brand new.[17]
  4. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 15
    Update dated or faulty hardware. Cabinet knobs and faucets can easily be upgraded and replaced, usually for not much money. Try asking your real estate agent what most buyers are looking for in your area in terms of kitchen hardware, and try to stick to that.[18]
    • By simply replacing knobs or pulls on cabinets and drawers, you can make them look brand new, even if they are not. This is a relatively cheap way to make your kitchen look more updated and new.[19]

Part 4
Having a Successful Open House

  1. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 16
    Keep all the lights on. When showing a home, you have to think of it as a product that you are trying to show off and ultimately sell. Rather than worrying about atmosphere or mood, just make sure that everything is visible and bright. Turn on all overhead lights, and use lamps in any rooms that don’t have overhead lighting.[20]
    • In the kitchen, especially, people want a lot of light. Make sure all lights in your kitchen are in working order, and replace any light bulbs that are dim or burned out.
  2. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 17
    Set the dining table. Use simple white dishes and cutlery and set your dining table. You can also set out wine glasses and use placemats, so long as you use mats that are a relatively neutral color, like tan or off-white.[21]
    • Don’t be too elaborate with the table setting. Rather than letting it feel too staged, just set it the way you might normally. If the room is particularly low on color, you can use some colorful cloth napkins to bring some more color in.
  3. Image titled Stage a Kitchen when Selling a Home Step 18
    Take down all draperies and open blinds. If you have a window in your kitchen, make sure it is completely uncovered. Take down any drapes, and open blinds all the way. Keep windows clean and spotless. Make sure you are allowing in as much natural light as possible.[22]
    • This applies to all rooms in the home. Take down draperies unless they are totally sheer, and keep blinds pulled all the way up. Light can make a home feel bright, warm, and welcoming.

Sources and Citations

Show more... (19)

Article Info

Categories: Selling Property