onesharon

Advice on kitchen changes for house sale

onesharon
2 months ago
last modified: 2 months ago

Hi all,

I just typed a very long post about my kitchen and it evaporated into Houzz air so I'll make this one shorter. We are getting our house ready for sale and are redoing our kitchen to make it as attractive to a new buyer as possible. Here are two pictures of the existing kitchen. We have already decided to replace the countertops with Emerstone Mont Blanc (countertops already paid for) and installing a new undermount sink and faucet. I'm looking for recommendations on the following:

1. Color to paint walls - getting rid of the blue but do I go white or will it look too much like a hospital? A friend recommended BM Nimbus - would I just paint that above the chair rail the way I have the blue?

2. Painting the island. I've seen beautiful kitchen pics with a painted island, maybe a blue-gray. Should I do this? If I do this, would I then not paint the walls a color?

3. Backsplash. Was figuring white tile but a




gain, lots of white - would I go for grey grout to break it up?

The kitchen cabinets will be repainted white and the hardware will be changed (still brushed nickel).

Attached are two pictures of the way the kitchen is today (pre- new countertops). Advice appreciated. Thank you!

Comments (38)

  • herbflavor
    2 months ago

    It’s a sellers market. Clean it up get stuff put away put out a nice bowl or two and get it listed . I assisted a relative for a search for a new home.Just recently . Within 72 hrs they are getting multiple offers and call for highest and best. Just get it listed . The stuff you mention won’t make a bit of difference and will take too much time . We are still in summer season so get going.

  • beesneeds
    2 months ago

    I wouldn't bother with the counters, painting the island, or replacing the sink. That's a lot of money, effort, and potentially time with contractors and so on. You might want to paint the blue out.

    But I do strongly suggest clean, clean, and then clean some more. Declutter everything decorative, all the stuff on the fridge. Only leave out the bare minimum of what you need to use. And then clean once more :)

    Kind of hard to tell in the pics- but if your floor or grout is dingy or used looking, take the time to get that really well cleaned too.

  • Related Discussions

    Considering changing the entire first floor plan on new house plans - need advice

    Q

    Comments (26)
    I like the floor plan. I find a foyer welcoming, and you can decide where you want people to go in your house -- your friend into the kitchen or the insurance salesman straight through to the living room. I agree that some consideration needs to be given to how to decorate the combined DR/LR space, but -- whether the kitchen wall stays or goes -- I would love to have that large space for flexibility to entertain a small or large group, without the kitchen in-between. Many people like the ktichen in the middle -- I think it's a matter of preference.
    ...See More

    Advice Please Updating 10 yr old Solid Golden Oak Kitchen for Re-Sale

    Q

    Comments (3)
    My advice, in light of the fact that money is tight, is to make everything in the kitchen spotless. Clean the cabinets and wax them. Replace the captain's rail with crown molding. If the laminate countertop is in good shape, I'd leave it. Declutter your counters. Trying to second-guess prospective purchasers is almost impossible. Some people will love your kitchen as it is; others will want to remodel it to their own tastes. If the kitchen is sparkling clean and airy, it should be fine.
    ...See More

    Need Advice For Kitchen (Possible Sale)

    Q

    Comments (9)
    The finish is a big job (several weeks to complete). The tile counter tops are a big/expensive job (several days from start to finish). This would be my impression as a buyer. I would mentally add up all the costs ($5K-$7K for counter top + $5K-$7K for professional refinishing) and make an offer on the house accordingly. I would also add another 10% onto that price just for the HASSLE. If you don't mind people removing $15K - $17K from your asking price just for the beaten up kitchen, then don't change a thing. The other thing I as a buyer would worry about: What else has gone "uncared for" in this home? If I can see a "ratty" kitchen (excuse the phrase) what does that mean for things I can't see like gutters, plumbing, wiring, roofing, basement, windows, moisture issues, bugs, etc? Some home markets accept these beaten and battered kitchens. Vancouver currently has $700,000 "tear down" homes. No matter what you do to it, the new owners will pull it down and start again. The LOT is worth more than the house. They then spend another $1.4 million to put up a 4 bed house (3100sf worth of house). Yes. I'm serious...$700K knock-down in a "bad" part of town. In more depressed markets, the HOUSE is what has the inherent worth (and the lot is worth next to nothing) and therefore the house needs to be revamped. Your realestate agent is going to give you a run down of all of this once you bring them on board.
    ...See More

    New kitchen appliances for house sale, low or high end?

    Q

    Comments (15)
    We've had bad luck with whirlpool, actually that's what we need to replace because the glass top on our stove is cracked. We told the realtor we were replacing and wondered if he thought it would be good to just do the whole package because then all would match, all would be new, and you save by buying them packaged. He thought that was good and that buyers would love new appliances, but we didn't really specify the quality level. This isn't a starter home, it's a 4000 sq ft, 12 acre farm. I would say people would expect higher quality but then we are in the country and the realtor was really excited by the size of our walk in closet and by our laundry room, that I didn't think were special, leading me to think buyers here would be alright with lower end if it all was new, matched, and looked nice in the kitchen. I'll give the realtor a call though, as suggested!
    ...See More
  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    Thanks to both of you - the realtors suggested this could make a big difference as the kitchen is almost the first thing you see. So - good idea or bad - the counters are already paid for and being installed soon, which kind of means I'm on the hook for a backsplash unless I just paint behind there. That's actually not as expensive as painting the cabinets though...although painting the walls is a bit less expensive.

  • littlebug zone 5 Missouri
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Paint is quick and cheap. Use white and paint over the blue ASAP. (But don’t paint cabinets.)

    Remove EVERYthing from the outside of the fridge. You’re planning to move anyway, right? Pack it all up.

  • beesneeds
    2 months ago

    Didn't realize you were already having counters installed. From the OP I thought you had decided, not already having it installed. Sorry about that. Is the sink and faucet already ordered and about to install too?

    Then sure, paint the backsplash or leave it blue. No, don't paint the cabinets. Yes, might still want to consider painting the walls.

  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    It is a seller’s market, and @herbflavor’s advice may really be the best advice.

    If you were going to make any changes, beyond clearing out stuff, etc. - I would say don’t spend money and time redoing cabinets. Paint the walls a slightly warm white. You could sample Benjamin Moore’s Ballet White, also. And maybe a grey on backsplash tile.



    I used the room visualizer tool on Tile Bar, and ended up with the tile from top to bottom - but hopefully this gives you the general idea. The top of wall over the cabinets would be white, as I think you have it now.

    And if you wanted to splurge, I would suggest a bit more modern on chandelier. Light fixtures can sell spaces.

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    @freedomplace1 Thank you - that a pretty color for a backsplash actually! Does it have a name or is it generic (not familiar with the tool you used).

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @beesneeds - yes, we had to pick out a sink as they cut the counter to it. And - we got a faucet since that also has to be cut into the counter. So yeah - money spent. We didn't go crazy though. But reconsidering painting the cabinets now. I will have to paint the walls because once they pull the Formica off, there is a couple of inches of "backsplash" that is covering who knows what. So I guess I could either tile (more expensive) or paint (less expensive).....


  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    You’re welcome. Yes, this is the tile that I used.

    https://www.tilebar.com/enigma-graphite-2x8-polished-ceramic-tile.html

    The color of the tile seems darker than it appears in the visual. With these type of visualizing tools, the colors aren’t aways true to life. Plus computer/device screens vary, etc. Always important to order samples and try the materials in your actual space. I agree that the grey color on backsplash in visual looks good. I’d aim for that.

  • herbflavor
    2 months ago

    A house we viewed added that a new roof was scheduled for the following week . They had an open house it was added to the info and they had two offers that day. I’m telling you just list your house . The counter “to be “ can be put in a visualization photo w all the imaging avail now. You do not know how long this frenzy will last for sellers , at least at these high offers. Just list it!!!

  • eld6161
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I agree with Herb. But since the counter is ordered, have that installed. I would then just paint the backsplash area and walls.

    Your kitchen will most likely be redone by the buyer.

    I agree that cleaning and decluttering should be your priority.

    Also, I notice a cabinet door open. I had a kitchen similar and some of the doors never closed. See if you can somehow correct it if this is the case.

  • decoenthusiaste
    2 months ago

    New buyer will likely gut and redo to their taste. Don't waste time or money; just list it as is. If the realtor doesn't want to rep your home without the changes, find another one. You'd rather spend this money on your new home, I'm sure. Do everything except die to get the ordered stuff cancelled! You could be moving out next week with just a bit of luck!

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    It seems like around here (lower Connecticut), buyers - who are primarily coming from NYC - are looking for more "move-in ready" stuff. I know the real estate market is strong now due to the low interest rates, but I've heard a lot of stories about really picky buyers! Do you think this advice applies to all areas of the country?

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    do you have a pic of the countertop? is this it? (and edit your post to read "countertops already paid for" so people will quit advising you not to do it. )



    if you have enough left over, use it for the backsplash.

    everyone likes the plain, longer artisan look subway tile. you can't go wrong w/this one. Floor and Decor carries it under Villa frost, I believe. however, Home Depot carries the Ivy Hill 2x10 tile and it looks like this (comes in other colors too)


    (Do NOT get that 4" piece up the back if doing tile)

    it's clean looking, sleek and modern looking.


    or, something with a little color in a picket style tile.

    just do paint above the cabinets.

    Nimbus is a nice color.

    I did Light Pewter in my own kitchen and really like it. (yes, just do it above the wainscot where the blue is)


    I'd also replace that table light. and make sure to lower the new one. 30-36" from the table.

    remove everything from the fridge and countertops. and see if you can get that upper door fixed so it stays closed

    onesharon thanked Beth H. :
  • suezbell
    2 months ago

    Thoroughly clean every inch of room and pack up all the least used stuff in preparation for moving -- keep in your kitchen only what you will truly need over the next month or so.

    Unless the countertops are actually damaged, leave them as is.

    Unless the blue paint wall -- any wall -- is damaged, leave it as is.


  • einportlandor
    2 months ago

    Your updates might make the house easier for your realtor, but it probably won't recoup your investment -- it rarely does. Assuming it's a sellers market in your area, the house will sell quickly as long as it's not overpriced. Good luck with your sale.

  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago

    I’m in New York. You have to know your market. If you are in CT you already know that many people who are coming from New York are going to be fairly picky, for a number of reasons. And one of those reasons is there are some fabulous places to be had in Connecticut. With the New York to Connecticut crowd - you have to bring more of an A game. In this market, it does not have to be perfect. But you have to present some reasonably attractive features if you want to generate the excitement and get the top offers. And yes, in this climate with everything going on with pandemic, etc. people looking to get out of New York are not necessarily looking for a big project house. Reasonably move in ready is a good thing to go for. Your realtors know what they are talking about.

    onesharon thanked freedomplace1
  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Hi @Beth H. : and thanks. I edited my post as you suggested. Yes, that looks like the counter in your picture! Thank you for the suggestions on color and tile. I've heard it's not a great idea to put white grout in a kitchen even if I pick a white tile - what do you think? Also - what type of light do you suggest? The realtor was actually telling us just to get plain dome lights, which I know someone would replace!

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Hi @freedomplace1 - it's so hard to know where to "cut it off" when it comes to a facelift. But, this is the only room that really needs it. Also, I back up to a beautiful nature preserve and the deck with the view is right off of the kitchen (that's a winter view in the picture above, but in summer it's very lush and in the fall it's glorious) - so it seems like a room people will want to spend a lot of time! I have had realtors tell me they can list without the changes, but it does seem like houses that won't require too much work go more quickly.

  • PRO
    Beth H. :
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I'd use a soft gray grout. (otherwise it will look like a white sheet)


    If you think it's way too much white, try putting the tile in the herringbone layout. people love it and gives some pattern to an all white kitchen. Both of these examples used a light gray grout.





    as for the light, just get something inexpensive, but something that's nice. A dome light is fine if you're doing a small round table. (and make sure the light is centered)

    something like this would match everything







    this would be pretty cheap


    check Craigslist. sometimes you can find some great deals. I've sold a lot of my things on there for a fraction of what I paid for them

    onesharon thanked Beth H. :
  • freedomplace1
    2 months ago

    You’re totally on the right track. I mainly wanted to impart that to you. Folks who say to just put the house on the market as is have a valid reason for saying that, especially with this seller’s market. But specific locale and market cannot be disregarded, and you know where you are and who you are dealing with. You’re doing all the right things. And I still stand by my first comment - in terms of I don’t think you need to paint the cabinets. They look good to me, unless they are in much more serious shape than what I am seeing, Bringing in the new counters and a backsplash plus painting should do it. And a new light fixture, something a bit more modern, as I mentioned. A light fixture can sell a space. As Beth H mentioned, it doesn’t have to be very expensive - just something nice; it could be very simple like the last globe Beth posted. I noticed that you have a beautiful view from the adjacent deck. You will have no problem selling. You just want to position yourself to get the best/highest offers and to sell quickly.

    onesharon thanked freedomplace1
  • roarah
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    I am in connecticut as well. Either total guts priced low below market appraisals or over priced hgtv flip styles are selling within a day. Other more typical houses priced right without changes are taking a few weeks to go under contract usually after a slight drop in orginal asking price. In my neighborhood the drop in price that sells the average house with a ten year old kitchen and all other systems in decent repair is less than a month mortgage plus new counters so still more more money in the sellers to sell as is.

    With the nyc schools not opening as planned many of our market's new Yorker buyers are indeed more likely this month to be looking for a finished moved in house within an open school town so the past summer month trends might very well change quickly.

    Good luck with your move.

    onesharon thanked roarah
  • arcy_gw
    2 months ago

    You need a new realtor. The blue paint MIGHT be a sale issue but other than that CLEAN and maintenance if you are repainting the cupboards that PROVES painting kitchen cupboards is not a DIY--they don't hold up!!!. Chances are the buyers will not like the cheap vibe and start over. The counters/back splash are a choice the buyers would prefer to make assuming they really NEED replacing. You will not get that money back!! DO NOT PAINT the island!! That is an INDIVIDUAL choice that does not appeal to the masses!! Let the buyer if they so choose.

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @arcy_gw thanks for your thoughts. I'm confused about your cabinet comment. We would have them professionally painted - actually, they usually spray and then replace the hinges, etc. Are you saying not to paint them? Thanks.


  • petula67
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    It's a really good idea to consult with more than one realtor, if you haven't already listed. We learned this on a recent sale, when first realtor assured us that our house wouldn't sell unless we painted the cabinets. We went with a different realtor and the house sold in three days (in Midwest).

    Change the counters, paint the walls, list it, and see how things go. Realtors use apps now that allow you to track showings, get feedback from other realtors, etc. You can always do more if the house doesn't sell.

  • PRO
    Joseph Corlett, LLC
    2 months ago

    I hope your new undermount sink is a single bowl. That's what your buyers want, believe me.

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    2 months ago

    @Joseph Corlett, LLC - it is!! And not a farmhouse sink either, which apparently some people like but I think look ugly. Thanks.


  • PRO
    Connie Elaine's Draperies
    2 months ago

    The emerstone mont blanc is gorgeous, but.......I would never put on those existing cabinets.


    The kitchen is such a huge part of a home. If I were you, I would work with countertop supplier to see if they would be able to hold for (or give credit) to buyer of the house. Just get the house properly decluttered and staged and listed. There are buyers that want to make a house into their own vision as can be seen by the discussions on this site.


    Everyone wants to get everything on their wishlist in a home purchase, but there are always compromises. I personally, would hate to destroy a beautiful countertop to replace cabinets that are merely functional. I would prefer to make the decision to put on existing or come up with the money to get cabinets I love.


    Good luck with whatever you decide!!


  • cpartist
    2 months ago
    last modified: 2 months ago

    Do not waste time or money painting the cabinets. Paint the blue walls, redo the counters since you already paid for that and if you really want to get the most bang for your buck, you need to declutter everything. Only 1 or 2 things on the counter. Nothing on the fridge. NOTHING! That means no toaster oven. If it were me the only thing on the counter would be the coffee machine and a soap dispenser. Nothing else!

    Get rid of the table by the slider so the dining area appears larger.

    Nothing on top of the fridge. NOTHING!

    Make sure inside the cabinets are clean and neat and as empty as possible. Clean out those food boxes you haven't used in 3 years. Make sure the drawers and cabinets are very neatly arranged.

    Clean every surface and when you're done using the faucets, wipe them down so they gleam.

    Clean around door handles throughout the house, and light switches.

    Declutter everywhere.

    Make sure linen closets are organized and neat. Less is more.

    Same with your closets. The less in the closets, the more spacious it is. Same with cabinets.

    Remove personal items and photos. Once you put it on the market, it is no longer your house.

    In the bathrooms, hide all the soap and shower stuff when showing. Towels neatly folded, etc.

    Might I suggest you post photos of the rest of your house in the Buying and Selling forum for more advice.

  • beckysharp Reinstate SW Unconditionally
    2 months ago

    In addition to cpartist's very good list, I would also consider -- and I can't be sure based on the one picture in the original post -- removing one of the stools at the island so the area looks less crowded.

  • chloebud
    2 months ago

    Great list from cpartist and others here. We've been through this and there's reality to a buyer changing what you choose for updates. It's definitely a seller's market, so the advice to clean and declutter is valid.

  • apple_pie_order
    2 months ago

    On painting: prime the blue walls with a couple coats of white primer (or tinted primer, whatever the local paint company recommends). Match the new white paint to either the cabinets (take a drawer in to have it matched) or the existing white trim. In a sellers market, the precise choice of two similar whites is not worth agonizing over. Leave the choice of a tile backsplash to the buyer by just painting the backsplash area white after the new countertop is installed.


    Please post an update when you are ready.

  • sushipup1
    2 months ago

    PS, and if you have a lot of colored walls in the house, paint all in neutral colors.

  • sushipup1
    2 months ago

    Another PS for general advice. Remove everything form the counters for the pictures. Pictures last forever. You can put your toaster back after the oictures are done. Then when you have open house or showings, use a large platic laundry basket or two to sweep everything into and out into your car. No one lives live those pictures in real life, it's a fantasy. ;-)

  • PRO
    Susan Tiritilli
    2 months ago

    You are wise to do the counter tops and back splash. Change your light fixture over the table should not cost more than a $100or so. Remove magnets take out all extra furniture but your kitchen table and chairs Ben Moore light pewter looks good. Ever market is different. Have you talked to your realtor. Look at what has sold. I think black pulls would be nice. Good luck. You will probably get multiple offers for doing the work.

  • Kate
    2 months ago

    I really, really dislike quick improvements for resale and see right through it. Just clean and declutter. I do appreciate a really clean house.

  • onesharon
    Original Author
    last month

    Hi all. This is where I came out - wanted to share. It’s a little bland for my taste but apparently what buyers want. (We still need to take everything off the counters!) Thanks for the input.