Everyone who's ever sold a home knows that the kitchen is traditionally the most important room to buyers – and that some dated kitchen features can put home buyers off, or result in a much lower offer.
Kitchens are still seen by most of us as the heart of the home, and the impression your kitchen makes on a potential buyer can make or break a sale.
It's not just about impressions, either. Remodeling a kitchen is expensive, and most buyers want to move into a home where they won't need to pour a lot of resources into lengthy renovations straight away. We've asked real estate experts to list the kitchen features that make this crucial room look dated and reduce your chances of a successful sale.
1. Old-Fashioned Kitchen Cabinets
Whether your kitchen cabinets are truly old or just have that old-fashioned look, buyers will notice.
Victoria Shockley, Senior Maintenance Coordinator for Utopia Management(opens in new tab), one of California's top property management companies, warns sellers against 'classic-styled white or wood-colored cabinets. While these are beautiful, they can feel outdated if they are in an older style or finish. Consider replacing them with a modern color like dark green, blue, or black, or add some character with a metallic finish.'
Shaun Martin, the owner of Denver-based The Home Buying Company(opens in new tab), seconds this view, explaining that 'natural wood cabinets are often seen as old-fashioned and can make a room seem dark and uninviting. Consider replacing your cabinets with modern or contemporary designs (below) to give the room a fresh and updated feel.'
It's worth exploring kitchen cabinet ideas to get a sense of what's current before replacing yours – you can see the difference in the kitchen makeover before (above) and after (below).
Consider replacing or servicing your appliances if they are antiquated or damaged.' 'If they're not energy efficient or don't match the rest of your kitchen's style, replace them with ones that are more up-to-date and with higher star ratings and finishes,' adds Victoria Shockley of Utopia Management.
Our top tip is: a buyer may overlook one appliance that needs replacing, but if they're all dated, it is best to replace them before putting up your home for sale.
5. Linoleum Flooring
Sorry, linoleum. Once a popular cost-reducing flooring option for kitchens, today linoleum is 'one of the most dated kitchen features', according to Shaun Martin. Replacing linoleum with a more modern flooring material like tile or wood can instantly upgrade the look of your kitchen and make it much more appealing to potential buyers.
If neither wood nor tile is your preference, or you don't want to spend on higher-end materials before a sale, vinyl kitchen flooring is worth exploring.
6. Over-The-Counter Microwaves
Although the microwave is a kitchen staple, Daniel Brewer says that 'many people are starting to prefer a microwave cabinet or drawer, so that the stove can have a proper ventilation hood. Having a microwave over the stove also can cause the microwave to age faster – it's in the line of fire for grease splatters, etc.'
If you are selling a home with a higher-end kitchen, then paying attention to this detail can make a real difference to how potential buyers react to what they see.
What Makes Your Kitchen Cabinets Look Dated?
Tarnished or broken cabinet pulls, faux wood veneers, super-shiny black finishes, scratches, dents and chipped finishes all make kitchen cabinets look dated.
How Do You Style An Outdated Kitchen?
The best way to style an outdated kitchen is to replace kitchen cabinet doors, though you can update kitchen cabinets without replacing them, whether by swapping out pulls or by painting kitchen cabinets. Swapping out countertops and flooring will also have an impact, as will updating old appliances.