Because of the amount of use that kitchens get day in and day out, a functional and attractive kitchen is usually a big selling point when it comes time to purchase a home. This is especially true since renovating a kitchen gets pricey fast, so avoiding this kind of project could make all the difference in the decision to buy or pass on a property. 

Those looking to sell their home should be conscious of the state of their kitchen, as it could have an impact on how quickly the home sells — and even the final sale price. A kitchen’s cabinets alone make an immediate impression, so it’s important to make sure certain looks and trends don’t turn off buyers.

We asked a real estate agent about the kitchen cabinet trends she’s tired of seeing in houses. Here’s what she recommends avoiding.

“Let’s face it,” says Jennifer Leahy, a Douglas Elliman agent based in Connecticut. “Most of us are too disorganized.”

Leahy asserts that open shelving is better in theory than in practice — and it makes sense. Getting rid of kitchen cabinets altogether opens up a world of issues for your dishware, from cleanliness to aesthetics. Dust can easily make its way into your bowls, and without the possibility of closing off the shelves, a homeowner might feel the need to constantly make sure that they look presentable.

“Dark colors are too much of a commitment for most buyers,” Leahy continues. “I had two new construction houses available for sale: one with a white kitchen and one with a blue. It took longer to sell the blue and the buyer ultimately wanted the cabinets painted white.”

In fact, Leahy says that transitional and white kitchens consistently sell faster. 

“Even if you have an old kitchen and give it a refresh with white paint and updated hardware you can totally change how buyers feel about the house,” she says. “Dark kitchens with dated hardware feel old. Even if the kitchen doesn’t actually need to be gutted, many buyers (especially millennials) will see it as a money pit. The cost of painting a kitchen is far less than the hit the seller will face if the kitchen keeps turning off buyers.”

3. Cabinets with intricate millwork

Like dark cabinets, these are a big commitment. 

“Younger buyers prefer transitional looks,” Leahy says. 

If you’re getting your kitchen ready to sell and can spend a bit of money replacing the cabinets, Leahy suggests a white Shaker style for a neutral vibe. The expert also says neutral backsplashes, light countertops, and brass hardware are always good options. 

“I am obsessed with an Italian modern cabinet with minimum or very slick hardware,” she says. “I think in this case you can go a little more wild with colors.”





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