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Subject:  Re: Poll: new kitchen to sell house Date:  10/10/2013  11:23 AM
Author:  YewGuise Number:  126424 of 128887

Agent you're planning to use has good advice. Follow it. In particular, given her experience with renovations, she can probably recommend both products and contractors, saving you time & money.

My own kitchen serves me well, as it has for 20+ years, including when we were a family of 4 (we're empty nesters now), so my feeling was that if we were to sell, the kitchen that's been fine for us will be fine for buyers. Wrong. A very successful agent was kind enough to visit a couple of years ago, look at it with fresh eyes, and give us her unbiased opinion, which was:
- Nobody buying in this neighborhood wants vintage 50's cabinets with laminate countertops.
- Most buyers want move-in ready, and will not even consider the house with its existing kitchen, regardless of price discount.
- Buyers think a new kitchen will cost $100k, and those few who do make offers will discount their offers accordingly.
- In fact, a very nice new kitchen would be only $50k. So spend the $50k to avoid the $100k haircut. Don't spend too much; it's easy to go overboard.
- A kitchen specialty place will be too expensive; use a general contractor or handyman (she had one she recommended).

(For a $350k house, my guess is you can halve the $50k/$100k numbers above.)

A crappy kitchen is great for buyers, but bad for sellers.

FYI, we're in the process of renovating our kitchen now. We're going overboard (changing floorplan, cabinets, everything, despite the Realtor's advice), and it will be fabulous. So if we sell in a year or two, it'll sell quickly because kitchen will be new & fabulous. If we stay 20 years, we'll have the use of it for that time, and the next renovation (assuming styles will change in 20 years, which is probably a safe assumption) will just be a facelift.

Good luck!
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