A house is most likely the single largest investment you’ll ever make. Shouldn’t you want to get the best return on that huge investment? If so, you’ll need ideas on how to stage a kitchen to sell your house at the best possible price.

Why? Because it’s hard to get prospective homebuyers to set foot in your house. Prospects today can surf the Internet, take web-based tours of homes, decide what they like and what they don’t. There’s no need to get in a Lincoln Town Car with a realtor and spend a Saturday looking at house after house. That’s the way it was when I went looking at homes with my parents in the 1980s. Not anymore.

Today’s buyers can be far more selective in the homes they choose to actually visit. And when you get a prospective buyer into your home, it’s time to seal the deal.

The way your home looks in real life is your chance to make an outstanding impression. Given that the kitchen is one of 2 rooms that really matter when selling your home, it deserves a disproportionate amount of your preparation and attention. To help you get started, here’s a look at 5 ideas for how to stage a kitchen to sell your house.

Here’s a secret that not all home sellers know: Prospective buyers don’t want to imagine you living in your own home. They want to imagine themselves living in your home — and they want to like what they’re imagining. So remove your child’s artwork that’s been gracing the fridge door, toss the dirty scrubber lounging next to the sink, take down family photos and other personal items. Ah, that’s better, isn’t it? Now you’re ready to start staging — and to get the best possible price for your home.


5 Tips for Staging Your Kitchen


1. Make it Immaculate

There’s simply no excuse for a dirty home, not when you’re trying to sell it. You need the deepest of cleans before your home goes on the market, with special attention paid to the kitchen. That means mopping the floors and wiping the countertops, but you also need to clean the oven and polish your cabinet handles and drawer pulls.

Simply put, your kitchen should shine when a visitor walks in. Why? Again, because a dirty kitchen is a sign that you’ve been living in it — and no prospective buyer wants to picture you living in the home. So make it immaculate, make it pristine, and make sure you’re home is sparkling when prospects walk in — the kitchen especially.

It’s always a good idea to hire a professional cleaner before your home hits the market. After that, give your kitchen a good maintenance scrub regularly to keep it in good shape. The cliché holds true: You want your visitors to be able to eat off the floor.


2. Make it Uncluttered

Prospective buyers want a clean kitchen, but they also want one that’s spacious. What’s the best way to make your kitchen look bigger than it is? Decluttering. Take everything off your counters, and I mean everything. Put the coffeemaker away, put the knife block away and put the drying mat away. Your kitchen looks its best when there’s nothing cluttering the countertops.

Clutter makes your kitchen look small and limited. Decluttering makes it look spacious and boundless with possibility.


3. Make it Organized

Life is hectic. Any burst of organization helps life feel calmer. Bring a sense of organization and calm to your kitchen by thinning out your pantry and cabinets. You’ve already decluttered your countertops, but that doesn’t mean you can just stuff everything behind closed doors. To have dishes, appliances and food piled high in your pantry and countertops is to show your visitors that your kitchen lacks storage space.

Think your prospects won’t look in your cabinets and pantry? They will if they’re interested in buying your home.


4. Make it Pop

A little paint goes a long way. A fresh coach of paint in a trendy color can instantly make your home feel updated, and paint is a relatively inexpensive investment that provides a high return. The right shade can help your kitchen make a lasting first impression, and a coat of paint also covers over any scuffs, stains or marks on your walls.

What color should you choose? Fresh, warm greens are “in” for 2017. Try Crushed Oregano from Valspar, or choose one of the trendy colors in the HGTV Home by Sherwin-Williams Natural Wonder collection. See below for other options.

When in doubt, find interior décor magazines for inspiration. You can also consult an interior designer for staging ideas throughout your house — paint colors included.

Jade Dragon from Behr
Gentle Aquamarine from Sherwin-Williams
Crushed Oregano from Valspar


5. Make it Stylish

OK, now that we’ve made some rules, it’s time to break them. You need to (sparingly) style your kitchen without recluttering your countertops. How? Try adding a fine soap dispenser next to the sink. Add a vase of flowers to a table or windowsill. Arrange fresh fruit in a rustic bowl. Stack stylishly designed cookbooks in a corner. These small additions are perfect because they help your prospects imagine what it would be like to live in and enjoy your home.

Also, activate the senses by creating pleasant aromas. Fragrant flowers are a good start, but you can also consider adding a nice candle or incense. You’ve rid your kitchen of bad smells with a deep clean. Now it’s time to replace those bad smells with good ones — scents that will help prospective buyers fall in love with your home.


Make Sure Your Home Makes the Perfect First Impression

The kitchen has become the home’s primary living space. That’s why so many modern homes offer open floor plans that blur the line between kitchen and living room. The kitchen is where homeowners spend time, it’s where they entertain, it’s where they laugh and eat and drink and enjoy life.

Make sure you’re doing all the right things to your kitchen — because it can make or break your home sale. If your home lingers on the market, your only moves are to wait it out, pull it off or lower the price. None of those options is particularly attractive, especially when you need to move for a new job or for another pressing reason.

Get the best possible return on investment when you follow these tips on how to stage a kitchen to sell your house. Did we miss any other good ideas? Let us know in the comments section below, or send me a note via our contact page.