5 Kitchen Mistakes That Could Sink a Sale

Buyers put a lot of their focus on the kitchen. After all, it can be one of the most expensive rooms to remodel and its features and conditions can make or break a sale.

Designers recently shared a list of the items with realtor.com® that could be subtly sabotaging a kitchen’s attractiveness, including:

Fluorescent lighting

“Nothing screams ‘cheap kitchen’ more than outdated fluorescent tube lighting with a yellowing plastic cover,” Jamie Novak, author of “Keep This Toss That,” told realtor.com®. Swapping out bad lighting for a budget-friendly chandelier or pendant lights can make a big difference, designers say. Or, try a small table lamp on the kitchen counter to soften the light, and remove any curtain valances from the window to allow more natural light in, suggests Karen Gray-Plaisted of Design Solutions KGP.

Overcrowded counters

Clutter is the enemy when you go to sell a home, and that means piles of old mail or several small appliances sitting on top of countertops. “Keeping anything up there, like teapots or dried flowers, is a dated way to decorate a kitchen,” Katie McCann, a professional organizer and owner of Haven, a home and office organizing company in New York, told realtor.com®. Remove rows of planters, baskets that line the top of kitchen cabinets, and any knickknacks on the countertop, designers say.

Dated drawer knobs

Drawer knobs or pulls that are chipped or scratched can make a kitchen look unkempt. However, this can be an inexpensive DIY project that provides an instant update. “Think of them as jewelry for the space,” Drew Henry of Design Dudes told realtor.com®.

Faux plants

Fake plants can cheapen a kitchen’s look, too. Remove the artificial potted ivy at the top of the refrigerator or row of faux greenery at the top of the kitchen cabinets. Instead, have a vase of fresh flowers on the kitchen island, or place a few potted herbs along the kitchen windowsill for a real touch of greenery, Novak suggests.

Unsightly trash cans

Plastic anything needs to be removed, designers say—especially that free-standing plastic trash can on the floor. If it needs to be left out, swap it out for a trash can made of metal. It’ll offer a more polished look to the kitchen. Better yet, “go for a model that will fit in a closet or pantry, or install a cabinet unit that offers the slide-out trash can feature,” Henry suggests.

Read the full list at realtor.com®.

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