1. Clear away the clutter on the countertops. You want to make the space look as large as possible, and a countertop filled with small appliances and ornamental objects will not create that effect! Remove notes, photos, and magnets from the refrigerator as well.
2. Clean out the kitchen cabinets and pantry. Only replace about half of the items you remove, and make sure everything is placed tidily on the shelves. Don’t keep pet food in the pantry, since buyers may not care to know there are pets in the house.
3. Repair leaky faucets and remove any stains in the kitchen sink. Replace the faucets if they are extremely worn or shabby, and replace the sink if it is extremely dingy.
4. Install a shiny new backsplash. Porcelain is beautiful, but glass mosaics, natural slate, or even faux paint finishes create a fresh look.
5. Clean the interior of the oven and the dishwasher. Some prospective buyer is sure to open one or the other.
6. Spruce up cabinet doors. A thorough cleaning followed by the application of orange oil may make them look as good as new again. If not, a fresh coat of paint can work wonders. Replacing dated hardware will rejuvenate the entire room. Consider replacing a few old cabinet doors with new ones with beautiful beveled glass inserts.
7. Make sure that all the drawers, doors, and cabinets open smoothly all the way without sticking or bumping into anything.
8. Be sure there is plenty of lighting. Task lighting is particularly suitable in the kitchen. Under-counter lighting and pendant lights can have a dramatic effect.
9. Make sure the floor is freshly washed and highly polished. If the flooring is stained or chipped, consider installing a laminate floor. They are quick and easy.
10. If you have room, install an instant center work island. Stock base cabinets and a new countertop can create a wonderful appearance.