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The kitchen is crucial if you’re looking to buy or sell

A welcoming kitchen is one of the major attractions for potential homebuyers – whether it is the family focal point or a singleton’s stylish space.  The kitchen has long been the heart of the home, and according to the National Home Improvement Survey 2013, it is the room that most people would like to improve.

More than a third of respondents (35 per cent) selected the kitchen as their preferred space for a spruce up over of the living room (19.6 per cent), the bathroom (18.8 per cent) or the bedroom (18.2 per cent).

With this latest evidence reinforcing the kitchen’s strong position, there may be some ways that sellers can maximise the attraction to buyers, add value to the home and even speed up the sale – without a complete kitchen overhaul.

Nick Salmon, managing director at estate agency Harrison Murray said: “Replacing your entire kitchen to attract buyers is not always necessary or indeed wise. Often the cost of installing a new kitchen outweighs the value it will add to the asking price.

“Like all home décor, the kitchen will still be subject to personal taste, so if it doesn’t appeal to your buyers, they will refit it on moving in anyway. Some cost-effective tips on making the most of your kitchen:

  • Spruce up an out dated kitchen through simple changes like replacing or painting the cupboard doors, handles or taps.
  • Don’t overlook the finishing touches; re-grouting tiles can give the kitchen a new lease of life.
  • Clean and de-clutter. Make sure work surfaces are clean when viewers visit and ensure any washing up is cleared away.
  • Give the feeling of space by removing gadgets out of sight if possible.
  • Ensure any bins are emptied and cleaned.
  • If you have a pet, it may be a good idea to move food/ water bowls outside – just in case your potential buyer is put off by four-legged friends.
  • Fresh flowers on the windowsill create a welcoming atmosphere and show you care!

Other findings of the National Home Improvement Survey 2013 (conducted by consumer finance specialist Creation) include:

Solar panels were voted ahead of roof insulation as the favoured form of eco-friendly home improvement (45.2 per cent)

A total of 22.9 per cent of respondents chose summer as the time to carry out home improvement projects compared with 40.4 per cent opting for spring.

The majority of homeowners (34.3 per cent) expected to spend between £1,001 and £2,500 on home improvements within a 12-month period.

About Harrison Murray -
"By size Harrison Murray is one the top 40 independent estate agencies in England. We have branches stretching from St Albans in the south, up the A1/M1 corridor through Harpenden, Luton, and Northampton to Leicester and via Melton Mowbray over to Cambridgeshire. We strive to offer a friendly and professional service to sellers and buyers and to make the house buying and selling process as smooth and stress-free as possible. Our branches can assist with mortgage advice, surveying, home information packs and all aspects of marketing your property. You’ll find dealing with Harrison Murray a very different experience from the majority of estate agents – a fact demonstrated by some 98% of our buyers and sellers saying they would recommend the company to their friends and family!"