“A kitchen can sell a house” is a proposition that often proves true—well-designed kitchens can drive value. Given the popularity of cooking shows, artisanal cuisine, and the growing number of new gizmos and gadgets concocted for the advancement of culinary hobbyists, selling a house can turn on its gastronomical appeal—at least to a select segment of today’s home buyers. You may not want to fight it—especially if your house has a shopping cartload of gourmet potential. If you have a spacious kitchen, it could be a possibility! Consider some of the marketing maneuvers that have been shown to attract foodies looking for a place to lay their platters:
Finding Foodie Features
A house doesn’t necessarily need a fully outfitted gourmet kitchen to catch a foodie’s eye (although that doesn’t hurt, either). Any reasonably food-obsessed family will be attracted by features which focus on the preparation, storage, and/or enjoyment of delicious food. Rebranding a closet as pantry, a deck as outside dining area, or even a basement bar as canning station can invite home cooks to visualize the unique culinary features your house has to offer.
Milking the Kitchen
If you are going to invest in any one remodel for your house, target the kitchen. But know the risks. In order to sell to a true gourmand, the kitchen will need to be up to snuff (and foodies are known for being picky). Simpler can be better when it comes to a soon-to-be gourmet kitchen—and it’s probably true that most any would-be chef will be bringing his or her own specialty gear to the party (it’s half the fun!). Focus on utility instead of bling, counter space over weird gadgets, and big sinks instead of big windows.
Tempting Their Senses
Don’t forget the power of suggestive staging when it comes time to tempt a true foodie. Many prospective buyers will be entering your house with hopes that they’ll be able to create their future fabulous tables here. For a foodie, that means the ability to prepare and enjoy delicious meals. It’s unimportant if the fantasy is a notch higher than their actual skill level—that’s what aspiration is all about. Indulge imagination by focusing on the senses. Offer pristine spaces, pleasing light, and generic (yet tempting) flourishes, such as a well-set table and evocatively, not-quite-bare counters. And don’t forget to remove any and all incriminating food vestiges before allowing foodies in for an open house! Your old cereal boxes, two-liter bottles of soda, and meals-in-a-box may be a busy weekday’s go-to fare, but they’re anathema to a true foodie. Banish them until the last open house visitor has departed.
Remember, selling your house can wind up being all about how you market, stage, and re-imagine the space. To garner foodies as buyers, pick up a couple of copies of Cooks Illustrated and Saveur, tune into The Food Network, and start to think like a foodie. And give me a call, too: between us, we should be able to produce a truly delicious sale!