Andrew, Both Buyer and Seller in Frederick County, MD

Do Granite Countertops really matter to a buyer? If so are any colors extra helpful to a Realtor in attracting (or at least not turning off) buyers?

Asked by Andrew, Frederick County, MD Tue Jan 26, 2010

I have a small kitchen and am in the middle of a remodel. I have owned my home for ten years and am happy living here but will place the home on the market after the remodel is finished to see if it will sell. If it does we will look to purchase another home in the area. I am purchasing granite countertops for my new kitchen mostly because it seems like it will get me the best price when I sell. My question is two fold. First, do granite countertops really matter to buyers today (it doesn't really matter to me if I was buying). Second, the granite I chose is black (although technically it has some green in it and maybe a little gold it's pretty much black to the eye) this a popluar look that attracts buyers or only a niche market and I should go with a softer color that doesn't jump out at you as much. I'm trying to make it as easy as possible for a Realtor to sell when it goes on the market so I think it should appeal to the highest % of buyers. Thanks for the help!

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Robyn Simshauser’s answer
Granite continues to be the number one choice of countertop materials. It is also the most expensive. Sometimes, with a bit of effort and depending on the size you need, a supplier will have a piece cut from another job he will be willing to discount to you. Black, as long as it goes with the cabinets flooring tile etc. can be elegant, but some people are put off by it because it shows everything. I have seen black granite looking really sharp with medium cherry cabinets. There are other things to consider. The second most popular choice is engineered stone. Large range of colors, more than granite, but can be pricey as well. The third most popular is solid surface like Corian. Though they are fairly durable countertops, they suffer from hot pans. At the end of the day get something you love, that suits the environment. I would say stainless steel appliances might be even more important than long as you're redoing!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
Hi Andrew

Ok, I'll chime in...........Here's my 2 cents..............Yes, buyers LOVE granite - it's a good upgrade......

As far as personal preference would be for a lighter color.....I find black too strong, and not as universal as a softer color involving camels, charcoal, taupes, for example.......while black looks very striking and dramatic......I have had clients say they really disliked it........... never had a client be turned off by a lighter choice -

By the way - if you already ordered the black - then forget what i just said!! :)

Good luck!
Go terps! (I went to the Univ of MD!)
3 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
John you're right in regard to maintaining granite - although many people don't realize that. Many don't bother sealing it, either.

Silestone is another product that is becoming more and more popular - has a similar look to granite - it's a quartz product - a bit more expensive than granite - non porous and bacteria resistant......but for some reason, granite still has a certain ring to it!

ps it's a smart man that boasts about his wife's cooking!
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Just as a quick aside............I know how Andrew feels - I have only posted 1 question on Trulia, but never selected a "Best Answer"..the reason was, I didn't want to offend or slight the others who also gave good responses!

I suggested to trulia that instead of "best answer", the option might be "Outstanding Answers"...this way more than 1 can be selected by the person posting the question...this is different than tumbs up, and to me means more as it is coming from the person who you've tried to help with your answer.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Do what you like, considering that you may have to live with it.

Granite is on its way out, but if you feel you must have it, the stone shop will gladly send a designer out to help you pick the piece that will be the most customer-dazzling.
2 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
I don't mind pointing out that, as an Accredited Staging Professional who has hired and supervised staging of A LOT of homes, and as someone who has worked with architects and contractors and designers on client projects . . . color choices are situation specific.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
I think it also depends on your current market, in Dallas granite counter tops and harwood flooring is two major things that attracts possible home buyers. How is your neighborhood, Have you seen a lot of homes with granite countertops? How much they sold for? Does it make any difference in that area? You may want to contact wih a local Realtor or stager in your area to learn more about it.
Good luck,
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
Go with the dark color!

I have granite that cost me a bundle, Nice, light color.. beige and black and flecks and stuff.. looked great!

BUT, my wife cooks a lot.. she is a gourmet cook, yes I think the best in the world.. but man.. the oils and dough and flour and all kinds of stuff.. it penetrates the granite.. stains it. At first notice, no.. and it may not bother a ot of people but it drives me nuts. to the tune of $7,000 nuts. I hate it and want to replace it.
Yes, I know the grantie needs to be sealed and need to be blah, blah, blah... tell that to my granite.. its sealed. It is stained.

I have a friend that does kitchens and is one of the only distributors of soapstone in the area.. soapstone comes in a blackish.. maybe with dark green veins in it stone.. no staining!

I am going to try this at some point! But yes, Granite matters to a lot of people. Stay with the black!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
You're sweet Andrew...........if you can't decide who to select............put the names in a hat and pick one! ha!

Have a greaty matter what you decide, I am sure the kitchen will look beautiful!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Thank you all for every one of your answers. It's too hard to pick a best answer right now. At first glance Tina Beasley (of Baltimore), Patrick Thies (of Illinois), Debbie Rose (of New Jersey), John Martin (of Virginia) & Tammy Durbin (of Mt. Airy, Maryland) all stand out for their own reasons. I need to make a decision right away so I really appreciated the quick responses from everyone!
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010

I have also remodeled by kitchen and bathroom. I put granite in both. I really love it. I choose blue pearl for the kitchen it actually has black and gray. I used new venetian gold in the master bath. Both these colors are very popular and l have seen the new venetian gold in several model homes. Cabinet discounters in Mt. Airy gave me the best price on granite. If you have time go take a look at some models and see what color granite they use. Just make sure everything blends well with your kitchen and your neutral. Black is popular. Some of my clients have commented they didn't like the browns or greens in granite. If your granite is mostly black I would say your fine. Just make sure you kitchen isn't really dark because it will make your kitchen look smaller. I would love to take a look at your place and give you move ideas. I have several places I advertise my listings for maxium exposure. I'm one of the few agents in Frederick County that have ads that show up everytime someone pulls up Frederick listings. I'm also active on Trulia and Home Gain. Long and Foster also advertises in all the papers etc. We have so much to offer. Call or email me anytime. or 240-405-3118.

Tammy Durbin, e-PRO, GRI
Executive, Directors and President's Sales Awards
Long and Foster Real Estate Inc.
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
I do think granite tops are important. It's really a standard these days and many sellers are putting them in the houses before they sell. I still do see a few buyers that don't care as much, but overall, it would appeal to the more buyers. Sounds like you have owned for 10 years, so your equity should be pretty solid and or you can stomach the price. Prices on hard surface tops has come down some over the years, shop around. Black is a good option..The best advice I can give you is to put under cabinet lights and a tile backsplash in the kitchen.The lights will make the black granite pop and the smaller kitchen feel bigger. The backsplash can be as easy as white ceramic subway tile with a darker grout to make it stand out.. Just a thought, this requires an electrician and tile person, but its worth the price in the long run. Good luck.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
What you really should be doing is finding out what similar homes in your area are selling for and what amenites they have in them. If the homes in the area have all the bells and whistles in them, then you may need to add the upgrades. If they need updating, then putting in all the upgrades may not be worth it. It is possible to over improve your home for the area and market value. Make sure you are not over improving the house.

If all the houses have granite and it doesn't overprice you by adding it, then try and find a granite that is most common and goes with the scheme of the kitchen. Sounds like you may have chosen Uba Tuba (sp?). That used to be a very popular choice, but I have not seen it much anymore at least in my area. Some of the lighter granites such as the tan with brown specs or marbling tend to be more neutral and show less crumbs and water spots.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010

Granite countertops are always a nice feature in a home. Just remember that if you have light wood or white cabinets, you can go with a darker granite. If you have dark cabinets, you need to stay with a lighter color granite. You also do not want the granite to compete with your flooring. It sounds to me like you are going with the color, I right? Just don't put that dark color on a dark cabinet, it will be lost and make your kitchen too dark.

My father was a custom home builder and I used to help design kitchens in his homes. Granite will be great...just make the right choice,
Web Reference:
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
It will matter a lot to some people. Some really like the look of granite and don't want anything else in their kitchen. It doesn't make a difference to others though. It really depends on what you want to do.…
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon May 4, 2015
Hi Andrew. You ask very good questions here and I think they are questions that many people have. First off, I do think granite countertops matter to some buyers, though not all buyers will care. Personally, I prefer granite to other materials. As far as the color is concerned, I think the most important thing is that it goes well with the rest of the kitchen. I personally like colors that reveal dirt so I can know when to clean the counter. Some colors serve to conceal dirt and make it difficult to see things like crumbs.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 29, 2014
Granite is still popular, but soapstone, marble, concrete and even glass are catching up. (Here's a great link:…)

A lot of it depends on your market, but I don't think you made a bad choice. Granite is beautiful and won't turn anyone off, as long as it works well with your kitchen.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 26, 2014
Agree with Debbie, which I so often do ;-).

Yes on granite and go with lighter colors, earthy tones. I think black would definitely make the small space look smaller.

Use accents for a pop of color - a pop of red - or that wonderful lime green - or even yellow - go neutral and then hit with an accent that is countertop for a fun eye-catching "zing".

Jeanne Feenick
Unwavering Commitment to Service, Unsurpassed Results
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Feb 6, 2014
Granite is a smart investment when preparing to sell a home. It is high end, low maintenance and will last for years- all great features that prospective buyers look for in a kitchen. We have carried out kitchen renovations for many of our clients (view them here and always ensure we choose a granite that wont look dated in a couple of years. Generally your safest bet is to stick with neutral colors- black, white, tans etc. Avoid heavily patterned granite also- at the end of the day your objective is to appeal to the broadest market possible. Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Feb 5, 2014
Renovating the kitchen is a great selling feature. Cabinet Discounters in Mount Airy has granite slabs you can usually get for a great deal. They also have great design and decorating ideas. A lot of the buyers I have been working with lately prefer the lighter granite colors. Like venitian gold. It's not gold it's a beige with brown and black specs. Several model homes have also used this color. Again it depends on everything in your kitchen....size, cabinet colors, floor etc. If you are using kitchen company to renovate ask them what's popular too.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 29, 2014
There are lots of good answers here! Granite might be on its way out, but it still looks nice and gives the kitchen a classy feel. And it really depends on the color of the kitchen on whether a black counter top will work or not, but in general I would say black granite is very classy. I'm actually on the look out for a company that does counter tops in Edmonton so anybody hears of anything, let me know!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Oct 14, 2013
I strongly disagree with putting black if you are just going to sell. If you put granite, the more neutral the better. Here granite surely is desired. However going with the tan/brownish/cream granite would be a much better choice. The majority of buyers want something neutral that they can move into. Black is not highly desirable so you will potentially turn off at least 70% of the buyers. And if you are doing granite tiles instead of slab the black does not do well at all, it really stands out as tiles and the feedback I always hear is, counters gotta go.

That is just my opinion. I really do like Maria response. She had a very good alternative.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 2, 2010
It seems that you will find as many answers/opinions from buyers as you are finding here....

So, it my opinion (and I'm just one of many) that granite is a very nice touch in houses, however, as far as resale, the problem is getting the RIGHT color/style of granite (including the several variations of edging)....

If you only want it for resale..... consider having your home staged, put your best foot forward, and rather than spending the money now on the granite..... have the local granite company supply you with some "swatches" (so to speak) of granite....display them on the counters, and give "X" number of dollars towards the color and style of granite they like....

Now, there's some food for thought!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 30, 2010
I was at a conference recently and in the hotel room the bathroom sink was done in granite. The sink, however, was designed such that when you washed the water inevitably ended up on the wash basin of granite. I was surprised to see in the good lighting that you could literally see a ring of water stain on the granite around the sink. Very unbecoming for such a lot of effort. We think of granite as impervious but with seemingly little aging it just isn't so.

If you have choice options still, black may indeed be too much for a small kitchen as you indicate. However, the supplier will gladly offer you more professional advise.

Good luck Andrew. I
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 30, 2010
It depends on area what takes place for homes in your area.

Most of Dallas if I can show a home as granite counter tops and hardwood flooring I am at least 75% sure family would have that property high on their list for purchase.

It all depends on decor' of your home. Black is fabulous color, however does it work with other areas of home if not you might want to try a lighter color.

SUGGESTION: Purchase small tile similar what you like buy ask friends, business associates which color they like best be amazed on answer you might receive.

Good luck on your home

0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 30, 2010
my experience and opinion....stay away from granite.
i have been in numerous homes where the granite has cracked near the sink area...making for
unsightly appearance...even though owners are willing to s a horrible turnoff.
on the other hand....SILESTONE is much more durable....actually looks better and needs
the silestone colors and patterns are much less obnoxious and readily appeal to buyers.
let me know if you want a knowlegeable agent to handly your transactions :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Jan 30, 2010
In general the Granite may be a difference maker for some buyers but as a seller it's unlikely you'll get the money back as part of the purchase price. If the Black fits well with the paint, cabinets and flooring the color should work well.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
I think it all depends on the price, location, and desirability of the house.

If I had to choose between a cheap house with normal sideboards or one for $15k more with granite, I would go for the cheaper one.

If you are talking a $500k+ house that could change greatly. In the middle, it is area specific.

p.s. I still do not like granite. I want something that is not so hard and cold.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Andrew - the answer to your question is going to vary dramatically, region to region.

For example, Ceramic Tile flooring, here in the Chicago area is highly unpopular. We like our hardwood flooring. But in Miami ceramic tile flooring throughout the house seems to be the norm.

In my opinion, granite seems to be at the tail end of it's popularity... it's still popular, but I don't know how much longer it can hold on. Manmade materials such as quartzite, and coloured concrete have become very popular. But buyers are still happy when they see granite.

I'd prefer a low-key, neutral colour... but again, Miami might like Aqua. Black is my colour (or lack thereof) of choice as well. From your description, it sounds as though you have a colour called Uba-Tuba which is a very popular, high gloss black, with flecks of green metallic inside. Very popular. Personally I prefer a honed granite... which is not shiny, but requires more regular sealing.

I like black... it's always classic, as long as your kitchen isn't too small, or your cabinets too dark. You don't want to make the room appear even smaller, or darker.

Good luck.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 27, 2010
Alan May, Real Estate Pro in Evanston, IL
Sorry Tina didn't see your post about Ubatubba. I agree with your comment.

P.S. I knew I spelled it wrong. LOL
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
Yes, they really matter. Granite is nice to add in the heading of the flyer or ad. Its a good upgrade to mention like Stainless Steel appliances or hardwood/ tile floors. As for the color of the granite, a good mainstream style is always good. Ex: dont put pink and blue granite down. Just keep it simple. The black will prob be ok.
Thanks,Shelby Hunton
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
Granite counter tops will not sell your property but will help you stand out in the crowd. As far as the color the place you are buying should be able to help you select a popular color. As long as you dont get crazy with it I dont think you can go wrong.
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0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
Dear Andrew,

Granite counts. Black is good. Let me know if Ican help you with buying or selling.
Web Reference:
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Jan 26, 2010
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