Home Buying in Wheaton>Question Details

Refresh73, Home Seller in Dupage County, IL

Will a split-level home in the western suburbs sell in this market with a laminate counter top in the kitchen?

Asked by Refresh73, Dupage County, IL Thu Aug 9, 2012

Our counter top needs replacing, but with all the other updates we are making, we're not sure we can afford a granite counter. Is a laminate counter in the kitchen a deal breaker in attracting a buyer?

Help the community by answering this question:


Homes are selling!! A specific item such as a counter top is very minor. Buyers today, especially first time home buyers are looking for overall value. The top 3, Location, Price, Condtion. When all these 3 factors are in line and stand out from the rest of the other listings, the home sells. Most first time buyers also want move in ready but are willing to do minor changes if they feel the overall value is in the home for where it is priced at.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012

Hopefully you have made the improvements you need based upon the feedback you've received in order to get top dollar for your home in today's market. If you still need further advice feel free to contact me directly and I'd be happy to schedule a time to come out and take a look at your home. I'll be able to provide some more specific answers at that time.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Apr 29, 2013
Everyone here has really given some great responses. I just wanted to add that an updated kitchen is a biggie in most home sales, more so than bathrooms AND kitchens in previous years. Not a deal breaker without, but definitely the potential for a quicker sale and possibly better price :)
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
You should be happy to know homes are selling! Depending on the overall value of your home, laminate countertops in good condition are completely acceptable.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jan 16, 2013
Hi Refresh,
Yes it will sell but the spllit level that has some eye popping pizazz will sell faster and there for no price changes and probably for more money. Check out a place on Gary Avenue in Carol Stream. I think it is called Kitchen cabinets and Granite. I do not think it would be a deal breaker but it looks so great you might move to the top of the buyers choice. I do have a certification for staging the home and can walk thru and give lots of valuable advice.

Josie DeRiggi ABR. CRS Broker
Coldwell Banker
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Aug 13, 2012
Hi again Refresh, curious if you found all of these opinions helpful or confusing? Here are some very general statistics for recent sales (6 months) in Wheaton.......

--274 total single fmly homes sold, avg mkt time 141 days, avg sale price $345K, 14% distressed sales (short sales and foreclosures)

--43 of them (16%) were listed as split levels, avg mkt time 126 days, avg sale price $265K

Of course these are general numbers and your home would have to be compared to the most similar ones to determine how it might sell. The least expensive split sold for $130K in 9 days and the most expensive sold for $430K in 17 days.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2012
Split levels seem to be the hot item as they generally do not carry the higher tax as 2 story or large spread out Ranch styles. The counter top is all about condition as it is generally not an expensive item to upgrade. Its all about staging a home properly and not just if the counter top is laminate.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2012
Not having seen your home, it is difficult for us to tell that it will sell. But if the home is light and bright with a nice floor plan, nice location, lovely landscaping, and many of the necessities are updated and
upgraded that the counter top alone will and should not be a deal breaker...

You can always offer to the buyer a certain amount to have the counter top replaced.....
as a credit at the closing....

But it is way more important for you to have the professional expertise of a local Realtor, to look at
all aspects of your home that may need changing and it could be as simple as moving or removing
furniture and items and eventually brighten the home up with new en vogue color paint.

So before putting your home on the market, use the expertise of a Realtor who will certainly have seen similar homes to yours in the area and will be able to give you great advice. And Split level homes do sell if they show well to the buyers and if they are priced right based on the market
the comparable homes, upgrades, and how well the house has been prepared and staged.

Good Luck to you! If you need Realtor recommendations in your area get back to me...

Sincerely yours,
Edith YourRealtor4Life & Chicago and Northern Illinois Expert
Working always in the very BEST interest of her clients, Buyers, Sellers and Investors alike....
Covering for @Properties the city of Chicago, all N and NW suburbs,
the fine homes on theNorth Shore, and many of the W and SW suburbs,
and with her trusted Partner Agents all of the US and worldwide properties.
Edith speaks French, German, some Spanish and other.....
@Properties, 30 Green Bay Rd, Winnetka, Illinois 60093
EdithDoesItRight@yahoo.com or EdithSellsHomes@gmail.com
Check out my website at htttp://www.tinyurl.com/MeetEdithHere
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Aug 10, 2012
Homes are selling quick.. You shouldn't have a problem selling your home.

If you want I can visit your home and provide you a free market analysis.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Maria Ascencio
RE/MAX Platinum
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012

Without question it will sell! The laminate counter in the kitchen is NOT a deal breaker.

The best approach would be to have your home previewed by an agent that will walk through each room and give you some ideas. Those ideas will include both inexpensive and moderately expensive things you can do to spruce up your house.

Some ideas for inexpensive improvements could be:

1. Paint (neutral color)
2. Wallpaper removal
3. Landscape improvements (trimming back overgrown shrubs, removing plantings, planting flowers)

Some ideas for moderately expensive improvements could be:

1. Upgrade appliances (stainless steel is still most consumer's preference)
2. Granite countertops (kitchen and bathrooms)
3. Upgrade the look of your flooring (carpet to ceramic or hardwood, updated carpet)

Since you mentioned that you're not sure you can afford a granite counter you'll find that by taking the time to do some of the inexpensive improvements (only a few are listed above) your house will show a lot better than if you didn't take the time to do them. Those little improvements can bring a better price when you do get an offer.

Will your house sell? You bet! If you're not currently represented by another real estate agent I'd be happy to schedule a time to come out and preview your home. Together we can come up with a plan that will be in your budget and bring the highest offer.

Randy Schulenburg
Managing Real Estate Broker
Mortgage 1st Realty, Inc.
224-805-2616 Direct
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
First, consider the price-point you are going for, based on the rest of the house. If the home is more than the half-million range, spending the extra on a solid surface might make sense. Second, the question that hasn't been asked yet - "Is the rest of your house a granite-type house?" Split-level homes tend to be more informal and granite might not make sense with the rest of the decor. You would most likely do better to make sure the cabinets are in top-notch shape since they are the most visible part of the kitchen. If the cabinets look nice, you could replace the counter tops with a medium or dark colored neutral laminate and the over-all effect will still be stylish.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
Hi Refresh, the quick answer is yes it will sell, no it is not a deal breaker. However, the question should be rephrased to ask which are the best updates to make, or where is our money best spent?......it seems as though it might be a bit late for that based on your question. I recently got a quote of $1900 for granite tops for a seller after she got quotes in the $3500 range. Without seeing and knowing all the other details it is hard to answer your question fully. If you tell me your laminate tops are bright yellow or pink, I might answer differently than if you tell me they are white, etc. Again, it is hard to assess without knowing where you are making the updates, but generally I would start with things like wallpaper removal, paint, flooring if needed because you get most bang for your buck. Once you start talking spending more serious money, I would put the kitchen high on the list and granite counters or appliances might make sense. Are you already on the market and getting feedback?
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
It will of course help in attracting a buyer, however listing and selling a home in our challenging market requires more than some bling and updating. It requires a realistic informed seller and an agent or team that has experience and the ability to generate and cultivate leads to sell your property.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
The question is any counter top needed. Your Realtor could answer better since they can see the house. Adding a counter top could be good or bad. If the old one is just awful then maybe a new one would be better but allowing the new buyer to pick what they want to add could be the way to go. Often a remodeled kitchen is something a new buyer does and allowing them to do the counter might make them happier. Does the counter only need updating or does the whole kitchen. If the whole kitchen you might just save the thousands for a new counter and let the new buyers add what they want.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012

No - a laminate countertop is certainly not a dealbreaker. I grew up in Glen Ellyn, and quite a few of my friends lived in Wheaton (I went to St. Francis HS). I am extremely familiar with the neighborhoods near Arrowhead, Danada, etc. Upgrading to granite countertops is "relatively" inexpensive, and you could always offer a small "credit" to buyers to offset some of the cost of installing granite if you are really concerned (and the buyers would be able to pick their own colors). It's by no means a deal breaker. Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, or if you'd like me to send you the properties currently on the market in your neighborhood. It never hurts to know what you will be "competing" against.

Terry Farnsworth
Prospect Equities Premier
Visit http://www.SelectiveBuyer.com for a no-obligation analysis of your home's market value
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 9, 2012
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