Home Selling in Lincoln Park>Question Details

LP, Home Seller in Chicago, IL

Should I replace a glass backsplash in a galley kitchen with white subway tile to freshen up a kitchen in?

Asked by LP, Chicago, IL Wed Jun 17, 2009

order to sell a townhome? The kitchen is from the late 80s and all appliances except for one have been replaced with pretty nice SS ones. The cabinets are a high-end Italian brand, but definitely not up to the standards buyers are used to now. So will the expenditure make any sense or should I just leave as is and let the buyer decide whether to live with the kitchen as is or remodel it in its entirety?

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Tom McCarey’s answer
Hi LP,

Sometimes what you put in impacts what you take out. And sometimes not.

In the current market buyers are looking for any means possible to emphasize their leverage. You may do the same with your next purchase if you are using this townhome sale to purchase quickly in this market. As such, your dated kitchen may be the exclamation point to the buyer's lower-than-you-want-offer. To determine which path to take, whether to enhance or to stay still depends on two means of evaluation - one subjective and one objective.

The subjective has the acronym PITA - standing for "Pain in the as*." Quite simply, is it worth the headache and hassle to do the work.

The objective has to do with the simple cost of the project.

Unlike several of the other folks who have commented here my sense is that if the "pita" factor is not too high and the cost is reasonable, do the work. The reason is because you need to gain differentiation in this market to be seen and to gain positive recognition. The idea of passing off a credit for work to be done doesn't work in a market that is still trying to find steady and residual traction.

In other words, why give a consumer the opportunity to look past you when you have it in your control to positively impact their impression of your listing? Note that I am not saying that the money you spend will result in a dollar for dollar gain. But what it does achieve is the enhancement of perception of your abode.

I wish you the best in the course you take and hope you select a skilled real estate professional to expertly market your listing.

Thomas McCarey
The Real Estate Lounge Chicago with @properties
Luxury Home Marketing Specialist
Accredited Buyers Representative

To get a sense of who I am and why I say what I do, check out my original content blog
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009

Unless the glass is a real eyesore and a serious threat to being able to sell the home it may be best to leave it "as is."

If it can be done as a minor expense and inconvenience it may be worth a consideration. The choice is yours.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009
I would leave it as it is. The kitchens that I have seen remodeled are adding mirrored back-splashes because it gives the appearance of the kitchen being larger, also if the buyer would want to change it, the cost is not that extensive
1 vote Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009
An upgraded home will sell for more money and quicker than a home that's seen as old-fashioned, or obsolete. The big question, however, is will you get more out than the money you put in? Other things to consider is that your buyer's taste may not be the same as yours. Putting a glass backsplash might cost so much that you'd find it hard to recoup the money invested. Simply keeping the kitchen bright and clean can be more appealing to homebuyers. BUT, the choice is yours!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Thu Aug 28, 2014
That is one of the best answers yet that I have seen here on Trulia!

And I love the "PITA". I will have to use that one down the road for it is so true.

In this market, selling or renting, you have to do things that you normally would not do to make your property stand out.

Good answer...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009
Hi LP,
I own several rental units in the Schaumburg area and have been updating the kitchens as they come up for rent. The one thing I am finding that really gets the attention of my prospective renters is the new back splash's that I have tiled. Granted, I do not have high end appliances and cabinets but a nice simple back splash appears to really get their attention.

As for what kind of back splash, generally earth tone colors appeal to most people.

I do all my own tile work so it's inexpensive for me to do. I would say that you would recoup some of your cost when a more appealing kitchen. In this market, anything can help!

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Jun 17, 2009
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