Question Details

April, Both Buyer and Seller in Potomac, MD

What type of appliances make a difference when selling a house?

Asked by April, Potomac, MD Tue Apr 1, 2008

If I go out and purchase a Stainless Steel stove and fridge to put in my newly updated kitchen will this really make my house stand out? Will I get my money back in the sale? Will it help in the marketing a little, a lot or really not make any difference? I currently have a fairly new white stove and fridge so I don't want to buy new S.S. if it won't result in either a faster sale, more likely sale, higher price or more people adding my house to the "let's check it out list". Any thoughts??

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Hi April:

I understand what you are saying. I am not a SS person either, I like it warm and invitng.

When I see SS appliances here, it's mostly with granite counter, sleek kitchen with modern lightning, new couners, etc, the whole thing.

It does not matter if other people have SS all over the place, but if you want to have those, you have to make sure the SETt fits in. The more important thing is how does the whole kitchen look?

I think the only thing that really get me is when it says SS, I think it's newer or updated. Unless it's Subzero, Wolf Range, etc, it won't get you more money.

Remember that there might be two camps of buyers, one set loves SS, one just don't go for it. So the bottom line for me is, how does your kithen look? Will SS go with it? People might read SS and come to see the houes, they can either love your house or turn around and leave because the rest of the house does not show well.

I almost want to see a few pictures of your house becuase honestly, it's really hard to advise otherwise.

Sylvia
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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April
I would go and look at properties with which you'd be competing and see what they have. In most cases unless you are already going to buy and use them, it seems "fairly new" should work under most circumstances.
Talking with a Realtor that knows your local market would be an excellent idea too.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Keith Sorem, Real Estate Pro in Glendale, CA
MVP'08
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April,
Just be careful you can "over improve" and not get that money back. If the appliances are fairly new then put that money into painting rooms neutral colors, and making sure the floors are in good shape. Also take a look at the outside landscaping and "curb appeal" of the home. There are better places to invest your money which will achieve the results you want. Ask your agent to pull the comps for the area and that will tell you the features of the homes around you and what the ones that sold have and the ones that are for sale have. This should help you decide on what to improve.

Larry Story
Coldwell Banker Triad
1 vote Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
April,
Personally for me I like the SS appliances but along time ago I use to be a chef and owned my own restaurants. So I don't think I fit the norm. Most residential SS appliances are overpriced and not worth extra investment just to get the thin SS covering. In a small kitchen you would be looking at 3 to 5,000 for granite and the SS appliances will run you an extra 2 to 3,000 on top of what you would pay for a regular color. So I believe if you are not staying in the home fix up the bathrooms or look around the house to brighten up something else and save your money. I do not believe that it will make that much of a difference. Besides with granite you are looking at color choices and you never know the person that likes that may not like the color you choose. So unless you want to fix up the kitchen for yourself and stay in the home do not put that much into the upfit and just lower your price a bit and you can attract all of the market because then even the ones that like that will come in and be able to buy your home but with some of the savings they will justify in their minds that they can do the upfit themselves and choose their own colors.

Larry Story
Coldwell Banker Triad
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Apr 2, 2008
New or newer is great. I don't think it will make a financial difference if you get SS or not. The thing people want to know is are they quality working machines.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi April!

It's all preference. You never know what someone will be looking for but I do agree with Sylvia. Your appliances have to fit the motiff. Updated cabinets or countertops maybe worth the money instead of newer appliance but, if you do need the new appliances, I would maybe think about getting a better stove/oven/microwave in black (or white - whichever fits). Usually ss costs a bit more so take the money and get a really great flat top/microwave combo. Like Sylvia said, it really is hard to know exactly what you need without seeing your home.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi Keith,

I think my last answer crossed paths with yours so you didn't see it. I mentioned about looking at other houses. The problem is that I found some with the SS, other without but with fairly new non SS, and others that were old and ugly all within the group of houses I would consider my closest comps.

If you see my reply to Sylvia's answer maybe you could help address that too??? Thanks a lot!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi Sylvia,

Personally I think that SS appliances seldom if ever fit in with the look of a kitchen unless it is in a school, hospital or work place. I think they almost always stand out like a sore thumb. I personally think they will be out of style and ugly in houses sometime in the future and although I personally don't like them for my house I also know that they seem to be all the rage right now. Just saying "new S.S. appliances" and/or "granite counter tops" gets the hype, the marketing etc.... I am wondering if in actual practice you are finding that the buyers are really into this too and if it really makes a difference in the houses you sell or if the hype is really more from the retail stores and makers of the SS appliances? Then, in actual practice people buy the houses without SS for the same prices as they would have if the seller had put in new SS. Does any of this make sense? I know my realtor can help too but....I really like the open honest opinions I get on this site which I can then bounce off of her. She takes more time and gives better answers when I say...this is what some other realtors said on Trulia. Thanks for helping...
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Thanks Larry, I am already working on the "curb appeal" , the landscaping, painting everything neutral colors and making sure the floors are in good shape. I don't want to "over improve" that's why I was asking the question about the appliances.

I have already checked out the comps on the area houses and actually walked through about 15 of the ones I think are the closest competition to get a "feel" but I was still left with the question of the kitchen.

Some of the houses had the S.S. appliances obviously new and in a "new" kitchen as well. Others were old kitchens that had nothing done with them. Still others had "new" kitchens without the S.S. appliances. I just see all the advertising for "S.S. appliances" and "granite" counter tops. If they have these items they are advertised. If they have anything besides S.S. appliances and "granit" counter tops nothing is mentioned in the advertising.

So, what do you personally think? Does the S.S. really bring in more people to check out the house? Does the S.S. help make a sale faster? Do your clients specifically ask for you to show them houses with S.S. or even limit there choices of which houses to "check out" to these ones. With so many houses on the market and it so easy to compile a list of 20 houses to look at in any given area that have the specs the buyer is looking for do you actually find people who care that much about the S.S. or the granit counter tops for that matter?

Thanks a lot for your help....I'm not looking for that 1 special buyer. I am looking to appeal to the 80% group of buyers. I am not desperate to sell and would like the best price possible but won't market the house above what the most recent comps tell me I should. But, curb appeal only goes so far. The buyer actually has to drive by the house to see it. With so many choices out there I am looking for the "key" things I might do to stand out in the crowd and still recoup most if not all of my money. I hope that made sense...thanks again.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Hi April:

Other than what Larry said below, it also depends on how your kitchen and the rest of the house look now. If you go out and buy the Stainless Steel stove and fridge, you might have to get SS dishwasher, oven, microwave oven to make them match. On top of that, does SS appliances fit in with the look of your updated kitchen or will they stand out like a sore thumb? Sometimes if you don't do it right, i can backfire. Does it go with the design of the rest of the home?

A faster sale happens when the house has great floor plan, shows immaculate inside and out, and ready to move in. Is your house priced right? Those all need to be considered before determine what to do with your kitchen. I agree with Larry, your Realtor will be able to give you the best advise with the very specific questioin you posted.

Sylvia
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Apr 1, 2008
Sylvia Barry,…, Real Estate Pro in Marin, CA
MVP'08
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