How important are granite countertops and stainless steel appliances in the kitchen?

Asked by Trish, Fairfax Station, VA Sun Oct 7, 2012

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dessyanaiwan, , New York, NY
Mon Jan 6, 2014
The countertop is the focal point of the kitchen, The secret to finding a granite edge profile that suits countertop is to also consider the space surrounding it, as well as the general decor of the room. And now stainless steel appliances, we can easily clean and maintain it, Does not harbor germs and most importantly does not affect the flavor of foods.
1 vote
I've heard that granite counter tops can add quite a bit of value to your home if that's what you're looking for. I agree with you, Dessyanaiwan. The counters really are the most noticeable feature of the kitchen and bathrooms. If you want to add aesthetic to increase the appeal to buyers, I think granite counter tops are the way to go. They're appealing to buyers because of their aesthetic, but also for their functionality.
Flag Fri Dec 5, 2014
I agree that the countertop is the focal point of the kitchen. Having beautiful counters just brings the room together and accomplishes an overall feel for the room. Especially if they match the color scheme but are functional at the same time.
Flag Wed Sep 3, 2014
Tennesseelea…, Home Buyer, New York, NY
Mon Oct 12, 2015
Years ago, probably not very important because granite kitchen countertops and granite bathroom vanity tops were so expensive. Now the price has come down and you can find great granite installers who will fabricate and help design the look you are going for. Places like will help customers pick the granite they want (there are so many traditional and unique styles that it can be hard to choose!), design, fabricate, and install in about a week.
So now, it's very noticeable when a home DOESN'T have granite kitchen countertops!
0 votes
Amber Johnson, , Brookhaven, Raleigh, NC
Mon Dec 8, 2014
I agree that it is important to have a beautiful kitchen! It is such an important part of a person's home. I think that granite counter-tops are such a timeless and elegant look. I would love to get some new counter-tops for my home. Thanks for sharing this information!
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Ruth and Per…, Agent, Los Gatos, CA
Thu Oct 2, 2014
Very important, and a must have to sell a home for top dollar.

Money well spent.

Good luck
0 votes
I partially agree. I think the stainless steel is a big hit with buyers, especially if it's new. Granite isn't necessary, though. Most buyers would prefer something new and functional, but it doesn't have to be that expensive. |
Flag Tue Feb 3, 2015
Emilee Galla…, Home Buyer, 48823
Thu Oct 2, 2014
Granite countertops don't just look beautiful but this material will save you money in the long run as well because it's so durable that it can last a lifetime and more! Since it's also made of natural materials, granite is unique and so will your kitchen if you install a granite countertop.

Besides its durability and uniqueness, granite is also easy to clean - just use water and mild soap. It's also antimicrobial since sealed granite is not porous and bacteria can't live and breed here.

Hope this helps!
0 votes
reynoldsc99, Renter, Tulsa, OK
Wed Aug 27, 2014
You've already taken to first good step to think about resale value as you renovate your kitchen. The kitchen is an important room, and buyers value granite counter tops and nice appliances. If it is something you want too, I would recommend making the investment.

Claire Reynolds ||
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fosterkicks99, , 78052
Thu Aug 21, 2014
It depends on the buyer. Those nice things to have in the kitchen but everyone likes their kitchens differently. Some people wouldn't touch a granite counter top and others love them.
Michael Foster
0 votes
Graham Willi…, Home Buyer, West, TX
Thu Dec 5, 2013
I had a friend who put granite counter tops in and it actually only increased the home's value by as much as it cost to put them in. If you think they'll make it sell better I'd go for it, but otherwise you might be better off saving the money and reducing the listing price.
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John Fitzger…, , Fairfax County, VA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
One thing that I haven't seen suggested, and it's something I've used in the past with success on a home that was otherwise attractive and not outdated is this: get a bid on a kitchen update from a reasonable contractor, such as, for example, IKEA, involving stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. Make sure pictures of the cabinets, appliances, and countertops are included. Post the key elements of this to the Web ( using the Documents tool in MRIS is one possibility), mention its availability in "Remarks" for interested parties, and reduce the asking price of the home by 80% of the amount of the bid.

This accomplishes both giving the customer something concrete that's visible, while not foreclosing choice, for instance, of granite color.
0 votes
With the difficulty that home sellers are experiencing in today’s “buyers market” (2013-14) with nobody showing up to look at your home, you must leave nothing to chance. Many will not show up at all if your ad does not draw them. Price is of course one factor, but not the only one. The kitchen may also be just another factor in the overall picture but your ad may draw more “lookers” if you mention granite and stainless steel. If you are lucky enough to have prospective buyers actually step foot in your home, they will be more impressed by a finished product that immediately launches the "I want this home" thoughts mentioned in Ron's comment below. The kitchen could do just that. Slice it anyway you like, a home with lovely granite countertops and gleaming stainless appliances has more appeal than one with laminate countertops, linoleum carpeting and an old refrigerator in the kitchen. Even if you have upgrade estimates to show and which you are willing to take off your selling price. So, if your house has already been on the market for too long, I think it is better to get the upgrades done now. Of course, if you have tons of prospective buyers visiting your home “as is” every day with plenty of offers, then there’s nothing to worry about. Is that your case? If it is, you don’t have to spend money on upgrades. Sell it “as is” to the highest bidder. Oswaldo, New York.
Flag Thu Jan 9, 2014
Ron Tardif, Agent, Gainesville, VA
Tue Oct 9, 2012
I agree with most of what has been said.

Price of the home, location of the home and the updates made relative to the other homes for sale in the area. A word of caution is to not over spend in the kitchen and let the rest of the house fail to meet expectations. You need to balance your spend over the entire home and based on the competition in the neighborhood. A great kitchen with not carry the home to another price point if the rest of the home fails to launch the "I want this home" thoughts.

I am also seeing more color in appliances now but I am not sure that is taking off like the stainless did or the concrete counter tops seemed to peak interest, but again no launch.

Ron Tardif, Managing Broker
RE/MAX Gateway
Northern Virginia.
0 votes
Christine Sh…, Agent, Burke, VA
Mon Oct 8, 2012
HI Trish,

As suggested below, yes it depends on the buyer, the home's price point and your competition.

Have you, or your daughter, viewed the competition for this home? I offer to do this with all my sellers if there is any question as to what you should do to help the home compete. In our area you can also view the photos of the competition to help give you an idea. This way you can see what else is on the market and its price compared to your price and its features compared to yours.

What is the demographic that will purchase the home? Once you know that you can make an educated decision on whether granite and stainless is expected. Your agent needs to be able to analyze the home's place in the market and the demographic to establish this answer for you.

Don't forget LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Are you priced correctly for the items listed above and elsewhere in this thread and for the location of your home? If you back to a major road, you have to price that in vs. homes that don't.

I am here to help with the knowledge you need and the care you deserve.
0 votes
Sarah Goulart…, Agent, Plymouth, MA
Mon Oct 8, 2012
You have received good advice so far, the answer is that 'it really depends'. There are many different types of buyers out there, those that have the cash to buy something for less and do the work themselves, those that want it all done for them already and are willing to pay for it, and everyone in between :-). The one thing we can all agree on is that it is all relative to your pricing strategy. If you look at other things on the market that have sold in your price range, do they all have updated kitchens with stainless steel and granite? If so, then you may want to make the investment to sell faster and at the price you are at. An alternative is to drop your price to reflect that the home needs updates. Some people want to build some equity in a home and can do the work themselves. Finally, you could offer a buyer incentive with an allowance to get the kitchen done. There are a lot of options, talk to your agent to find out what he/she thinks given your particular market and pricing strategy.
0 votes
John Ginty, Agent, Reston, VA
Mon Oct 8, 2012
Every buyer is different. A lot of buyers do want to the granite countertops and stainless steel appliances, but its not for everyone. Some buyers prefer composite countertops instead of granite. Some buyers prefer a dated kitchen so they can buy the house and redo the kitchen, picking out the granite and appliances. If your house (or your daughter's house as referred to below) is not selling I would venture to guess it is overpriced. The #1 reason why houses don't sell is because of overpricing. I would re-evaluate the list price before making any changes. If you have any questions or need any help please feel free to call me at 703-307-3449.

John Ginty
Keller Williams Capital Properties Fairfax
10300 Eaton Place, Suite 120
Fairfax, VA 22030
Cell: 703-307-3449
0 votes
Erik Weissko…, Agent, fairfax, VA
Mon Oct 8, 2012

Assuming this is a follow up on the questions about your daughters' home not selling..

I think the agent is most likely grasping at this point. Presuming the home has been on the market for a while it may be time to make a switch..get a different perspective and approach and perhaps simply give the home and your daughter a rest.

To answer your question on it's colleagues below have made some terrific comments. I have sold many a home without granite or stainless. These things are market specific and depend upon what the market is doing as well as current competition. Some homes we have put the granite and ss in, some we have left samples for a credit, and some we have had no need. Will you get back dollar for dollar...sometimes yes. Many buyers simply do not have the cash to do such updates and in some market places the purchasers are spoiled and "must have" these things regardless of cash. SO..they may pay a premium to finance them. This is how new home builders make a nice premium on their options.

Should you need some help with this or your daughters home please contact me. I am happy to speak with you or her and should She not be in my marketplace I can refer her to a quality agent in her marketplace. One that is not full of excuses.

Have a great day!

Kind Regards,

Erik J. Weisskopf, ABR,CDPE,CRS,GRI
Re/Max Distinctive Real Estate
0 votes
John Fitzger…, , Fairfax County, VA
Mon Oct 8, 2012
Good morning, Trish,

According to the l 2011 NAR cost vs. value report, which has data for this region broken out (regional data is not easy to find: Remodeling magazine may be an easier to use source here), kitchen updates will give you a return of around 80 cents on the dollar around here. This confirms what a lot of others have already said; so much is a matter of individual taste. I have seen buyers gut and renovate already updated kitchens and baths to their taste.

Here is my "take" on updating for resale. First, do any needed front exterior updates. The cost vs. value report, my experience, and common sense all agree: if you can't get buyers in the door, you can't sell your home. Second, replace any really cheap-looking (example: fiberglass tub/showers) or terminally dated (exposed light bulb bath fixtures are so 1983) stuff. Brass fixtures are regarded as cheap glitz: brushed nickel, alabaster, opaque glass, wrought iron, weathered bronze, etc., are "in". Third, think "light and bright": repaint any dark walls with a rich, heavy cream color ( neutral and bright: you may want to think about a whole-house paint job). You may also want to think about re-painting trim work. Fourth, do staging. Think "de-clutter, de-personalize, you're creating an interior that's a stage set to sell your home".
0 votes
My NC Homes…, Agent, Chapel Hill, NC
Mon Oct 8, 2012
If you as a buyer want them then their important. Bear in mind that styles change and what's in today will be out tomorrow. Having been involved with real estate for over 35 years I've seen various colors of appliances, (white, Bisque, Black, Stainless come and go and the same for light fixture colors, hardware colors, floor coverings etc. Appliance manufacturers already believe that Stainless Steel has had it's run and is going to fade in the next couple of years, whether their right or wrong I couldn't say, but that 's what their reporting in the trade journals. Ultimately it's all a matter of preference.

If you're a seller and your local broker is advising you that this is what's expected in your area and in your homes price range then my advice would be to listen to them if there's more than 6 months worth of inventory that you'll be competing against. If there less than 6 months inventory I would probably not spend my money on these items.
0 votes
Faiza Alvi, Agent, Woodbridge, VA
Mon Oct 8, 2012
Hello Trish:

Upgrades around the house depend greatly on personal preferences. While in the market where a lot of investors are buying homes and renovating them completely - having granite countertops and stainless steel has became more of a ritual, but those homes look like cookie cutters.
Even if you have granite countertops it doesn't mean the buyers walking in will like it - it can also depend what color of granite they want, so basically all it depends on is - the personal preference!!
If the house has good bones and is maintained over all, it will sell fast given that fact other features like: Location, Price, Perks etc are well captures / focused.
And if you are a buyer than it all depends what you really want in your wish list.
There is no doubt that clean looking homes with reasonable upgrades and renovations have good standing among others when it comes to sale, but it all depends on the style of your home also.
If you are looking to sell your house and don't know which direction to go: get involve with a Real Estate Expert who can visit your house and help you with making the right decision.

Hope this information is helpful to you!!

Faiza Alvi - Realtor®
Prince William Realty, Inc.
703-389-7973 (Direct)
703-580-9995 (Fax)

I believe:
Real Estate is about building relationships
& serving clients with honesty, integrity & passion.
0 votes
Vivianne Rut…, , Fairfax County, VA
Sun Oct 7, 2012
Granite countertops depend greatly on the price range of the home, but in higher price ranges it's almost a must if you want to receive good offers.
Even in the lower price ranges, homes that have quality upgrades and granite countertops (or equivalent) sell faster and for better prices.

As for stainless steel, it depends on the color of the kitchen cabinets and the amount of natural light. Some buyers do NOT like stainless steel, but rather prefer other HIGH QUALITY appliances. It is entirely individual and personal preference.
0 votes
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