Do you advise a homeowner to put in granite if that is the norm for the neighborhood or reduce their price to be more appealing?

Asked by Tamara Schuster, Naperville, IL Tue Sep 13, 2011

The cabinets are nice but original and over 15 years old.

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Oliver von G…, Agent, Coral Gables, FL
Sun Sep 18, 2011
The advice we give most of our sellers before they put the home on the market is to invest only as much as you can recover. That is besides the standard of having the home clutter free, clean and staged. The kitchen is a big investment and you don't know what kitchen the buyer would like. I would recommend to adjust the price for the lower grade kitchen and you will attract more potential buyers. This will make your home stand out from the competition, while a granite counter would only make it look like the rest.
Good luck to you. Oliver
5 votes
Great advice on investing only what you can recover. A lot of sellers lose sight of that.
Flag Sat Jun 1, 2013
I so AGREE! Dot not put granite on old cabinets! I will be writing more on this and I am glad to hear from around the country. I am seeing this all the time and it is frustrating for buyers to see granite on unappealing outdated cabinets. Thanks for your response.
Flag Mon May 27, 2013
Kim Kirkwood…, Agent, Westerville, OH
Sat Sep 17, 2011
If you have had your home on the market for a while, and have been getting feedback from buyers who have viewed your home that it would be better with granite, then you could consider it. Chances are you could do other things to make your home more appealing to buyers before investing in this upgrade. If you have a friend or family member who is creative and artistic, invite them to your house to help you tweak your home staging. Make sure your home is clean, free of clutter, and smells good. Work on cleaning up your yard for better curb appeal. If your countertops are truly terrible, you could consider replacing them with Corian or with laminate that looks like granite. Good luck!

Kim Boulter
Healthy Realty
2 votes
John Wilt, Agent, Wheaton, IL
Sat Sep 17, 2011
Ask yourself this? 'Would a buyer rehab the kitchen if it DID have have granite'? 'Would they do the same if it did NOT have granite'? Adding granite to a 15 year old kitchen would probably be a waste of money if most other homes have granite but, remodeled kitchens to go with it. What is the competion like?
-John at RealStar Realty
2 votes
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Sat Sep 17, 2011
I agree with John. Here is a thought, Tamara. Why don't you offer an allowance for granite and let the buyer do their own remodeling?

of Longmont, CO
720 810 0683
1 vote
Martha Dorfl…, Agent, Geneva, IL
Thu Jan 2, 2014
There are some unknowns with regards to price range and market time. Given the cabinets are original & over 15 years old, putting granite in the kitchen is not the best idea. I've seen this in many homes & it really doesn't look right. It looks like a quick fix, but doesn't help sell the home any faster. I would focus on the positives of the home & price it right for the current features. Make sure the home is clean, decluttered & staged.
0 votes
Suz A, Agent, Longmont, CO
Thu Jun 6, 2013
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In this market and any other market, the advice is going to be the same. If your kitchen and baths need to be remodeled, you should do it for yourself to enjoy. When you go to place your home on the market, you should give attention to these steps:

1) Staging. Many can stage your home yourself. You know the concept of reduction. Follow the rule of threes: Three items on a countertop. Three shelves with books, three empty and so on. Remove all personal photos. Rent a storage unit, if you have to, but your home needs to look immaculate.

2) Clean. If you need help, call Jack and Dorothy Maes: 720.839.7686.

3) Do repairs. Everything right down to oiling the hinges on doors should be taken care of. Any torn screens should be replaced. Replace the furnace filter.

These are the basics. There is more that can be done. For instance, the yard should be as immaculate as the kitchen and baths. That means the lawn mowed and paint touched up for painted over.

If you invest in anything it should be paint. Paint for the interior and exterior adds value and is, of course, the key feature of your home.
0 votes
Mack McCoy, Agent, Seattle, WA
Thu Jun 6, 2013
Let's not revive the dead threads, ok?
0 votes
Annette Law…, Agent, Palm Harbor, FL
Wed Jun 5, 2013
John added a real sobering view of the situation. A granite counter does not fix an obsolete kitchen.
Be aware also that a buyer in the $600,000 up range does not want to see a speck of laminate countertops. In Naperville that limit may need to go up.
Like others have pointed out, and Jackie did so in CAPITAL LETTERS, some buyers will reflect, "I have always had granite but this countertop will do just fine!"
When i entered that home that still had the wheels attached, and they had granite, that's when the petals fell from the rosel
Depending on the vision of the Naperville community, my guidance would be to prepare the kitchen for the next 15 years. Integrated spaces, composite organics, formed counters and everything the woman touches must be luxury quality.
The shame of the whole story is. the owner does not get to enjoy the investment which is the primary qualification of invedsting heavily into a enjoy the investment. Often that enjoyment is the ONLY return on the investment.

Best of success to you
Annette Lawrence, Broker/Associate
Remax Realtec Group
Palm Harbor, FL
0 votes
Jackie Beard…, Agent, Naperville, IL
Fri May 24, 2013
Tamara, NO no and NO! I just had a seller want to do this and that was my advice. Not everyone WANTS granite and did you know that it actually gives of RADON. Okay maybe not much but it is definitely getting to the point where granite seems to be the MUST HAVE in a kitchen and that is false with a capital 'F'. Stage the kitchen for them the new buyers want the home not the counters. If they want granite that much they will install it one day or maybe something new that is the 'must have fad'. They can make their cabinets look great with SO little effort. Change the knobs! Maybe they can paint or stain. Good luck, hope this helps.
0 votes
Alex Pereira…, Agent, Farmington Hills, MI
Tue Sep 13, 2011
As a real estate professional I not only help folks with real estate but I personally buy and rehab properties with my crew all the time and in today's market upgrades can mean weeks off marketing time . I can tell you that given 2 homes a person intends to live in with a 10K price difference because of upgrades most buyers tend to buy the nicer of the two homes. Most people realize the 10K is really a small amount to their payment and would rather have the nicer home. If you are targeting budget conscious people then no granite is the answer but if granite is the norm in your area then those folks are probably not your target demographic. Selling Real Estate in my opinion is a lot like going to a high school dance; the pretty girls get asked out first and always get to go and in real estate its no different.
0 votes
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