Selling your home may come down to your kitchen. While other aspects of a house, such as the location, price, backyard, and bathroom size, may weigh heavily into a buyer’s decision, the kitchen is the undisputed heart of the home. It may be farmhouse, shaker, modern, or transitional in decor, but it needs to be irresistible to the buyer. This means a good kitchen layout is essential to make your home a hot seller.

Some of the top home-staging professionals shared their best secrets, which we combined into this complete guide to making your kitchen delight even the most discriminating buyer.

Clean and Shiny

No matter how expensive the appliances or how updated the flooring and cabinets, a kitchen that’s less than immaculate loses points in the buyer’s eyes. Do it yourself, or hire a cleaning service, and deep dive into every crevice of the space. Scrub the floors and baseboards, shine the appliances, and dust the cabinets, top of the refrigerator, and light fixtures. Ask your tallest friend to inspect your work, as they may see something you’ve missed.

Plenty of Counter Space

Showcase every inch of your counter space by getting rid of clutter. Leaving out a cutting board, spices, or a used dishwashing sponge is sure to draw the buyer’s notice, and we want them focused on your home’s positive points! Even decorations like vases of flowers need to be used in strict moderation. When it comes to the items normally sitting on your kitchen’s counter, pack them away, find a place for them inside your cabinets or, if not needed, throw them away.

Available Outlets

This may sound silly, but outlets are a big deal in a kitchen. Nobody wants to unplug their microwave so they can use their toaster. Outlets should be available on every wall of the kitchen at a minimum, and two is even better. If your kitchen is outlet-deficient and you’ve always just lived with it, hire an electrician. A few hundred dollars can buy you multiple outlets and increase the functionality of your space exponentially.

Don’t let the electrician leave before you make sure you have…

Proper Lighting

Lack of lighting is a big kitchen staging don’t. Dark spaces are less inviting and look smaller. Open the blinds or curtains and then invest in up-to-date lighting. You don’t need to spend a fortune as simple lighting isn’t that costly. Or, for bigger impact, shell out a bit more to make a real statement. In addition, add lighting over the stove and sink if they don’t already have it for a brighter, more user-friendly kitchen.

Ample Cabinet Space

Buyers want to feel like they will have lots of cabinet space, and it’s your job to make them see it in your kitchen. And don’t kid yourself, they WILL look in your cabinets. Clear out everything you don’t use. Odd gadgets and old pots and pans must go. Organize your cabinets so that everything is grouped together sensibly. Add some hooks on the inside of the cabinet doors and perhaps hang small baskets to hold your spices or other small items. Purchase some clear canisters to attractively store your rice and pasta.

Pristine Fridge

Buyers who open your fridge shouldn’t think they’ve stumbled upon a science experiment. Throw everything outdated away and wipe down each level of the fridge thoroughly. Take out the bins to wash and dry them, and clean the interior door well. Set an open box of baking soda in the back to soak up any offending odors.

Stylish Pulls and Handles

Visit the hardware store for some modern cabinet pulls and drawer handles. These are inexpensive ways to stage your kitchen that pack a big punch to buyers. Also add soft-close dampers to all your cabinets for a high-end touch that impresses buyers.

No Bottlenecks

Your kitchen’s flow is crucial, and areas that seem crowded will be big turn-offs. Have too many chairs or stools? Move them out. The coat rack inhibits your path? Take it out before showing your house. Too much furniture? Store too-large tables and islands in a storage building to free up your space. Walk around your kitchen to make sure the pathways are clear and no area feels cramped.

Appliance Spacing Makes Sense

Can you load your dishwasher from the sink? Is it easy to reach your refrigerator if you’re standing in front of your stove? Stage your appliances in a manner that makes the most sense to someone who will be using the kitchen every day. A well-laid out appliance floor plan sells houses.

Color Pulls It Together

Drab kitchen walls aren’t going to add to the appeal of your home. Update an unattractive color easily by choosing a light and bright hue and painting it over a weekend. Or hire someone to do it. A fresh coat of attractive paint sets off your countertops, flooring, and cabinets, and is one of the best modern kitchen staging ideas to use.

Embrace Citrus!

A pop of vibrant color lifts the mood and adds a touch of whimsy to your kitchen. Find a big bowl or a tall clear canister and add lemons, limes, or oranges. This is a subtle finishing touch that is sure to visually appeal to buyers.

Staging your kitchen to help your home sell is essential for it to move fast and secure a premium price. You don’t have to spend lots of cash to get it ready. Take advantage of these home-staging secrets and your kitchen will be a showplace that impresses buyers and makes them yearn to live there.