Bang For Your Buck: Paint Those Cabinets!

|January 9, 2015

My best guess is that the question arises in 1 out of 4 listings. But I’ve lost count of how many dozens of times I’ve stood in the middle of a dated kitchen with Seller and Stager debating one critical question:

Should we “paint out” the kitchen cabinets? 

Nothing screams “old” or “tired” like old, tired kitchen cabinets. So smart stagers almost always recommend changing out the hardware and slapping on a new coat of white paint.

Sellers are usually concerned about pre-sale Return On Investment. (Painting cabinet faces is cheap but not dirt cheap.) So they’ll try one or more of the following arguments against painting:

  1. It’ll be obvious to buyers that we just painted them.
  2. Whoever buys the house is redoing the kitchen anyway.
  3. It’s better to let the natural wood show.
  4. I actually like the cabinets.

But usually the Seller will be convinced that the ROI is worthwhile because the paint will:

  1. Make the kitchen photograph better and photos are key marketing tools.
  2. Create a cleaner, crisper, brighter first impression
  3. Give buyers the hope that they can delay remodeling for a year or two since they’ve just depleted their savings on a downpayment.

Cabinet-painting works every time. Case in point, here’s a professional photo of outdated kitchen cabinets  in a condo I sold two years ago. (The sellers didn’t have enough lead time to stage or paint the cabinets):

Most Bang Per Buck: Paint Kitchen Cabinets :: Cynthia Cummins - McGuire Real Estate

Here’s a hurried cellphone pic of the same kitchen snapped by the painter who — for the new owners — recently painted the cabinets white:

Most Bang Per Buck: Paint Kitchen Cabinets :: Cynthia Cummins - McGuire Real Estate

I rest my case, but you can be the judge.

Cynthia Cummins is a Top Producer and Partner at McGuire. For info on SF real estate visit CynthiaCummins.com. For more refreshing and humorous perspectives on residential real estate visit RealEstateTherapy.org

Category Our Agents, San Francisco

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Cynthia Cummins

Cynthia Cummins

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