Do Kitchens and Bathrooms Really Sell Houses?

6% of homebuyers in 2020 wanted to move into an upgraded home. Most were interested in kitchens and bathrooms, making them key rooms that sell houses.

Scott Castillo
Scott Castillo

Kitchens and bathrooms are known to be high-impact rooms that improve a listing’s marketability and demand, but do they really sell houses? According to the National Association of REALTORS®, 6% of all buyers in 2020 were prompted to move into a new home from a desire for a nicer home and added features. Of these, upgraded kitchens and master bathrooms were key areas of consideration. Sellers should understand the role that kitchens and bathrooms play in appealing to buyers, ultimately shaping the sale’s experience.

According to the 2019 and 2021 editions of the National Association of Home Builders’ survey, What Buyers Really Want, these eleven property trends are helping homeowners attract buyers to sell houses.

#1. 86% of home buyers want kitchens and dining rooms to be completely or partially open.

#2. 67% of buyers named stainless steel appliances as their ideal.

#3. 57% of buyers named granite or natural stone kitchen countertops as their top finish material.

#4. 32% of buyers were shopping for white kitchen cabinetry.

white kitchen cabinets

#5. Farmhouse-style kitchens and bathrooms, incorporating wood elements, are becoming increasingly popular with buyers.

#6. Engineered quartz countertops that enable greater flexibility for color choices are favored by buyers.

#7. Buyers are interested in resilient flooring options, such as vinyl. This is most popular for buyers who plan to be aging in place.

#8. Buyers want to incorporate technology features into their kitchens with wireless control options.

smart kitchen

#9. Buyers like open spaces around the interior and exteriors of the kitchen.

#10. Top bathroom demands are for good quality fixtures, such as wall-mounted sinks, faucets, and toilets.

wall mounted bathroom faucet

#11. A double-sink kitchen is expected to continue driving demand in the 2021 market.

double kitchen sink

Keeping this data in mind can help sellers understand how their current kitchens and bathrooms relate to the market’s buyer trends. Sellers who already meet these target items should draw attention to them when creating their listing to activate the demand. Sellers can also use these insights to guide their pre-sale property upgrades, making the most out of their investments.

Considering Return on Investment

As the data showcases how kitchens and bathrooms drive demand to sell houses, sellers are often eager to upgrade these rooms of their home to gain access to a streamlined and profitable transaction experience. However, always have a financial plan in place before pursuing listing improvement projects.

Sellers who are interested in taking action on these in-demand kitchen and bathroom features should consider the return on investment associated with any potential projects.

Not all work done to upgrade a home generates tangible returns that balance out the initial investment. For example, a major kitchen remodel recoups 54% of the project’s costs, while a bathroom remodel adding a midrange recoups 64% of the project’s costs. Sellers should always begin by considering the immediate costs associated with the projects and the long-term returns generated from their sale.

Talk To Your Agent About Renovations and Upgrades

Sellers should get in contact with their real estate agents regarding their interest in highlighting their kitchens or bathrooms while listing their homes. When you work with the best agent, they will be able to provide you with an actionable plan to accent your kitchens and bathrooms that accommodates your situation.

Real estate professionals sell houses with data-backed strategies in mind, including property upgrades that help sellers maximize their investment potential. Making presale improvements to the home is one of the most common ways that sellers and agents collaborate toward a successful sale. In 2020, 16% of sellers reported that gaining help finding ways to fix up their properties to increase the sales price was the primary objective for working with a real estate agent or broker.

By referencing market reports specific to your sales area, an agent can identify the amenities that are attracting buyers in your region, such as a large kitchen island or an eat-in kitchen.

Even if you are not interested in pursuing any renovations or repairs, your agent will still be able to help you strategically market your kitchens and bathrooms to foster buyer demand. NAR’s 2021 Generational Trends Report notes that 17% of sellers wanted an agent’s help with marketing their homes to potential buyers. Your agent will be able to suggest and facilitate tactics, such as home staging services and HD interiors photos, to capitalize on the impact that kitchens and bathrooms have on the sale.

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Home Improvement
Scott Castillo

Scott Castillo