Active Rain July 29, 2010

Help Me Help You Sell Your Westchester Home: Clean the Counters.

Clean the counter off!Westchester County is sought after because it is the suburbs of New York City. You have the best of both worlds- proximity to Manhattan and the Boroughs, and a suburban (and sometimes downright rural) lifestyle. It is for this reason that Manhattan Folk choose Westchester as their home. Goodbye apartment, goodbye storage rental space, goodbye subway. Hello yard, hello basement and attic, and hello driveway and garage. It is little wonder, then why city dwellers are so hung up on kitchens. After dealing with a tiny apartment kitchen with no pantry or counter space, they want a good kitchen. Kitchens matter in Westchester as much or more more than anyplace else in the USA. 

Does this mean that every Westchester home seller has to undertake a $30,000 renovation and install a Viking stove and subzero refrigerator with a Swedish storage system in the pantry? No, it doesn’t. But buyers do want to see the potential for better things when they do their own work. Remember that apartment dwellers might see your kitchen as appealing because it is bigger than theirs; so you must maximize its appeal even if it isn’t super modern. 

Ironically, while Westchester is a popular place to live, a gigantic percentage of homes are pre war homes and don’t have big kitchens. It is therefore imperative for home sellers to make do with what they have. One piece of self sabotage I often see in Westchester kitchens is  the preponderance of chotzkies, coffee makers, dish racks, and other  of what we New Yorkers call crap on an otherwise serviceable counter.You would not believe the difference it makes when a counter is cleaned off and freed of gnomes, knife racks, spices, gadgets, gizmos and other counter crap. 

Unnecessary clutter detracts

This is especially the case in kitchens that are not super updated. The one thing they might have going for them is counter space, which buyers see as potential. This is to say nothing of the fact that your dishrags, choice of cuisine, dirty dishes, dish soap, and other paraphernalia aren’t exactly fulfilling the function of Vanna White as a sales aid. It might be inconvenient to have to open a cabinet to make coffee or get pepper, but if I offered you full price for your house would it be worth it? I’d stand on my head and yodel the Yankees theme song in downtown Boston dressed as Snow White if it sold a listing. So deal. 

It takes 5 minutes to clear a counter, and it will save you time and money. Clean off that counter and you’ll avoid putting anyone off and you might just make a sale. 

PS- It goes the same for bathrooms too, unless you think that your toothbrush is a selling point.