Is Your Kitchen Scaring Away Potential Buyers?

Real estate agents have historically said that the kitchen is the most important room in the house. For most families, it’s the center of activity. It’s where you congregate and spend time together. As such, it’s a room that invites intense scrutiny among potential buyers.

The implication for sellers? You need your kitchen to sparkle. You need it to shine. You need it to be clean, clutter-free, and ready to dazzle with a strong first impression.

That’s easier said than done, and while we see a lot of really lovely kitchens, we also see some worrisome ones. There are some specific kitchen elements that can really scare buyers away; naturally, those are the things you’ll want to avoid. We’ll highlight some of them in the paragraphs below.

But first: Whether you’re selling a home for cash or working with a traditional agent, it’s important to know all the right steps to selling a home. One place you can turn for customized house selling tips is the seller’s report. Get your independent assessment today, totally free of charge.

Do You Have Any Deal Breakers Lurking in Your Kitchen?


Let’s be honest: Looking at other people’s trash is never enticing. And if you have a kitchen that’s strewn with refuse, that could turn off potential buyers, souring them on your house before they even really tour the place.

So what kinds of garbage are we talking about here? Well, it could be anything:

  • Beer or wine bottles left out, or overflowing from the recycling bin.
  • Trash cans that are left out/open or that have trash spilling out of them.
  • Used puppy potty training pads left in your kitchen area.

These are just a few examples of how refuse and trash can make your kitchen far less than desirable.

Pet Stuff

We mentioned puppy potty training pads—but in truth, there are many examples of pet supplies that can be turn-offs to potential buyers.

And frankly, most of them have to do with cats.

The big one, of course, is the litter box, which should be well-hidden somewhere far away from your kitchen area.

But we’d also say that wet cat food can be a turn-off to buyers, especially if it smells. (And a lot of it does.)

By all means, pamper and cherish your kitty… but try to be mindful of how it’s going to look to house hunters.

Big Messes

One of the most important steps to selling a home is cleaning it up.

That means decluttering and creating plenty of functional space, but it also means ensuring your kitchen doesn’t look like the back of a fast food restaurant.

In other words: If you have grease spots or splatters from the last meal you made, you need to wipe them down, whether on countertops or on the backsplash. Even the range itself should be cleaned.

And of course, you don’t want to have showings with a big pile of dirty dishes sitting by the sink.

None of this means you have to stop using your kitchen! Just make sure you develop the habit of cleaning it up when you’re done.

Signs of Pests

Even the most clean and cautious homeowners can sometimes run into pest problems, especially ants. And most of the time, pests are drawn to the kitchen.

That’s not necessarily something you want to advertise to potential buyers, though. So, if you’re using ant or mouse traps, make sure you stow them somewhere before you have a showing.

Or better still: Get your pest problem totally taken care of before you list (if at all possible).


One final note: You always want to minimize the clutter in your home and show off your open space. That’s one of the most basic house selling tips of all.

And it very much extends to the kitchen. You don’t want to have counters or tables that are crowded with dishes, appliances, or supplies. You want to show off how much room there is in your kitchen, and that means keeping surfaces as clean and clear as possible.

Make sure your kitchen looks listing-ready and buyer-friendly, whether you’re selling a home for cash or working with an agent. And for independent home selling recommendations, don’t forget your free report!