13/10/2023  •  , , ,

Should You Renovate Your Kitchen Before Selling?

Estimated Read Time: 5 Minute

If you are getting ready to sell your home, you've likely had a realtor assess your current house. Most realtors will suggest things you can upgrade and change to sell your home faster and for more money. Many times, one of these suggestions is to upgrade your kitchen. A kitchen renovation can come with a hefty price tag, so you may wonder if it is worth renovating before selling.


Deslaurier has over four decades of experience crafting customized cabinets in Ottawa and Renfrew, so we know the difference a renovated kitchen can make in your home. So, if you are considering whether you should remodel your kitchen before selling, we know the positives and the negatives.


Below, we will discuss everything you should consider before deciding if the investment in upgrading your kitchen before selling is suitable for you.


Let's get started! 


Table of Contents

The Importance of Kitchen Renovation

Assessing Your Current Kitchen

Pros of Renovating Before Selling

Cons of Renovating Before Selling

When to Renovate and When to Skip

Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


The Importance of Kitchen Renovation


When potential homebuyers view your kitchen in photo listings and in person, they see it as more than just a place to cook and eat meals.


As many of us have heard, your kitchen is the heart of your home. It is a place where families socialize, entertain, and spend time together. As the open concept became more popular, kitchens also took on an even more significant focus as they opened up to living room spaces and family rooms.


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Well-renovated kitchens can have a moderate impact on the value of a home, spending on the space's size, and the remodel's extent.


The suggestion is to spend about 5-10% of the home's value on a kitchen remodel, with a standard return on investment (ROI) averaging 52.5-71.2%. Renovations before selling tend to see a better ROI for smaller than complete space overhauls.


Assessing Your Current Kitchen


It is essential to assess the current condition of your kitchen. This also should include looking into what homes in your area are listed and what their kitchens look like.


A kitchen renovation that significantly increases your listing place can sometimes place you well out of the average market in your area.


This can have the opposite effect you intend and make it take longer to sell or, even worse, mean you get less money back from the investment into the kitchen.


If any of the kitchens in your neighbourhood look to have more minor, less costly renovations, follow suit.


Some key aspects to consider when thinking about renovating before selling are layout, kitchen appliances, and design.


Design renovations are best done when they can be long-lasting, are in a neutral colour scheme, and take projects off a buyer's plate.


Examples of this are updating flooring or countertops. Updating kitchen appliances can also be worthwhile, especially if you are updating from outdated black or white appliances to stainless steel.


If in your budget to make changes to improve the kitchen design layout and flow of your kitchen, it can be

incredibly beneficial.


This can include removing load-bearing walls to create a more open concept or removing kitchen islands that are too large or do not make sense for the space.


Let's move on to some of the pros and cons of renovating before selling.


Pros of Renovating Before Selling


There are several pros to renovating our kitchen before selling. The main goal is to ensure your house sells fast and at the best possible price. These are the three most common pros:


#1 Improved aesthetics and modernization


Renovate with modern kitchen design in mind, from flooring to cutting-edge appliances and fresh cabinets. The kitchen being the heart of your home means potential buyers will judge it more harshly than a bedroom that can more easily be updated in the future.


#2 Attracting a larger pool of potential buyers


This is an easy one. The more people who look at your home, the faster it will sell and the more competition there will be. Realtors know this and will make sure their buyers do, too. When they tell a potential buyer the kitchen will make the house quicker to sell, an offer is much more likely.


#3 Justifying a higher listing price


The bottom line for all home sellers is how much money their current home gets them. Nicer kitchens get larger offers and, coupled with renovated bathrooms, are huge selling points. This is especially true for buyers looking for turn-key-ready homes and shy away from homes with projects to be done.

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Cons of Renovating Before Selling


As with everything, if there are pros, there must be cons. The cons most often seen include those with timelines, ROI, and market trends. Below are the three most common cons:


#1 Cost and return on investment


This is the big one because even those staying in their homes after a kitchen renovation understand they will never fully get back all the money they put in. This can be a tricky place to be when renovating to sell because you are hoping your home will pull in enough money to cover the cost of remodelling the kitchen, but sometimes it does not.


#2 Timing and potential delays


Renovation can be precarious if you want to move quickly on selling your home because you are buying another or relocating. Delays due to the availability of materials, downtime for construction crews, and other setbacks can push renovations back weeks or months, making getting your home on the market more difficult.


# 3 Market trends and buyer preferences


It can be hard to predict what certain buyers are looking for in a home and the trends that come in go when it comes to aesthetics like colour, finishes, and materials. There is a segment of homebuyers who want a kitchen they can make their own and design to their specifications and aren't looking to pay more for a recently renovated space.


How Much Does a Kitchen Renovation Cost?


When considering a kitchen renovation before selling your home, it is important to remember there are three levels of renovation regarding cost: low, mid-level, and high-end.


Low-Cost Renovations


Low-cost renovations can help you improve the look and function of your space without breaking the bank. Below are a few ideas for budget-friendly improvements.


  • Kitchen cabinet refacing
  • Painting
  • Adding a new backsplash
  • Upgrading flooring - ranges from $1.50-10 per sq. ft. depending on the material.


Many of these are also DIY-friendly projects that can be tackled over a long weekend, like kitchen cabinet refinishing. The mid-level and high-end renovations below will cost you a bit more. We will give you a few ideas and rough estimates of what they may cost.

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Mid-Level Renovations


Your mid-level renovations are where you may start spending more money and potentially bringing in some professional help. Three of the best mid-level renovations are below.


  • Installing new countertops - range from $25-$250 per sq. ft. depending on the material
  • Incorporating decorative kitchen lighting
  • Upgrading kitchen cabinets and hardware - range from $15,000-100,000, depending on the size of the kitchen.


High-End Renovations

High-end renovations not only will cost more but will take a more extended period of time. This is something to consider if you want to get your house on the market fairly quickly. If you are in a neighbourhood where many homes are newly renovated, you will likely get a good ROI on these renovations below.


  • Adding a kitchen island - ranges from $3,000 to $12,000, depending on size and materials.
  • Installing new appliances
  • Changing the kitchen layout 


If you do renovations, remember that you can pick and choose from several of the cost categories above depending on your budget, timeline, and what is most likely to help you when you put your house on the market. To learn more about the costs of a kitchen renovation, check out this article


When to Renovate and When to Skip


The costs above and the pros and cons can be beneficial in deciding whether renovation before selling is right for you.


The most important thing to remember is to consider market conditions and demand. If you are advised to sell sooner rather than later, skip renovation. If your kitchen requires an extension overhaul that you can't budget for, then skipping is ideal rather than overspending where you shouldn't.


If you have an open timeline and a budget for improvements, renovating may help you get the most for your home and will allow you to continue monitoring the market for the best time to sell.


Design with Deslaurier Custom Cabinets


The biggest thing to remember before tackling any renovation in your kitchen before placing your home on the market is to only do something after fully considering its cost, timelines, and ROI.


The last thing you want to do is spend a large chunk of change on a home you will be leaving only to find you aren't getting that money back in the price the house sells for.


If you want to renovate your kitchen before selling and need custom kitchen cabinets installed in your home, then Deslaurier Custom Cabinets should be your first choice.



With over 40 years of experience to our name and an outreach of over 30 dealers across Ontario, we provide our clients with a fully customized design process with our talented team of designers. When you want to add customization to your new kitchen, we are here to help you through the whole process.


Book a free consultation with a Deslaurier kitchen expert at our Ottawa showroom!


Live outside the area? Find a Dealer to connect with near you! Interested in becoming an authorized Deslaurier dealer? Visit our Become a Dealer page to learn more!

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