You’re trying to sell, but your kitchen needs updating. Is it worth spending money to achieve the ‘wow’ factor, or should you just leave it to the new owners to make changes?

It’s a dilemma many face as the kitchen is often the critical room in the house for making or breaking a sale.

But it’s also the room that new buyers focus on for a revamp as soon as they move in.

So what do the experts think? Paul Jorgensen, director of Jorgensen Turner at 234 Uxbridge Road, W12, believes it’s horses for courses, and that a decision on investing in a new kitchen depends on the size of the property.

“If purchasers are looking at apartments, they are probably a little more stretched budget-wise, so the kitchen and bathroom play more of a fundamental part in their decision-making on making an offer or not,” he said.

“With regards to families buying a family home, the kitchen is definitely a fundamental determinant on a purchase, but it is about the quality of space and functionality that the kitchen offers, not the actual state of the kitchen on purchase.

“We tend to find kitchens are ripped out and refurbished in houses once purchasers move in.”

Bill Spreckley of Stacks Property Search thinks sellers are throwing their money away if they invest. “Concentrate on layout not content,” he says. “Look at how you could knock it through to other rooms to open it up into a large living space.

“I wouldn’t advise spending beyond a really good repair, tidy and paint job. As buying agents, if we walk into a kitchen that’s had £50,000 recently thrown at it, we immediately consider reducing the bid. Kitchens date quickly. What’s cutting-edge one year is in all good DIY shops the next.”

If you do decide to invest before selling, keep the colours muted and neutral – new owners can always add splashes of vivid colours if they choose to.

Go for the highest quality appliances you can afford. If you really want to make an impression, include a wine cooler and integrated coffee machine if there is space, and ideally a stone work surface.

Islands and breakfast bars are popular if room permits.

As a rule of thumb, kitchen trends that stand the test of time include Agas (amazing, considering the cost of fuel) and huge fridges (once you’ve had one, there’s no going back). Anything that avoids clutter is a plus. A boiling water dispenser does away with the kettle, while integrated recycling means the floor isn’t littered with bins.

Jorgensen Turner sold this two-bed conversion in Caxton Road, W12, for £575,000. The kitchen helped persuade the buyer to go for it.

For details of similar properties, call Jorgensen Turner on 020 8222 6050 or vist our website

Picture: The kitchen in this £575,000 two-bed conversion in Caxton Road, W12, helped sell the flat


By Tim Harrison 16.07.13