If your house has been on the market for a long time and you cannot figure out what is stopping it from selling, then the answer might be your kitchen.
A kitchen with an out-of-date design can be a total dealbreaker if you are not careful. In this post, I will explain what parts of a kitchen might make it unsuitable because they are old, unfashionable, or simply not set up well. You do not need to take any of this as a reflection on your design choices, but you may need to make some changes if you want your home to sell more quickly.
The first thing to see is the layout of the kitchen. It is a big problem if a kitchen ever feels small or cramped. Even if the kitchen actually has a good amount of square footage, the placement of the island, if there is one, a table, chairs, appliances, and other room elements can make the kitchen feel smaller. Try to open up the space as much as possible. If you have an open floor plan, this is easier to do. Something that can add to the feeling of a small kitchen is the perception that there is not much counter space, so address that as well. Clean away as much as you can, but do not leave the counters completely bare, because that can also make them look smaller due to a lack of perspective. Keep out a bowl of fruit or a coffee machine to give the viewer some scale. This will also make the room feel more homey and let the prospective buyers imagine themselves in the house more easily.
Next, consider the tile, the wood surfaces, and countertops. These can really dominate the look of the kitchen, and if they seem dated, that will bring down the whole room. Get an estimate of how much it would cost to retile the room or get new countertops and think about whether it is worth it. It will be a big investment, but you can increase your asking price because you added something new, and it should attract more interest because it will be more current. The countertops are probably the most important of these three, followed by the tile and the wood. Wood is easiest to replace and the counters are closer to eye level than the floor is.
You should also think about the appliances. Nothing says "old" like an old fridge, oven, or dishwasher. Not only can they degrade the look of the kitchen, but these appliances also simply don't work as well as new ones in most cases. New buyers could expect to have to buy new appliances if they see that you have old ones, and that might push them away. Investing in something new would make a big difference. Of particular interest are modern conductive ovens and energy-efficient fridges, which can save a lot of money on the electricity bill.
There are some mundane choices you can make as well, like repainting the walls or putting in new light fixtures. The key is to make the kitchen look new. If it is an old and large kitchen with a lot of natural charm, you can work with that very well and get good results. However, those designs are rare and if you are reading this, then you are looking to make a change. That change is modernization. There's no need to go overboard and spend a lot of money on this, but if you don't do it, your buyer will have to do it. That could put them off or convince them to make a lower bid. You can also talk it over with your real estate agent if you are using one. They can tell you if there is some feature or element that is in high demand at the moment and whether it would be worth it to add that in.
Better yet, just place a call to a local real estate investor who pays cash for homes and closes fast. Problem Solved.