Stainless appliances help sell – but you can be budget friendly


Liz Jenkins


I had a client recently who is putting their house on the market – during the consult, we discussed upgrading the appliances.  She asked why – the ones she has worked perfectly fine.  This is where I went into my discussion of the perception of prospective buyers.  In the $600,000 price range, people expect certain things.  Here I could go into my rant about builder’s model homes bumping up the expectations of even low end homes but I won’t.  Stainless steel appliances are one of those expectations.  BUT – there are things you can do on a budget, and here they are:

  • You don’t have to have ALL stainless – the refrigerator is a must, but you can mix and match with black ones to get the look.  For example, if you have a stainless fridge and dishwasher, and a black oven and microwave – this will work.  Or stainless fridge and range, but a black dishwasher and microwave – this will work.  So maybe you don’t have to replace all appliances – just some.
  • A stainless steel hood is about $170 and can make a huge difference even if the cooktop is not stainless.
  • When getting new appliances – you do NOT need top of the line, brand new ones if the house is not brand new.  Check the scratch & dent aisle, the clearance section or outlets.  You don’t want to mix and match brands too much but see what you can find – you do need to keep a similar look with the handles and controls so it doesn’t look hodge podge (that’s the technical term).
  • Don’t hesitate to ask for a further discount – Lowe’s (at least by us) is usually really good about knocking off some on the clearance ones – they want to get them out of their store.  Usually the ones that are on sale in the clearance aisle are the ones that have been returned or repaired and they don’t want them on their showroom floor if they can get them out.  I got a $900 Kitchenaid dishwasher for $300 for a client simply by asking (the price was $499 on the floor).  It had been repaired and returned, plus had one minor ding. 

Stainless can help sell a kitchen – and kitchens are one of the places to put your money when selling the house.  Look for the deals and don’t be picky.  If you are selling – go for price, not what your ideal appliance might be – you are leaving and it won’t matter if it has the perfect ice maker.