Real Estate Marketing Ideas

6 Kitchen Updates That Add Value When Listing Your Home

By Lindsay Goebel Last Updated March 15, 2022 4 min read

The kitchen is the heart of any home. It’s where family and friends gather, home-cooked meals simmer, and date nights close out with leftover dessert. When it comes to real estate, the kitchen is a space never overlooked by buyers. It’s often a room that will make or break a home sale, which is why you want your kitchen to shine in listing images and at showings. 

There are several simple and impactful ways to update your kitchen. Even minor updates, no matter your budget, can add significant value to your home, which allows you to list for more money. 

Here are six simple and affordable kitchen updates that add value to your home: 

Upgrade your countertops

Installing new countertops may be the most impactful upgrade for your kitchen. A new countertop can modernize the entire kitchen. While shelling out for a quartz or granite countertop may be the most expensive update, it may not sting too much if your kitchen is smaller. Additionally, countertops add the most value back into your pocket when you sell. 

staging for spring - kitchen - virtuance

Now, there are several options to select. You can choose from beautiful and durable quartz and granite. Other options include butcherblock and even concrete. You may even consider splurging on a quartz countertop for the island and then using a more affordable material, like butcherblock, on the other surfaces. 

Swap out your sink and faucet

Another wonderful kitchen update is a new sink and kitchen faucet. A subtle change can leave an eye-catching impression for buyers. If you aren’t updating your countertops but want to change your sink, you will need to use the same size sink. However, if you are upgrading your counters, you can choose any sink style. Additionally, you can go for a sleek under-mounted sink to really wow buyers. 


An updated faucet can also enhance your kitchen space. Modern faucets catch the attention of younger buyers looking for stylish spaces.

Change the backsplash

The style and age of backsplash in a kitchen can make the room feel brand new or ancient. Furthermore, the color and sheen of the backsplash will make the kitchen feel big and bright or small and closed in. If you decide to update your backsplash, there are several modern and timeless options to choose.

image of kitchen with backsplash

Whether you decide to go with classic white subway tile or trendy herringbone, a new backsplash makes a kitchen pop both in person and in real estate photos

If you’re stumped on what tile and grout color to use, you can find inspiration in listing images of homes for sale in your area. You can also search for kitchen backsplash images on sites like Pinterest. 

Update the light fixtures

Swapping out the light fixtures is a quick and easy way to refresh your kitchen. You can install a new light fixture on your own, making this update one of the most affordable. Light fixtures aren’t just for functionality anymore. They add interest to a room through their shape, color, style, and size. 

kitchen - real estate photography - virtuance

Consider refreshing your light fixtures over an island and breakfast nook. Additionally, you can add under-counter lighting to create a luxurious feel. 

Learn all about how to choose the right kitchen light fixtures in this HGTV article

Refresh the hardware and cabinets

Painting the kitchen cabinets and updating the hardware is another impactful but straightforward upgrade. If your cabinets are an outdated stain color or faded in general, revamp them with fresh paint. White cabinets are always a safe bet, and they make the kitchen feel bigger and brighter. You can also choose a two-toned cabinet style. Two-toned cabinets are a fun kitchen trend right now, where the bottom cabinets are a darker shade, and the upper cabinets are a lighter shade.


Sometimes kitchen cabinets only need new hardware. If your cabinets have a nice stain color and are timeless, like shaker-style, consider only updating the hardware. You can find modern and contemporary cabinet finishes at any home improvement store. Cabinet drawer and door pulls are also available on sites like Wayfair and Overstock. 

Add a modern range hood

Many updated kitchens are renouncing the microwave over the stove for a sleeker, exposed range hood. You can achieve this modern look by moving the microwave to an in-cabinet location. If you already planned to update the backsplash, adding a range hood is easy. Consider placing your backsplash all the way up the wall behind the stovetop. This hack gives the illusion of taller ceilings and more space. 


Trendy range hood styles include stainless steel and matte black. You can find several kinds of range hoods online at Wayfair, Overstock, and even Best Buy

When you are ready to list your house, getting a return on your investment is ideal. Kitchen upgrades are affordable and attractive ways to increase the value of your home without blowing your budget. An updated kitchen looks stunning in real estate images and generates more online traffic, resulting in a higher number of showings. Your updates can be as simple as new light fixtures or as advanced as new countertops. It really depends on your budget and what you desire as an ROI.