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Do granite countertops help sell a house

Posted by Homeblessings (My Page) on
Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 10:27

There is a discussion on the kitchen board that I'm following on whether or not updating a kitchen with granite counter tops will help to sell a home. There is also an interesting side discussion on the same posting, on whether or not more buyers would prefer cheaper stainless steal appliances or up scale white ones.
Anyone here have experiences with these questions either sellers or realitors? I would love to hear them.

Here's the link to the discussion on the kitchen board:
http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg0321372528884.html?42


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Not in my area. Granite never took off here like in other parts of the country.

Personally, I dislike granite AND stainless.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Just sold our house: yes, stainless steel appliances helped (have had them for 2 years and HATE them!). We don't have granite, but do have solid surface (i.e., Corian), and it too helped. I don't know if it is granite per se that buyers are looking for, but rather NOT having formica. Houses with formica and white appliances just don't sell. I'm glad we upgraded a few years ago, at least in terms of having what buyers were looking for.

In our new house, we will panel our dishwasher and refrigerator. There are no real alternatives in the high end appliance market other than paneled and stainless. Unfortunately, white is really "out" for high-end appliances despite the fact that the most common color scheme for kitchens is now white.

Granite seems on the way out now, with quartz the new must have .
At least my opinion!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Just bought a condo last week. I would have liked stainless as we have it at home (the condo is for vacation), but I was super glad they did NOT have granite. Neither influenced our purchase decision - it was all location, location, location driven.

We will be replacing the condo countertop, and I am definitely not looking for granite. We may do quartz (we have had it at our wetbar at home for years now, and it really holds up well with no upkeep), recycled glass resin, or possibly butcher block or concrete. My point? Granite is not something I would consider. Too many quality variables, upkeep, etc.

This post was edited by xamsx on Mon, Mar 11, 13 at 12:05


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

LuAnn in PA I am also in the Pittsburgh area and I have to say since the area is so behind the times that granite is now popular in newer homes. We have friends that had an open house in a very popular suburb housing plan and every single person commented on the lack of granite and stainless steel appliances.

I am prepping my house for the market and have done the countertops and have existing stainless appliances.

The advice on the kitchen forum tends to tell the seller to upgrade while I know the folks on this forum will advise against!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

If that is what is expected in your area, then yes, granite counter tops do help sell the house. If others have them and you do not it does make a difference. Kitchens and baths are still the most important rooms in a home. the potentially buyer will either ding off money for replacement cost cause the kitchen doesn't have them or it may take longer to sell the house. (And from personal experience they are beautiful,easy to maintain, take a beating and still look great, and never go out of style)


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

What if most homes in your price range and area don't have granite, but the more expensive homes in surrounding areas do? Wouldn't that help make yours more desirable, because the buyer would be getting something nicer than what they expected? I'm not talking about raising the sale price because of an updated kitchen, just increasing the odds of selling the home faster in a slow market.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I'm someone who has sold and bought within the last couple of years I think that granite does help. At least around here (Texas) people generally see granite as desirable. A lot of the newer more trendy things are not seen as desirable as most people have no clue about them. I think that Quartz is probably seen as OK but generally not seen as more desirable than Granite. Many people have no idea about those kinds of products so may think it looks OK, but granite is what they know about.

It won't outweigh other more important factors - location, overall size and layout, price - but can be an important bonus. When we were looking to buy a house a year ago, it isn't that I wouldn't have considered a house without granite. I would have. Quartz or soapstone (rare around here) would have been fine, but I didn't see a lot of it. In the houses we were looking at I didn't see any Formica but I did see some houses with Corian (or similar products). I was looking at houses no more than 10 years old. The thing on the houses with Corian or anything other than granite, quartz or soapstone was that I knew that if I bought the house I would have to replace the counters and possibly other things in the kitchen. We did offer on such a house but couldn't make a deal, in part because I had to consider the cost to redo the kitchen. The house we bought already had granite that I liked so it wasn't an issue.

The bigger issues were what about houses with granite but awful cabinets. We looked at one house that originally didn't have granite but after the house had been on the market a long time the sellers put new granite in the kitchen. The granite was fine (not my first choice but OK), but the cabinets were awful. I sort of didn't want to in effect pay for the new granite then have to rip it all out to put in acceptable cabinets....

Stainless steel around here is more of a positive. My perception is that most people don't pay a lot of attention to how high end kitchen appliances are. It is more a visual thing than a quality thing. I know there are exceptions (and most of them are in the kitchen forum here). But, most people aren't like the people who are here.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I think granite and stainless appliances make a home more desirable. Like you said, those help the buyer remember and drool over one house more than another.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

It depend son what you are competing against for buyers.

What do comparable houses in your area have?


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

The answer depends entirely on the buyer. I have very specific needs and wants for my kitchen so I shopped for a home with the right layout, but fully expecting to remodel it. I saw many granite and stainless kitchens and could tell they were recent upgrades to increase/justify the asking price. I therefore avoided these, knowing if be bidding on something I'd have to rip and replace. That likely would have led to a negotiation snafu as the sellers wanted to get back $ on their recent investment.

All buyers have personal motivations. A good RE agent will go out of their way to help you market your home accordingly. A lazy one will simply say "neutral colors, granite and stainless" and hope to cast a wide net and snagging Joe Average. In a sellers market, that may work. For young couples with fast move in requirements, that may also work. For upscale buyers, not so much.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I just went over the original thread posted in kitchens and am shaking my head - the OP is re-doing her whole kitchen at this point to get in granite and stainless. Re-tiling (cheaply), new sink, faucets, backsplash etc ... and I am baffled; just drop the price and be done with it.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

" just drop the price and be done with it."

Agreed!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Thanks everyone who has responded here and on the other board. Knowing what to do to sell your home is tricky.

My situation is different than the original poster. We live in a small neighborhood. Since we bought our home, (13 years ago), only 3 homes have sold. Two were before the housing crash. The one that has sold since went on the market right at it's peek about a month before it's decline. It took 4 yrs to sell the home (It was rented out off and on during that time), and sold only after a $100K price decrease. It sold for well below what it was worth and has hurt selling prices for the whole neighborhood.

Since then one more home has gone on the market and has been on about 8 months. Neither home had updated kitchens or baths. (The homes are around 25 years old.)

The neighborhood is lovely, the homes are on acre lots. The biggest issue is that during the housing crisis a new high school was built, and when the boundary lines were drawn most of the nicer neighborhoods were in the new school district. We were on the other side of the boundary line and stayed in the old less desirable school. There are very few homes in our price range or above in this school district.

When we put our home on the market, we want it to sell quickly. It is a nice home, but the kitchen is dated. The tile floors are green, the counters are laminate. The cabinets are dated stock cabinets, but are in good condition (I'm planning on painting them white).

The home has had all normal upkeep stuff done while we've been living here so everything is in good repair -new roof within the last 5 years, new waterheater, etc.

We will put it on the market a little below what ever comps we get, but we also feel that we need to do what we can to have our home stand out, and look like a good value. Again,we want it to sell quickly.

Does everyone here just put there home on the market as is, and then keep dropping the price if it doesn't sell, or do most put a little $ into it first to appeal to the most buyers?

We plan on painting, buying new carpets (we have mostly hard wood so this won't be much $), and putting $10K into updating the kitchen. Does that seem like an unreasonable amount to put into a home to get it ready to sell?

Most of the homes in our price range in other areas have granite and it is standard in new builds no matter what the price.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Homeblessings when I bought my home, the kitchen was brand new. The owner's didn't intend that, they redid the kitchen for their enjoyment, but somewhere in the middle of the reno they decided to get divorced. One of our bathrooms was redone before closing and after the moved out too (they gutted it, and had to finish it before they could sell to us). They absolutely did not get their money back, they actually lost about $75K (they only owned for a year total!).

Renovating to sell before you put on the market isn't necessarily a bad thing - your listing is fresh, you could possibly get the money back at $10K or speed up your sale. Renovating WHILE your house is listed is something that should be rethought. I know for a fact it really hurt the people who sold us our house to have the bathroom gutted, and the kitchen "not quite" finished.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

" the OP is re-doing her whole kitchen at this point to get in granite and stainless. Re-tiling (cheaply), new sink, faucets, backsplash etc ... and I am baffled; just drop the price and be done with it."

You are unlikely to get back the costs or the upgrade unless you are taking a real sows ear and bringing it up to the level of your competition.

Your advantage is then 'new work' over possibly 'older work' on the other houses.

you need to stay as 'middle of the road' as you can to attract the largest number of buyers.

The chief advantage usually comes out in a faster sale, but not any real extra value.

Your carrying costs are reduced,


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Hi, I'm the idiotic OP! Just to clarify a few things...

I'm not re-tiling (cheaply). I'm tiling. Every house I've seen in our neighborhood has wood or tile flooring. We have vinyl that is showing its age. I didn't set out to choose the cheapest tile, but I don't want an expensive one either. I was looking for tile to match a nearby tile as closely as possible and it happened to be the cheapest. It is similar to what others in the neighborhood have.

The slide-in range is the only appliance original to the house and it is on its last legs. It's gotten worse since the house was originally listed and now the display rarely lights up. The top looks bad, too. I've looked for months for a replacement on CL and Sears Outlet but white slide-ins aren't popular (wonder why). A new one would be $1250, but WAIT, the range and MW are inexplicably off-white and the refrigerator and DW are white. Should I replace that too? I'd be out $1500 for new appliances and I get all new stainless for $2100. But that's only if I don't have to have a slide-in, which could be achieved only with a new countertop. I guess I can leave it and hope for the best, but I don't want to have to deal with it at inspection time.

I don't plan to replace the backsplash.

The sink and faucet are butt-ugly and the sink doesn't match anything.

The granite cost will be under $2300. It's not a huge countertop. It looks like the total cost for tile, granite, faucet, sink, and new appliances will be under $7000.

I already dropped the price. The number of showings/month actually went down after that. The housing market is better in our area for houses priced higher than mine than for those a lower than mine. Ours is average for age/price in our neighborhood and probably a little bigger than average. A house down the street priced $60,000 lower than ours went on the market at the same time as a house priced $60,000 higher. The higher priced one sold very quickly; the other still sits.

I am not renovating while it's on the market. It is off for a month and I am only doing what can be accomplished before we relist it. The only thing I've committed to is the tiling (cheaply). I'm just getting ideas and quotes at this point.

Now I'll go away so you can talk about me some more.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Sounds to me like you are upgrading due to deferred maintenance and not just to modernize the kitchen. I that case, you should, but I'd still do the least you can as you won't see a penny in ROI. You will do all of this and still end up dropping your price further and/or giving up concessions at closing. I know someone that repainted and re carpeted their entire home only to have to give buyers a $7500 "redecorating allowance" two months later.....to paint a different color and put in hardwood floors.

Last minute upgrades, at best, reduce days on market.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

The fact is, the OP may well come out ahead, even if she puts in $7000 for the rehab. Not because she can raise the price of the home much, but because she won't have to lower it nearly as much as she would if it was left undone. If left undone, I bet the selling price would be more than $7000 less than what it sells for after the updating.
And then add in the lesser amounts of carrying costs due to the shorter sale.
Remember, OP, granite and stainless are still King... no matter what some individual person's tastes are. You are not selling to them. You are selling to the masses.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

If I have a $10 widget, but spend an extra $7 on packaging so I can get someone to buy it for $9, my net loss isn't $1, it's $8. If I take the $10 widget, and sell it for $5, my net loss is $5. Unless the OP is in default or in foreclosure, continued monthly payments by staying on market until the right buyer comes along is the BEST investment they can make as they a) have a place to live and b) continue to pay down the note.

Don't fall for the hype. REA's want a fast sale at highest maximum selling price to increase their commission and make their metrics look good. They want YOU to invest in helping THEM make more money. ask them if they will drop their commission rate in exchange for you making more investments in the home....most wont. You should focus on what makes the best business sense for you.

And I don't recall writing a contract for Mr. And Mrs. Masses. Individual buyers tastes trumps tract housing norms unless we are talking about, well, a tract housing property. If you want to sell to the masses, put your home price right at median for your market.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

This is very interesting as we just decided to sell and an agent (we haven't sign with yet), is telling us to at least do a back splash.

We have something I never saw till we moved here to Birmingham: a formica counter with the same formica going up about 18" as a back splash. And it's the cheapest quality formica too. But there's not a cut or stain or anything on it, so the agent thinks if we just put in a tumbled stone/subway tile back splash, that might be all that we'd need for a quick sale.

BUT she did tell us to get a price on granite while we're at it to see what it would cost.

If we stayed here, I'd want all this done. And I know that many of our neighbors have had this done and most of the ones that have sold or are for sale in our neighborhood now have granite.

Think a nice back splash would be enough? The kitchen is quite beautiful otherwise--the original owner just seemed to have run out of money for countertops.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Tony, I'll let you know either way how it turns out. There are reasons other than default or foreclosure for upgrading a house or wanting a quick sale. Here's our situation:

We own two houses and we aren't paying down a note. The deal on the house we're selling fell through just before closing (but after we had moved out) due to a job loss.

Our market demands "move-in ready" because of the high number of military families. They also look for houses that appeal to Mr. and Mrs. Masses because they will be selling sooner rather than later.

A quick sale is our #1 goal, not only to eliminate carrying costs, but to beat possible military cuts and tax changes that could make our community less desirable. Also, our house can only remain empty a certain length of time before our insurance carrier drops us and we will need money for college tuition in the fall.

Our REA did not recommend SS appliances, and he didn't think the floor was absolutely necessary. We were considering upgrading appliances because we already felt we should replace the range and hood. We are back to just replacing those two and keeping white. We decided to do the floor because a friend offered to do it for a good price. Our agent said he thought granite would pay off because so many are looking for it and the perceived cost is much higher than the actual cost. We think it's worth it because recently all the new-built houses (even the very inexpensive ones) made granite standard.

I appreciate that you take time to warn people when you think they are making a mistake. Like I said, I'll let you know how it works out.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

mpagmom, thanks for that info about the perceived vs. actual cost on the granite. I was wondering the same thing: if someone comes to look at our home and thinks, "Nice, but no granite", will they imagine it costs a lot more to do it than it actually does? If we can find a lower cost way to do it, perhaps we should.

Gee, you just made me remember that there is a fairly inexpensive place nearby that would probably do it for less than the person the agent is suggesting (I thought she was suggesting a local handyman, but it turns out she was recommending a contractor!).


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Mpag, thank you for illustrating that context makes a difference when it comes to RE transactions. Base on your contextual situation, I retract my warnings and agree you are making a good choice. Best wishes for a speedy sale and I hope you recoup your investment.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Tony, thank you for your kind words. I still worry about spending any money!

Bhamster, make sure you factor in all the costs - new sink, cutout, backsplash, etc. Also, choose a good installer - you don't have time for a botched job. Our agent didn't initially recommend granite, but when I told him it would cost less than $3000 he said he would do it because people think it costs $10,000.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I don't know if I should bother bringing this up as nothing may come of it at all, but when a guy came to measure our cabinets for granite countertops, he got to chatting about our house and, long story short, he said his parents might be interested in it--in which case, we both concluded, he could do the countertops and other work after they've moved in.

That would be SO awesome--but I looked up where his parents live and the housing prices are way, way below ours, so I don't know how they'd do it. Sigh...


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Don't waste a lot of effort on this lead. It may work out, but rarely does it.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Yeah, I'm sure you're right.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

We just sold our house with laminate counters and vinyl flooring. Many of my neighbors have updated kitchens, but hubby and I could never agree. Realtors told me we had to do granite and I refused. Our house sold the weekend it was listed. The feedback from lookers was that it was in really good condition except for the kitchen. As long as there is just one thing to fix people don't seem to mind. They just don't want a long list of projects. Painting goes a long way towards having the rest of the house feel updated. Also, ask yourself if you invest in granite or something else expensive, will the room still feel dated because of the lighting, windows, flooring, cabinets, etc? If it will, why bother because buyers will base their offer on a dated room.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Granite wouldn't make me buy it. Had it and hate it. I bought a house with laminate in the kitchen (gasp!) and not even a color I would have chosen, but down the road I hope to change it out to soapstone. I watch a lot of HGTV, and that's all I hear "granite and stainless steel." Makes me want to run from it. I like to do my own thing and I also think it should be appropriate to the house (I have a relative who is putting granite countertops in her kitchen in her circa 1800's house....it just seems wrong to me...but it makes her happy!)


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

YOUR personal choices are not as important as what buyers are seeing (and expecting) from the competition.

Granite is a 'better than' compared to laminate in many people's eye.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

We sold about a year and a half ago. We did exactly what the OP did, new carpet, paint, painted oak cabinets, added trim and beadboard to the cabinets as well as Santa Cecelia granite and also refinished floors. Our appliances were black. The house sold quickly. Two neighbors with larger homes and more desirable lots did no upgrades, put homes on the market expecting to get a higher price than we did due to location and size. Guess what, neither sold. Both had oak cabinets. One had granite but it was mauvish pink.

You will have a quicker sale if your home shows well and has popular upgrades. Most buyers don't know level 1 granite from level 4 and have no idea quartz is "in". You are looking to attract most buyers. The RE people here will tell you most people want turnkey, and are not planning to rennovate everything, if they are, they expect a deep discount. I wouldn't suggest putting in new cabinets or expensive upgrades, you just want it to feel upscale.

Our realtor told us the kitchen sold our house. it cost around 7K. We got every penny and more out.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I agree with the OP. We did the same thing only spent close to $70,000 updating and fixing everything. The house sold quickly without having to drop the price. The most important thing we wanted was a quick sale.

We listed in 09 as the housing market was tanking in NY. I knew if we sold 'as is' we'd lose too much money. We'd sell but it would take longer and the market was dropping quickly. I didn't want to take the chance.

I wanted no problems with inspection so had everything done which would have triggered negotiation on the price. We did not drop our price. We had mulitple offers but excepted the offer which was full price. Nothing came up on inspection.

Did we get our money back? I think we did. There was no way to know as we lived in the house 38 years and paid less than the upgrades! But we improved the house numerous times over those years.

We did some basic updating to the kitchen and did not spend a lot. We had replaced our appliances a few years earlier with Stainless so we didn't have to deal with that. We did not replace the counters, they were tile, but did remove the grout and replaced with new grout. Looked good. Did mainly cosmetic changes, lights, paint, cabinet pulls.

We updated three bathrooms. Replaced sinks, but kept the vanity in two of the baths. Put marble tops, new mirrors, replaced toilets and old, brass shower doors with new frameless. The bathrooms were beautiful even though we kept the old tile floors and tub.

The big expense was replacing the roof, a sunroom and refinishing all the oak floors. We rebuilt a large deck.

As a buyer, I saw many homes where the sellers put granite on top of old cabinets. Terrible! I walked away from those houses. Made no sense to tear out new granite to replace the cabinets. Terrible idea.

We wound up buying a house with a kitchen which we will eventually replace, but it is usable and livable for the time being.

We had a great Realtor. She told us we might not recoup the cost of fixing up the house, but we'd sell quickly. She was right, we did without any hassles. It was worth every penny!

Good luck,

Jane


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

mpagmom, How is it going? What have you (or are you) doing to the house to try to sell more quickly? Is it back on the market? Just checking in to see how things are working out.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Thanks for asking, sail-away. I've been thinking all week that I have to get on here for an update.

My friend finished up the porcelain tile installation last week, and it looks amazing. The total cost was about $2000.

We ended up replacing the appliances with stainless steel for three reasons: the range/range hood (bisque) didn't match the refrigerator/DW (white), the range looked bad and was breaking, and the DW wouldn't have fit vertically because the new floor was higher. I got the 4 appliances for $2150 including tax and delivery, and I sold the old ones on Craigslist for about $1000.

The granite has been slowing me down at every step. Nobody called to set up the measurement, the granite was backordered, and then they needed approval for a seam. It will finally be installed Monday. The total cost with new sink, faucet, and plumbing will come in between $3500 and $4000.

We kept the backsplash, and the new granite should be a little lower than the old laminate. I am hoping the difference will be small enough that caulk matched to the grout will fill the space.

So, here is the good news. One of the agents we talked to has another house listed in our price range. She was getting a lot of showings on that house the week after Easter, and when she followed up with the buyers' agents she asked if they wanted to see our house even though it wasn't ready to go on market yet. We figured it wouldn't hurt to let them look because they were all from out of town and would make a decision before our house was ready. Three potential buyers looked (one while the appliances were being delivered) and it made the "top 2" for two of them. One put an offer in on a much more expensive house but couldn't reach a deal, so they bought ours. We had to come down a bit more than we wanted to, but the agent gave us a break on the commission because she didn't have any advertising costs.

In our case, I'd say the updates made all the difference. Most buyers in our area are military and they are all about resale and move-in condition. Our area is less expensive than many parts of the country, so they can afford more expensive houses, and that is what they buy. I can't tell you how many times we were in the "top 2" and then they bought a house for $75,000 more.

Our house had sat on the market for months without an offer. Rather than lowering the price $10,000 we invested less than $7000 into it. We got $7500 less than our asking price, which is much more than we ever could have gotten if we'd lowered the price. A house down the street at a similar price range but without upgrades hasn't sold in six weeks on the market and we sold before we hit the market. I'd say that for us the investment more than paid off.

Homeblessings, I'd love to hear how you are doing!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Congratulations! It seems that you did a good job analyzing how best to market your home in your area and invested wisely. I know it had to be difficult to sort through everything and decide what to do, and I'm glad it paid off for you.

Here's hoping for an uneventful granite installation and quick closing ...


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Congratulaions Mpagmom! I'm so happy for you. Thanks for coming back on and giving us an update. I've also been wondering how it was going for you. If you have time please post before and after pictures. I'd love to see how everything turned out and the difference that updating made.

Our granite is going in this week. Then we will paint the cabinets and walls, and put in new light fixtures. I've been so busy trying to declutter, clean, paint, etc., to get our house ready for the market. I am so tired and the list of things to do seems never ending. My husband is really busy at work right now for the next six weeks so that stinks. I'd love to have the house on the market right now, but it looks like it will be at least another couple of months.

Thanks again for starting this discussion. I hope all will go as planned this time for you.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Congratulations! Selling quickly is well worth the extra hassle and cost of the upgrades you made. Trying to keep a house ready for showings at a moment's notice is a huge headache, not to mention the worry if a house sits for ages.
Homeblessings, are you sure you need to paint the cabinets? To do a good and professionally looking job is a huge undertaking. The last two places I considered buying had cabinets that looked like a, well, DIY paint job. Are you sure you can't just revitalize the cabinets or perhaps gel stain them?


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Unfortunately yes, we have to paint them. When we bought our home 14 yrs ago the oak cabinets were covered with painted, stenciled on, green ivy. We were able to sand off the ivy on the edges of the cabinets but not in the center panels, so we painted the centers white to cover it all up. (see picture below).

It was not a great paint job because the ivy was bumpy even after much sanding. This time we are going to sand even more, and use some kind of filler to make the center surfaces smoother. I will paint the whole door this time. I haven't liked the two toned look.

I'm not looking forward to doing it. It will be a huge job to do it right. We will take our time, and we won't do a sloppy job. I hope it will not look like a cheap DIY job.

I did Gel Stain all of my bathroom cabinets and they look beautiful.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Well, at least you know what to expect in terms of work.
I wonder if you could still go with gel stain although it would mean to go darker. I did this with really bad brown paint job on the cabs. What I did was sand the cabinets to smooth the painted surface (painted in hairs and stubble) out as much as possible and then just slapped General Finishes java gel over them. They actually look quite nice now. I think someone on GW painted her vanity brown before gel staining. Of course, the unpainted wood may look different from the painted panels if you go over them with gel stain.
In other words, what would happen if you gel stained over the white paint?


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

We are putting in steel grey granite (which reads black from a distance) early this week. It has already been fabricated by now, so there's no changing it.

Our kitchen is fairly dark. It doesn't get a lot of light because of the direction that it faces, and there is an enclosed porch behind the windows which cuts out even more natural light.

For these two reasons white is really the best color to brighten up the room, and in our area would be the most popular for resale.

I have seen some poorly done dyi painted cabinets, so I get where you are coming from. I did look into having them professionally done, but it wasn't in the budget. I hope we can make them look nice. We've done a lot of research on best paints and methods to use.

BTW, One of my bathroom cabinets was painted white, and after 3 coats of gel stain it looked just the same as the other two that had not been painted. I'm not sure if a piece that was half painted and half not would turn out to have an even color after gel staining, but my guess is that it would.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

It sounds like white is the way to go for your kitchen, and it will look fabulous --- unfortunately, a fair amount of work, but just do it one cabinet at a time. You sound like you know how to do a great job!
Are you planning on replacing the kitchen light fixture/s?
Pls keep us posted about your progress. Always an inspiration. And best of luck!
Thanks for the feedback on the gel stain over white paint.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Thanks nosoccermom.
We do plan on replacing the light fixtures, and the dishwasher has a stainless steel panel that we will put on when we list the house.
I will keep everyone posted on how things go.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Homeblessings, after 2 long days of granite installation and waiting around for the plumber, I have before and after pictures. A couple of the pictures are from my phone camera, so they aren't the greatest. The middle right picture is the only one that shows the real colors in there.

I knew there would be a gap between the granite and backsplash because the granite is 1.2" thick and the old laminate was 1.5". I planned on caulking it with sanded caulk the same color as the grout (fortunately the bag was in the basement and we knew the color) but when I saw how big the gap was in real life I was skeptical. Pressed for time, I tried it anyway, and I think it was the best solution for us.

Good luck with the rest of your renovation, Homeblessings, and keep us posted. I know how it is to feel like you have to do everything, but it will all be worth it in the end!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Definitely! It's an upgrade. A lot of buyers ask for it, and is pretty much standard request when selling in a new model home.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Very nice with the new counters, appliances, sink and faucet.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

I know it's hard to say for sure, but based on the feedback you received, do you think that the upgrades helped sell the house so quickly? Or was the deal done before you even had all the upgrades done?


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

For us, the upgrades sold the house. The buyers saw it with the new floor and appliances and saw a sample of the granite. I talked to their agent who said they'd looked at an outrageous number of houses and there was nothing like ours on the market. She said it would sell in a week. Normally demand is good for houses in our neighborhood and they sell relatively quickly. This past year with the uncertainty of the election, the fiscal cliff, and the sequestration there have been very few local buyers. All the buyers are military officers or doctors looking in the $325,000 to $400,000 price range. They plan to be in the area four years and are looking for easy resale and bargains. Most who looked at our house ultimately bought a much more expensive house. A few bought a house for $30,000 less than ours. Without the upgrades we probably would have found a local buyer, but depending on civilian cuts at the local air force base they may be few and far between.


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

You made very smart and savvy choices! You should post an update to your initial posting, so that others can benefit from your experience.
I think GW members frequently forget that the majority of buyers wants a home that's move-in ready and that the general taste is very predictable (SS appliances, granite, PB look).


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Mpagmom, I can't really see the new floor, but everything else looks great! Looks like we used the same granite. I'm sure the new homeowners are delighted to get a brand new kitchen as lovely as yours.

My granite was put in this week, so I can sympathize with all you just went through. I was so worried about the seam after all of the posts with granite seam problems this past week, but they ended up not having to do one. I also got a new subway backsplash for the same cost that adding the 4 inch surround of granite was going to cost me. I'm so happy I didn't have to put that under the old tile. It is a much cleaner look this way.

So far I've only spent $4600 of my $10,000 budget. I've purchased granite countertops, sink, faucet, cabinet hardware, plumbing, backsplash demo, subway tile backsplash, and appliances. I have enough left that I'm going to look into refacing the cabinets instead of painting them or maybe having them professionally painted. That would be a huge weight lifted, and we could focus on all the other things that we need to get done to put our home on the market. I'm planning on calling around for prices tomorrow.

This post was edited by Homeblessings on Thu, Apr 18, 13 at 22:36


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Great job stretching that budget! I think it's a great idea to look at refacing the cabinets. It can't hurt to look.

I did a last-second change to steel grey, and when I got home from ordering the granite I read you had chosen the same one. I thought that was funny. It is soooo neutral.

My floor doesn't look much different in pictures, but it makes a huge difference in real life. You're lucky you already have a nice floor. Keep us posted and make sure to post a finished picture!


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RE: Do granite countertops help sell a house

Mpagmom, I've been following your process of updating the house for sale,and I appreciate your posting the pictures. Your upgrades made a huge difference---I can see why they would sell your house faster.

When/if the time comes to sell our home, I would happily upgrade for a faster sale, even if it didn't translate into a bigger profit. It sounds like in your case it did pay off.

Homeblessings, I hope you continue to keep us posted on how the reno and sale of your house proceed. Sounds like you're making good use of your funds. Hope you end up selling reasonably soon.


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