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The kitchen is one of every home ‘s greatest selling points. Home buyers want a space to fall in love with, and it can play a major role in whether they decide to put in an offer or walk away.

Of course, if they’re outdated or unattractive, kitchens can be a major turn-off to buyers. Most people are searching for a “move-in ready” house, and don’t want to get burdened with what they believe is going to be an expensive down the road renovation. If they’re torn between two houses and one of them has a great kitchen while the other needs some work, chances are they’ll be persuaded to go with the first.

This does not necessarily mean, however, that you have to spend a lot of money in order to get it up to scratch. Some simple tips on home staging may be all you need to get it ready for the competitive real estate market. Here is a look at some of the most important of those.

Declutter Countertops.

The # 1 thing to do before getting your home on the market in every kitchen is to clean the countertops off. Any small appliances – such as a toaster or blender- should be placed in a cabinet, and kept out of sight. Only a few selected items of decor should be left out. Buyers want plenty of countertop space in the kitchen, so keeping them decluttered will show off yours, and make the entire kitchen feel bigger.

Give Your Cabinets and Counters a Makeover

If your kitchen cabinets are in generally good shape but a little worn down or outdated, a fresh coat of paint can make a HUGE difference.

There is no need to spend a lot of money on a costly renovation if the cabinets just need a little TLC. Paint them a neutral such as white, beige or gray to match your countertops. If your countertops are outdated or in bad condition, as well then it would be smart to invest in some new ones. You can often find great deals on granite slabs if you shop around.

To finish it off, switch out the old hardware with some pretty new doorknobs and it will feel like you have a brand-new kitchen for the fraction of the cost of a full kitchen renovation.

Add Decor Touches Carefully

A few simple pieces of decor can add character to your kitchen, make it feel more welcoming and help it look newer by offering some style and contrast.

As you want to maintain a decluttered look less is better in this case. A book stand with an open cookbook set on it, some fresh flowers in a pretty vase or some apothecary jars filled with textured materials like beans or noodles are some of our favorite kitchen staging decor ideas.

Update Your Kitchen Lighting

Many older houses have outdated kitchen lighting fixtures. Fluorescent lights went out decades ago, so it would be smart to switch them to more modern or classic options if you have those or other old-fashioned fixtures in your kitchen.

Updated, modern lighting will make the kitchen immediately feel newer and buyers will no doubt notice. Stay away from the bulbs which cast a yellow glow on the room though. Stick with daylight-style bulbs to make the room feel more bright and open.

Maximize Your Kitchen Island’s Appeal

If you have a wide island or bar area in your kitchen where bar stools are placed, set the stage with place settings for each seat.

This will draw attention to the great aspect of your kitchen, which is something that can be a big selling point, and will make the room feel more welcoming too.

You can also take this opportunity to bring an extra pop of color into the space by choosing a colorful placemat or charger for the setting and placing white dishes on top. It doesn’t have to be extravagant to look chic.