Many people trying to sell their home don?t realize just how important the kitchen is in this process. However unassuming some may think the kitchen is, the room can actually play a big role in selling a house. After all, there?s a lot of truth to the old saying, ?the stomach is the way to the heart.?

The kitchen, some would argue, is the real heart of a home. It?s where many of us both eat and spend time with family. A kitchen can also be the main show piece of a house. You see it everyday, and visitors may see it at almost every visit. So, it?s no surprise that today?s buyers want houses with up-to-date and/or just plain charming kitchens.

Of course, kitchens can be quite expensive to renovate. In fact, many homeowners spend much more money and energy renovating a kitchen than they would any other room in the house. These sorts of projects require a lot of time and labor; there?s a lot more to renovating kitchens than just adding a new layer of paint.

Really, prospective renovators often deal with a dizzying array of tiling, flooring, cabinetry, and counters. Buyers do want houses with up-to-date kitchens, but they most certainly don?t want to do the job themselves. The vast majority of buyers want a kitchen that?s ready for use on move in day.

So, what are buyers looking for in kitchens? The answer to this question depends on the price range of the home.

As a seller, you do not want to price yourself out of the market. If houses in your neighborhood are selling for $100,000 with tidy kitchens, then you do not need to upgrade to marble, travertine, or granite at the price tag of $40,000. You just won?t find any buyers.

You should always take a good look at the competition. Use MLS listings or open houses in your area to find out what your competitors? kitchens look like.

Do the other houses in the area have new granite counters and solid wood cabinets in today?s designer colors? If so, then you may want to make that same move. Do these homes have stainless steel appliances and other features like wine coolers, trash compactors, or updated dishwashers?

Also, consider, are you in an upscale neighborhood? Is so, then you have to think high-end for that kitchen of yours. Older houses may have nice kitchens, but buyers often consider the time and money it would take to renovate them in the future. You may want to make a concession price-wise if you don?t want to make the upgrades yourself.

Really, though, there is no need to be overwhelmed. Kitchens can be updated with just a few simple changes. You can alter the paint, de-clutter, update the appliances, and get a lower end granite or faux granite for a lower price. You can save a lot of money by doing some of the work yourself.

Nice kitchens sell homes. If you?re thinking of selling, do yourself a favor and find out about other kitchens in the area. Doing so should allow you to find out what you need to do to your own kitchen to make your home a real competitor in the local market.

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