The Appliance Mistakes That Will Make Your Home Harder to Sell

updated Apr 30, 2019
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Unless you’re planning on staying in your house forever, chances are good that, when planning home improvements, you have at least one eye on resale value. Today we’re tackling a tricky question: Can new appliances increase the value of your home? As most appliances don’t come cheap, is it worth the expensive upgrade? Turns out, the answer is: it depends.

For the most part, expecting a significant return on appliances is a risky proposition. But there are a few different situations where new appliances can make your home less appealing to buyers.

1. Mismatched appliances

Experts caution against replacing white appliances with stainless or black ones purely for resale value. One exception is if your current appliances don’t match. In this article for Bankrate, Realtor Nicole Persley explains that mismatched appliances can make a kitchen look unfinished, whereas matching appliances give a more high-end look. You can often buy a new face panel for an existing appliance, rather than buying a whole new one. When selling her house, Persley learned a useful trick: Many dishwasher panels are white on one side and black on the other, so all it takes to change the color of the dishwasher is unscrewing the panel and reversing it.

2. Standard appliances (in high-end neighborhoods)

Ordinarily, you probably won’t get your money back on a Wolf range, so think of that purchase as a cooking experience rather than a long-term investment. One exception? Luxury properties. John Carey, writing for Designer Appliances, explains that in very expensive neighborhoods, many buyers expect luxury appliances, and also want a home that’s move-in ready. If you have low-end appliances in a neighborhood where the standard is high, you might run into some trouble.

3. Old and energy-inefficient appliances

While buyers will no doubt be happy to hear that the appliances in your home are new and energy efficient, the real benefit here is to you and your energy bill, right now. Old appliances, even ones that are still in working order, can be tremendously inefficient. The immediate cost savings, plus the value added to your home, may make replacing them more than worth it. This calculator from can help you determine how much electricity those old appliances are sucking up.

4. No appliances at all

In Manhattan, people will pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for an apartment without a dishwasher or a washer and dryer. Manhattan is a strange place. In most parts of the country, however, these are amenities that most homebuyers expect, and that can be a deal-breaker even when everything else about the property is desirable. This doesn’t mean you should spend thousands of dollars adding plumbing lines. But if you have the opportunity to add these in-demand appliances — if the hookups already exist, or you’re planning a remodel anyway — they can make a big difference to how quickly your house sells, and for how much.

This post originally ran on Apartment Therapy. See it there: 4 Appliance Mistakes Experts Say Will Make Your Home Harder to Sell