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between luxury and quality kitchens,” he says. “A luxury kitchen could include unduly lavish items that may be desirable but not necessary to sell a property in the current market. I absolutely believe that housebuilders should be buying quality kitchens for new-build or renovated properties. An important aspect to consider, which people very rarely do, is the full life cycle of a kitchen. A flat packed kitchen may last five to ten years whereas a quality European rigid kitchen may well last ten to 20 years.” And for the majority of buyers of new-


build homes, knowing that they won’t have to replace the kitchen for many years to come is a huge selling point. The problem is that many housebuilders currently don’t have the budget to spend on state-of-the-art kitchens – which is where upgrades come into their own. Upgrades allow for customers to be


in the driving seat when it comes to choosing their kitchen, and as a result they are far more likely to be sold on the property as a whole since they are able to have their desires turned into reality. “When a potential purchaser looks around the show home, do you want them to walk away simply because they don’t want a laminate worktop or


low-end appliances?” asks Bernard Otulakowski, managing director of SieMatic UK. “It is imperative that today, with ever savvier consumers, that they are given the option to ‘spec- up’ their new home. In fact, throwing in an American style side-by-side, might just seal the purchase.” The fact that appliances, if they are


sold as extras in the first place, can also be used as an incentive to clinch a sale is yet another advantage to the upgrade method of selling. After all, everybody likes to think that they are getting something for nothing. Having said that, there are certain appliances that should always be included as standard. Generally an oven, hob and chimney hood is considered the must-have trio, with more appliances being added the further up the property ladder you climb. Top end homes would have a complete set of integrated white goods in addition to the cooking facilities, and ‘hero’ appliances such as steam ovens, coffee machines and wine fridges would also be expected. “In order to ensure a sale, it is imperative that even the most basic of new homes includes an oven, hob, extractor, fridge freezer and dishwasher,” continues Otulakowski. “As the houses get bigger and more


70| July 2011 showhouse


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