It is true that a sparkling kitchen will help to sell a home faster and for more money. A question that comes up occasionally with people thinking of selling their home is Should I renovate the kitchen before I sell my house? I cannot give you a definitive Yes or No answer but I can give you some things to think about regarding your own personal situation.
If you live in an older house that requires a lot of updating or if your house what is referred to as a “fixer upper” and needs a total renovation, (though some people have a hard time accepting reality about their house) I would suggest not spending the money on the kitchen. It will look out of place if the house requires so much work in other areas. Buyers are savvy and will still notice all the other work that is required. Also, you likely will not recoup the investment you made in your kitchen. New kitchen or not, fixer uppers are a tougher sell.
On the other hand, if you have been keeping other aspects your house up to date and modern but just have not made it to the kitchen yet, I would consider doing the kitchen. For the same reasons as above about not replacing the kitchen in a fixer upper, an old kitchen will look out of place in a up to date house.
What brought this home to me was when I went to visit past clients who are considering selling. They had bought their house over 15 years ago and have maintained and updated it nicely. Windows, hardwood flooring, shingles, most of the big ticket items. Their house is beautiful. One thing they had not tackled was the kitchen as understandably it can be expensive. It was a good size kitchen but not huge and would not cost a ton of money to install nice modern looking cabinets. It was one of the few times I have suggested putting out the money for a new kitchen. They would easily get their investment back because the rest of the house was in such good shape.
A less costly option is refacing your existing cabinets. There are a few ways to go about this. If your cabinets are the modular type (you know, the ones made out of particle board) you probably will be able to buy new doors to go on your existing cabinets. There are also professionals who will come in and spray paint the cabinets and a third option is to repaint them yourself. This is the cheapest but also the least desirable.
If your kitchen needs to be renovated and you are planning to sell in a few years, why not do the kitchen sooner rather than later? Your kitchen may not be brand-spanking new after 3-5 years when you are ready to sell but you will have had the use and enjoyment out of it for a few years. And in my opinion that is well worth it.