The #1 complaint that Realtors hear is about the countertops in the kitchen and master bathroom. There are several cheap fixes for this problem.
I recently bought a house with light purple laminate countertops. I'm sure this looked good in the mid-80's but in 2016 this just wasn't going to fly with me. I had already spent too much on plumbing and redoing hard wood floors so I needed cheap fixes for my kitchen countertops.
After doing a little bit of research, I found out that linoleum is a hard plastic and will take a stain, not a paint. (Lots of companies make countertop paint, it's over priced and can chip.) I didn't sand down the countertops or prep them in any way. I added a small bit of black floor stain on a rag and rubbed it into the countertops. After the black dried I added 2 coats of a clear polyurethane to add a nice shine. Now that I have solid black countertops, I simply painted the cabinets white and added new hardware.
Total cost was about $60 for the stain and polyurethane. Paint is by Sherwin Williams "Mint Condition".