How to Avoid Over-Improving Your House Before Selling

When you want to sell a house, you need to prepare it in a presentable way so you can turn the largest profit you can. But that doesn’t mean you should do every renovation, modification, or attractive update that comes to your mind.  While there are some investments that could increase the value of your home, there are also the ones which definitely won’t. 

 Avoid Over-Improving Your House

After you take care of any potential environmental or imminent hazards, insect infestations, dysfunctional built-in appliances, and leaks, the rest is all a matter of choice. We’re here to prevent you from making unnecessary over-improvements that simply won’t lead to a return on your investment.

“Why?” is the Question

If you over-improve your house and make it the most expensive on the block you’ll make it a lot harder to sell. When buyers see the price which is too far above the surrounding properties, they’ll have only one question – why? If you can’t answer the question you won’t sell the house, it’s simple as that.   

This is why it’s crucial to determine the existing price point of your home before you undertake any renovations, and the best way to achieve this is to check the value of other properties in the neighborhood to see what are the price ranges. You can easily perform this check online thanks to property reports, just make sure that you’re not only provided by price estimate guide but also additional real estate information, such as previous sale prices and fluctuations in the market. In order to get familiar with comparable homes, everything counts, from the number of bathrooms/bedrooms to square footage.  

Don’t Get Carried Away with the Kitchen

kitchen has become a very fun area

The kitchen is very much the heart of every home, so updates can pay off, just as long as you don’t go overboard. You should stay away from any particular decor style since it’s impossible to predict what some future buyers are looking for. It’s okay to be crazy about a Scandinavian modern kitchen, but it will only do damage to your resale value if buyers are looking for French provincial style. The truth is that the kitchen has become a very fun area to remodel and many buyers are looking forward to doing it themselves. There’s also no need for professional appliances – people are looking to buy a home, not a fancy restaurant kitchen. 

Stay Away from the Swimming Pool Myth

The idea that adding a swimming pool will instantly make the value of your home increase is probably the biggest misconception in real estate. First of all, it’s pretty expensive, especially in-ground ones which range from $30,000 to $75,000. Secondly, there is a lot of maintenance which requires time and at least an additional $1000. And thirdly, pools require additional safety measures if there are small children around. That is why families with small children usually don’t want to buy a house with a pool, and by eliminating those families from the equation you risk reducing the number of people willing to buy your abode significantly. 

Don’t Give Up on Your Bedroom

People who have more bedrooms think it’s a good idea to offer potential buyers a home office by remodeling one, which is a mistake. The thing is, most people don’t need luxury home offices, which means you’ll never see the return on investment for that renovation that costs around $30,000 on average. Investing in technology and new wiring won’t generate additional income for the simple reason that in the fast-paced world we live in, technology becomes outdated pretty quickly. People who don’t work full-time from home will only need a desk, chair, and some good lighting. On the other hand, bedrooms always add value. So keep them intact, list as many you can, and let future buyers decide what to do with them. 

Avoid the First Impression of High Maintenance

We all know that landscaping is important for that first impression and that it can transform the way a house looks, but keep in mind that not everyone will appreciate a huge effort. If you go over the top with extensive landscaping, going crazy with the rock walls or fountains, the first impression you might leave with some people will be that of the amount of work needed – the watering, weeding, mowing, trimming, etc. Turning your backyard to a piece of paradise is even more pointless, no matter how nice it looks. That doesn’t mean you should completely neglect the landscaping – a sufficient wow factor can indeed be achieved on a budget.

These are the most common investment mistakes that could lead to over-improvement and a loss of time and money. Let the future owners decide the style of their kitchen, the number of their bedrooms, and whether or not they need a lush garden or a swimming pool. Going for personal taste or luxury will only limit the number of potential buyers, so your best option is to adopt the “less is more” attitude for the best possible result.

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