Preparing your home to sell does take some careful thought and planning, but there are certain things you probably don’t want to spend your money on. Here are six presale home improvements that many sellers come to regret.
Realtor.com recently published an article about six presale home improvements that a lot of sellers are coming to regret, and I’d like to run through the list with you in case you were planning to make one of them:
1. Going too trendy. When it comes to trendiness, there’s a certain balance that you want to achieve. If you’re too trendy, it might turn off some buyers. Not everybody is into, say, mid-century modern style. I’ve seen some homes where the sellers went a little too heavy on the updates for the light fixtures, which aren’t cheap if you’re going for quality. Suppose you go through the whole house and spend $1,500 on updates, only to find out that the buyers replace them all anyway once they’ve closed; That money spent could have stayed in your pocket.
This is why it’s important to see what other sellers are doing and talk to your real estate agent. Myself, I have a design consultant come in and give me and my clients pointers so that we have some guidance about how to proceed.
2. Going too smart. A lot of people are attracted to smart home technology, be it surround sound systems or voice-activated control mechanisms. These things are great, but think of these additions as something that is for you—not for buyers down the road. Technology is constantly updating, so by the time somebody purchases your home, your additions might all be outdated. I highly recommend not putting your money into those projects for resale purposes.
3. Adding a guest house. First of all, this project is expensive, and not everyone is looking for a home with a guest house. It’s a very particular perk, and many buyers won’t consider it a valuable addition per their vision of what they’re going to do with your home.
4. Rehabbing the roof. Many think that installing a brand-new roof is going to help the property sell, but oftentimes in this market, you can get away with not putting a roof on unless it’s absolutely needed. The $15,000 or so you might spend on that particular update could just stay in your pocket.
5. Going too DIY. I love Home Depot and Lowe’s as much as the next person, but be careful when you cut corners on home improvement projects while trying to sell your property. If you’re motivated to move on to a new home, it’s not worth cutting corners if the project is outside your area of expertise. You’re better off leaving it to the pros, rather than finding out during inspections that your work isn’t up to the buyer’s standards and that you’ve wasted your time, effort, and money.
6. Opening Pandora’s box. You don’t want to dive headfirst into a large renovation only to discover that there are a lot of hidden issues that you now have to attend to. You might end up exceeding your budget and/or your timeframe, which isn’t good for any seller. Take it slow and be as minimalistic as possible.
If you have any questions or would like more advice about preparing your house to sell, feel free to reach out to me. I’d be happy to help.