Most home sellers automatically assume that expensive upgrades and renovations make their home more sellable, but that is not always the case. If you are willing to spend some cash on upgrading your home before putting it on the market, be careful how you do it. Sellers cannot always return the money they invest, as certain home features generally do not add value. So, if you expect your investment to pay off, avoid these six things you think add value to your home because they don’t.
Things you think add value to your home that won’t increase its price
1. Avoid upgrades outside the norm for the area
As a home seller, you must take the average price of a home in your area into consideration. Potential homebuyers will compare the home you are selling to your neighbors’ homes. If your home falls outside the norm, it will be harder to sell. By adding expensive upgrades to your home, you might raise its price way above the expected range for the neighborhood.
For example, when you add a second story in a neighborhood full of one-story houses, you spend a lot of money but you aren’t likely to recover it (unless your neighbors start doing the same). Even if your home is more appealing than the other homes, buyers will think it is overpriced. For example, if the average sales price in your neighborhood is $150,000, they won’t be willing to spend $250,000 for your home.
2. Buyers won’t pay extra for upgraded plumbing or HVAC
Ensuring your home is in tip-top shape before listing it includes taking care of the utilities. However, things like plumbing and HVAC (heating, venting, and air conditioning) are often on the list of things you think add value to your home but don’t. Although necessary, these are the kinds of improvements most people don’t pay attention to. Therefore, you shouldn’t think of enhanced heating, venting or plumbing as an investment in your property. Buyers consider it regular maintenance and expect everything to be working properly, but they won’t pay extra for it.
3. Wall-to-wall carpeting is not desirable
Many people believe wall-to-wall carpets will attract potential buyers. Unfortunately, this is one of those features that rarely pay off. In addition to being expensive to buy and install, carpets have the potential for trapping allergens. Moreover, your carpet’s color and style may not look good to everyone. Restoring your wood floors or installing new ones is a much better solution.
4. Loud, eccentric, and dated decor turns off buyers
One of the most important things to bear in mind when preparing a property for sale is that buyers like to have a clean slate. Overdesigning the place is one of the biggest home staging mistakes you can make. That means less is more. Buyers like to imagine adding their personal touches to both the indoor and the outdoor space.
So, change or eliminate some home features, especially if they are dated. For instance, white appliances are not ‘’in’’ anymore. Take them to a storage unit or hire experts in transporting household goods across the country and send them to your new home. Of course, that doesn’t mean you should fill your home with the latest trends to appeal to young buyers because trends come and go quickly.
If the colors are not to the buyers’ liking, they would have to spend extra money on changing them. Generally, choosing bold colors and eccentric patterns is a mistake. On the other hand, neutral color schemes and muted tones could actually help you sell your home faster. So, stick to these when choosing the colors for your tiles, walls, and flooring.
5. Overdoing your yard won’t push up the price
A neat, well-maintained garden can make your property stand out. However, you should not expect elaborate landscaping to add value to your home. A gorgeous yard may attract potential home buyers to see the house, but it won’t necessarily get you a better price.
It may surprise you how many buyers do not want a home with aquatic amenities due to the expenses and safety concerns. Therefore, only add a pool or a spa if you enjoy it or if it’s sunny all year long. Koi ponds, hand-crafted bridges, fountains, and waterfalls can also take a lot of money that will never find its way back into your pocket.
Furthermore, avoid adding things like playgrounds or tennis courts. These features will only attract buyers who have small kids or love sports. A buyer may see your yard as an unnecessary expense if it requires too much work. It would be enough to just prune the trees, mow the lawns, and rake the dry leaves instead.
6. Adding new rooms before the sale is a mistake
Brand new rooms might also be among the things you think add value to your home. Unfortunately, this is a common mistake. While renovating the existing rooms can help you sell your property, adding new ones before the sale does not pay off. If you do it, do it years earlier so you and your family can enjoy the additional rooms.
Adding a new bedroom or bathroom is a complex, expensive project that rarely matches the value you would receive in return. Adding something more unique, like a wine cellar or a sunroom, is an even worse idea because only a small number of buyers find it useful. Focus on making budget-friendly upgrades to the rooms you already have instead. Converting an existing room into something else is also a bad idea because it may limit the room’s potential. Let your buyers repurpose the rooms if they want to.
Finally, if there are any other features you think add value to your home but are not sure, ask a real estate expert for advice before making any changes.