Every seller wants to snag the highest possible price for their home when they sell, which is why certain measures should be taken to prep a home and craft a solid listing for buyers to see. And one of the recommended things that sellers should consider is making improvements that will help garner more attention from buyers.
Certainly, a home that’s in great condition and has been modernized and upgraded with high-quality finishes and conveniences will be perceived as more valuable and attractive to buyers. It’s why sellers spend time and money fixing up their homes just before they hit the market.
But while there are plenty of improvements that can help sellers fetch higher sale prices, other improvements don’t bring in us a great ROI.
If you’re considering improving your home before selling, great. But make sure to pick and choose wisely. The following are some improvements that might not bring you the returns you would have hoped.
Over-the-Top Kitchen Renovations
The kitchen is easily the most important room in a home and serves as the central hub. It’s not just where you prepare and enjoy your meals, but it’s also a place of gathering and entertaining, whether on a quiet evening at home with the family or when guests come to visit. Homeowners often place a lot of emphasis on this part of the house, and for good reason.
Outdated, tired-looking kitchens don’t really do well for listings. They tend to be an eyesore and do little to add value to a home. But the opposite is also true: when a kitchen is modernized with high-quality materials and finishes, it can add tremendous value to a home.
But be careful how far you go when sprucing up your kitchen. While certain upgrades are fantastic – such as new granite counters, refaced cabinetry, and new stainless steel appliances – going overboard with in-depth renovations and gut-jobs likely won’t let you recoup the money spent on such an endeavor.
The trick is to get the biggest bang for your buck. You want your upgrades to make a big difference in the look of your kitchen, but not at the expense of spending too much. Be careful how far you go with your kitchen renovation.
Pay attention to what other homes in the area have and try to stay somewhere along those lines. “Over-improving” can negatively affect the value of your home relative to how much you spend on upgrades.
Major Bathroom Gut-Jobs
Like the kitchen, it’s easy to do a little too much with your bathroom renovation. The thing is, your bathroom is a big selling point of your home, despite its small size and seemingly insignificant contribution to the home. Bathrooms that are elegantly finished and offer modern conveniences can add value to a home.
If your bathroom could use a facelift before you sell, go for it. But, just as with your kitchen improvement, be wary of the types of improvements that you should focus on versus those that are just too much. The average buyer isn’t likely going to be willing to dish out more money to pay for a luxury renovation.
When it comes to improving your bathroom before selling, consider smaller, less expensive tasks that still pack a punch. Things like refacing the vanity, adding a new countertop, retiling the floors or walls, adding a new light fixture, or replacing the faucet can all go a long way at ramping up your bathroom and impressing buyers.
Sacrificing a Bedroom to Create a Larger One
It’s nice to have a spacious master bedroom with its own private ensuite bathroom. But many homes don’t have the square footage to accommodate such a luxury. That is, unless you convert an adjacent bedroom to be used to enlarge the bedroom and add a bathroom.
But as nice as this sounds, not only will this be a big, expensive job, it will also cost you a bedroom. When it comes to property values, the number of bedrooms plays a significant role. A 2-bedroom home will likely be valued higher than a 2-bedroom home on the same block, for instance.
By sacrificing a bedroom, you could be inadvertently lowering the value of your home.
Having a space that is solely dedicated to screening movies and comes with all the bells and whistles that you’d see at a movie theater can be great. But unless you build a home theater for you and your family to enjoy for years to come, investing so much money in such a home improvement job makes little sense if you’re planning to sell some time soon.
Again, the majority of buyers aren’t going to want to pay more for your home just to have this added luxury. Whatever amount you end up spending on this type of space, don’t expect to get it all back.
If the square footage of your home is a little on the short side, you may have looked at different parts of your home to add more living space. And one of these potential spaces is the garage.
Maybe you want to include a home office, fitness room, or “man cave,” but no other place in the house can accommodate. In this case, a garage may be a potential spot to create the space you’re looking for.
But while this might suit you while you live in the home, it might not necessarily please buyers who would otherwise have preferred the garage to remain a place for them to park their car or store their tools and equipment.
Many buyers might not even consider buying a house that doesn’t have a usable garage, so you could really be hurting your listing with a garage conversion.
The Bottom Line
Taking on a home improvement project with the intention of adding perceived value to your home and attracting buyers is always a noble act. But how you spend your improvement dollars matters a great deal. Do your homework and carefully consider where you should be spending your time and money improving your home, and steer clear of improvement projects that will end up costing you more than you recoup.