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The Eight Home Improvements You Shouldn't Make When Selling your Home


Many home sellers believe home improvement projects can add value to their home while possibly even reducing the amount of time the house is on the market in the event they decide to sell it. In reality, just the opposite can sometimes be true. Obviously, it is important to correct any cosmetic flaws that might cause buyers reluctance if you decide to sell your home but going above and beyond that could actually cause more problems than you might think.

Avoid Pools

One of the most common home improvement projects that can turn off buyers is one of the most surprising: a pool. While you might think buyers would be attracted to homes with a pool the truth of the matter is that many home buyers prefer homes without pools. The reasons for this are numerous. Families with very young children may be concerned about the safety risk posed by homes with pools. Other buyers are concerned about the maintenance issue. So, if you're considering the addition of a pool, think again.

Avoid Alter the Architecture

Keep in mind it is also always a mistake to alter the architecture of the home. Any renovations made to your home should always match the existing architecture. Buyers are frequently disinterested in homes with architectural elements that appear to be inconsistent with one another. If your home started out as a Victorian, keep any renovations along those same lines.

Avoid changing the Basic Layout of the House

It can also be risky to change the basic layout of the home. Homeowners often find out the hard way that it wasn't such a good idea to convert an extra bedroom into a home office. The same is true for changing the location of the kitchen and other basic functional rooms such as bathrooms. Keep in mind as well that it usually is not a good idea to detract from the number of bedrooms a home originally started out with. While it may seem like a good idea to you to turn that second bedroom into a den or office, few home buyers are looking for one bedroom homes.

Avoid Over-Expanding

Another common home improvement mistake made by home owners with an eye toward selling is over-expanding their homes. You should never put yourself in a position where your home is more expensive and larger than the remainder of the homes in the neighborhood. In reality, an addition to a home does not really add much to the value of your home. In many cases homeowners are only able to recover a portion of the money spent on adding square footage to their homes when it comes time to sell.

Avoid DIY

Always remember the importance of hiring a professional when you do tackle home improvement projects (You can find thousands of unbiased ratings on services for home improvements here!). Despite the rising popularity of do-it-yourself projects, taking on such home improvement jobs yourself can result in a reduction of your home's value. Look at it this way: if you needed a dentist, you wouldn't try to handle it yourself, would you? Maintain the same level of respect and concern for the value of your home as you hold for your own body's well-being. Only take on home improvement projects if you are truly experienced enough to successfully handle them and produce quality results.

Avoid Low Return Rate Type of Home Improvement

Be sure to consider only those renovations that will actually put additional money in your pocket when remodeling specifically for the purpose of selling your home. Key home improvement projects that have steadily proven to have the highest rate of return include kitchens, bathrooms and home siding. Avoid the temptation to glam up the bath, add an extra room or install a home office. Focus instead on updating the kitchen appliances, installing updated bath components and installing or updating the home's siding.

Avoid Underestimate Cost and Time

When planning home improvement projects take the time to research how much the project will realistically cost. Underestimating home improvement projects is a common mistake. Homeowners frequently budget as much as 30% less than they should. As a result, home improvement projects often remain incomplete or reflect the fact that corners were cut due to budget constraints. When you decide to sell your home both of these factors can delay the sale of your home as well as reduce the sales price of your home.

Avoid Holding off Routine Maintenance

Finally, remember that at times the most important home improvement project you can make to increase or maintain the value of your home is simply keeping up with routine maintenance. Make a point to clean out your gutters every year. This not only improves the appearance of your home but reduces the effects of water damage. Keep an eye on your home's landscaping. Keep the grass and shrubs trimmed. Check out your roof to stop small problems before they become big issues.

The general rule of thumb to keep in mind when it comes to home improvement projects is to avoid anything that is too extensive. Buyers frequently want to handle these types of projects themselves. If you feel you absolutely must add more space, focus on functional space. This means an additional bathroom, etc. In addition, avoid adding architectural details or design elements that stray too far from the norm. While you may have fallen in love with that bright and bold paint color, it very well might cause buyers to think again.

By understanding which home improvement projects will add value to your home and which ones you should avoid, you will be more likely to not only recoup the funds spent on such projects when you sell your home but will also increase your chances of making a profit.


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