Pre-Sale Renovations: 3 That Add Value And 3 To Avoid
Selling your home is a lot of work, but the challenges that come with the process are more significant than that. No, on top of the work of packing and staging, finding an agent and organizing listings, in order to sell your home, you’ll likely need to make some improvements, a process that takes time and money and, most of all, understanding of the market.
Which improvements are worth the cost and which are ultimately money pits? Here’s the inside scoop on which improvements will attract buyers and which will cause your property to languish on the market.
Do: Perform Exterior Upgrades
When selling your home, you’ll likely hear a lot of buzz about curb appeal. This refers to the elements outside your home that make people want to stop and look more closely, and if you fail to factor in curb appeal, people may pass over your home without learning anything more about it, it can be hard selling a house in poor condition.
Still, curb appeal is more than just tidying up the lawn and planting some flowers. It may have a functional role as well.
Unless replaced in the last few years, there’s a good chance you’ll want to ensure your home’s roof has been restored, and siding replaced. These elements will make your home look better, but these are also reassuring repairs for potential buyers.
In fact, these upgrades are so desirable that roof repairs are known to recoup 100% or more of the cost that went into them.
Do not: Go Bright and Bold
It’s fine to paint your bedroom teal, wallpaper your bathroom, or add creative tile stylings to your kitchen when you plan to stay in your home for a long time, but these types of features are a no-go when you’re preparing to sell.
Bold colors and unusual design choices do not just turn off buyers who do not want to deal with changing the entire home’s design, but it makes it harder for people to imagine themselves in the home in the first place.
Sure, you might luck into a buyer who loves your personal style, but in most cases, you’ll lose money when your home is styled in this way. Instead, where possible, spruce up your home with neutral-colored paints and other basic styling choices that will attract a wider array of potential buyers.
Do: Light it Right
Both in terms of day-to-day function and in regards to the specific process of selling your home, lighting is critical. In fact, your real estate agent will probably bring in special lighting when they photograph your home to ensure that it looks its best, but that lighting won’t be there when potential buyers actually do a walk-through.
With that in mind, there are a handful of lighting upgrades you can make that will make your home more appealing.
According to The Kay-Grant Group, before you put your home on the market, you’ll want to replace light bulbs, add additional lighting in dim rooms, and consider changing some of your lighting fixtures to make them more modern. You should also pay attention to any curtains or blinds in the home; make sure they’re clean and tidy and draw them back before showings to maximize the natural light in the space.
Do not: Invest in Luxury Appliances
Not that many years ago, people became very interested in creating high-end kitchen environments, including fancy appliances, marble countertops, islands, and a variety of special features, and this trend is on the rise again because of how much more people cooked during the pandemic. Unfortunately, luxury kitchens – and other rooms like bathrooms – cost a lot of money to design and outfit, and interest in them is relatively limited.
It just doesn’t make sense to spend tens of thousands of dollars installing luxury appliances when most people only want or need the basics, so if your kitchen or bathroom needs an upgrade, stick to standard choices. Luxury appliances do not make back their cost on sale when your home goes to market, or anything close to it. And, similarly to other niche renovations like the quirky colors and styles highlighted above, the majority may even drive away buyers by making the property seem cumbersome rather than desirable.
Do: Doll Up Your Doorways
Much like roofing upgrades, replacing your exterior doors and even your garage door can make your home more appealing and is quite inexpensive to do. You might also consider replacing interior doors, or at least changing out the doorknobs for newer styles, or applying a fresh coat of paint.
When upgrading your entryways, one door you should particularly pay attention to is your storm door. These lightweight exterior doorways tend to get warped and damaged easily because they’re typically made of aluminum, and the closures can be fussy.
Replacing your storm door won’t cost much but it will remove a little friction from your entryway while making your home look nicer.
Do not: Eliminate Bedrooms
With so many people working from home recently, we’ve all been setting up shop wherever possible. If you’re preparing to move, then, it can be tempting to offer a home office as a kind of upgrade, but that’s a bad idea if it means sacrificing a bedroom.
Not only will you need to make some substantial changes, like adding extra outlets, but people will happily welcome an extra bedroom even as a guest room or see that spare room as multi-purpose if they do not need it. On the other hand, for those who do need the bedroom, having to switch the space back from an office can seem inconvenient and cause them to ditch your property for other options.
Depending on the state of the market, any renovation can be risky, and the majority of home upgrades won’t make back their full cost when your house hits the market, but not making any improvements is an even dicier move.
After all, your home needs to look nice if you hope to sell. Some improvements are necessary, but they need to be judicious. With a little research under your belt, though, you’ll be able to make wise choices and get your home ready to sell.