Every home, neighbourhood and real estate market is different and you should talk to your REALTOR about how renovations might affect the value of your particular home – there are some improvements that are rarely worth it.
- Finishing the Basement – Finishing a basement may be more expensive than you think. Buyers quite often wish that there was a full bathroom or a wall wasn’t where it was placed. Buyers sometimes prefer to finish it with their own preferences and the cost of you finishing the basement may not offset the sale price.
- Wallpaper – Personally, I love wallpaper but in small doses. When buyers see wall paper they see the cost and hassle of removing it.
- New Countertops – I’m sure you’ve heard the expression “lipstick on a pig” … sometimes Sellers think just by installing granite or quartz counters on old dilapidated cabinets will get them a higher selling price … it doesn’t. Period. The new homeowner will likely renovate the kitchen and replace the counters themselves.
- Any Renovation that is Personal –a red kitchen, bright paint colours, permanent statues, weird flooring. Remember the goal of preparing your home for sale is to appeal to the greatest number of Buyers in order to get the highest price – it’s not to find that one person who might appreciate your purple walls.
- Crown moulding – If you don’t already have crown moulding, now is not the time to get it. It’s unlikely that you will recoup the expense to install it from the selling price. Install it your next home so you get to enjoy it.
- Major Renovations – If you’re looking to sell your home to take advantage of great market conditions, save the time and money you’d spend on a new kitchen or bathroom and get your home on the market asap. It’s easy to spend $50K++ and many months renovating a kitchen – only to miss the market opportunity.
- Anything Trendy – Create a more updated look through staging and not through renovations. Great staging can make a dated home look more modern.
- New Windows – Typically older windows will need replacing down the road. We love a metal roof, but the payback won’t be realized if you’re selling your home. If your roof needs to be replaced prior to the sale, err on the side of traditional roofing materials.
- New Carpets – Today’s Buyers don’t generally gravitate to carpet, so avoid replacing floors with wall-to-wall carpeting. If you have an existing carpet that needs to be replaced before you list your home, consider vinyl flooring or engineered hardwood – you can always incorporate area rugs into the staging to help a room feel warmer.
- Converting a Bedroom into Something Else – This is one of the biggest mistakes I see Sellers make…for example, converting a third bedroom into a walk-closet or additional bathroom. Buyers often sneer at this and walk away. Always talk to your REALTOR before reducing the number of bedrooms in your home (even if you aren’t thinking of selling!)
My best home prep advice: Call me before you embark on any renovations or repairs. You might be spending money in all the wrong places. You don’t want to find out that the cost for those improvements you make will not yield what you’re likely to get back when you sell!