Written by Ashlee Juneau   |   Posted on   |   400 views

As REALTORS®, we often talk about the renovations and additions you can make to your home that will add value and attract a wide variety of buyers. But what are some of the renovations you should avoid investing in?

If you’re thinking of doing some improvements before listing your home for sale, there are some definite renovations you should avoid. For these renovations, either you won’t see a return on investment, or they may even discourage potential buyers from putting in an offer.

Combining 2 Bedrooms to Create a Larger Primary Bedroom

While on the surface it may seem like a good idea to create a huge master bedroom, if it means losing another bedroom, it might not be worth it. Combining two bedrooms into one big master bedroom can actually decrease your home’s value.

Remember a three to four bedroom home will attract a wider audience of buyers than a home that has been decreased to just two.

Converting a Bedroom into a Large Walk-in Closet

Along the same lines, it may seem like a wonderful feature to have a massive walk-in closet created out of one of your extra bedrooms. Who wouldn’t love all that storage space? Then again, if you choose to sacrifice one of your bedrooms to act as a closet, consider turning it back into a bedroom at sale time.  Most buyers would prefer an additional bedroom more than an oversized closet.

Buying All New Appliances

If your current home appliances are older, if they don’t match each other, or if they aren’t the latest-and-greatest, it may be tempting to purchase all new appliances for the sale of the home. Remember however that new appliances generally won’t give you the return on investment you’re hoping for.

You could spend upwards of $10,000+ on all new major appliances but that doesn’t mean your house price should be increased another ten grand.  You probably won’t recoup that investment.

Instead, you should repair or replace broken appliances as a courtesy, or sell them as-is with the home. Let the new buyers decide what appliances they want for their new place.

Major Kitchen Overhauls

If you’re planning on living in the house for a while, go ahead and spend the money to upgrade your kitchen. But if you’re solely renovating the kitchen in hopes that it will make your home’s value skyrocket when you sell, think again.

Complete kitchen overhauls can cost upwards of $65,000 or more (with new custom cabinets, counters etc.), but you’ll only generally see about a 62% return on investment. Whereas, if you opt for a smaller update for your kitchen of around $20,000 (changing out cupboard doors only, hardware, counters) you can often net an 81% ROI.

Sometimes just changing a few things, like the counters, lighting or backsplash can do the trick and attract a wide swath of buyers. So don’t go overboard and expect to gain all your money back.

Built-In Technology

Remember in the 1990’s when it was considered a really high-end novelty to have intercom speakers installed around the house? Nowadays, they’re completely outdated and more of an eye-sore than anything else.

Technology changes so quickly that installing high-tech gadgets permanently into your home can have its drawbacks. Plus, the custom cabinetry to hold and conceal all this obsolete tech gets dated really quickly. So be cautious with permanent installations of this kind.

Adding a New Urinal or Bidet to a Bathroom Remodel

We all know that updating a bathroom is a great way to attract buyers to your home. Sellers will often see a return on investment when their bathroom renovation is fresh, clean and modern.

But as much of a conversation-piece it is to have a new urinal or bidet installed in your bathroom, it’s actually a turn-off for most buyers. Many people will only see the money involved in having it removed by a professional plumber and may be discouraged with the added project.

Overly Trendy Renos and Replacements

While it is a great idea to give your home a minor facelift, be careful not to be too trendy.

Replacing light fixtures, faucets and doorknobs can be a nice touch that won’t cost too much to do. Try to stick with more neutral styles that appeal to more people. Switching out a chandelier with something like an over-the-top and obnoxious fixture might not have the impact you’re looking for and  really isn’t worth the effort.

Unfinished Projects

Remember, if you start a project, make sure you’re prepared to finish it. Half-finished renovations and repairs are a real turnoff for potential buyers.  They only see more work involved and it can be a detriment to your sale.  Plus, with current supply chain issues, you should double-check that all your materials will be available so you can complete the job before you put your home up for sale.

The Bottom Line

Generally speaking, if your home is clean, decluttered and in good repair, you may not actually need to fix anything to put your home on the market.

Take a look at the homes that have recently sold in your neighbourhood and compare the features they offered and the price they received with what you’re trying to accomplish.  Your real estate agent will be able to run a comparable market analysis to give you an idea of what your home could sell for, and offer you suggestions of what you might need to tackle in the current market to appeal to more buyers.

By crunching the numbers and figuring out what your expenses and repair costs would be versus what they will recoup for you, you’ll have a better idea of whether it’s worth it.  Give me a call and we can talk about your listing plan and what you want to tackle!

*All information provided by the Brantford Regional Real Estate Association (BRREA) for the highest sales volume and highest number of completed transactions since January 1, 2015. All Brantford MLS® House Listings come from the various systems operated by Real Estate Boards and Associations across Canada. The trademarks REALTOR®, REALTORS® and the REALTOR® logo are controlled by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used underlicense. The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service®, and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.

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