Home Improvements and Upgrades to Avoid: What Can Turn OFF Buyers in Sacramento

I meet all kinds of people in my travels. Some are just born homeowners with home improvement vision and skills that you just can’t teach. They are builders at heart and whatever they touch is golden. From creating outdoor kitchens and living spaces to replacing outdated windows and doors, they have that knack. We envy them and when you meet them and see their houses you just step back and say wow. With all of the work, they are perpetually ready to sell their house. 

For the rest of the homeowning universe it falls somewhere in short of that and the thought of selling their house is a major ordeal and can be a major expense. It’s a game of catch up to fix items that broke over the years from either normal wear and tear or deferred maintenance. For these homeowners selling a house means home inspections, contractors, real estate agents, time and lots and lots of money.

If you are part of  the latter group then this article is for you… because you need to be understand that fixing and updating a house are two different things and sometimes you can get it very wrong.

the way people want to live If so, you might be thinking about making a few repairs and upgrades before you list it. Some changes can be lucrative, paying off in the long run. However, not all upgrades are created equal. We will let you know which upgrades to avoid!

Updating and beautifying your home is a sure-fire way to get more potential buyers in the door. However, many sellers make the mistake of making too many upgrades or upgrading things that do not increase the property value. Some people even make upgrades that end up turning OFF buyers! Before you take a sledgehammer to the bathroom wall or make a trip to Home Depot, consider making only necessary repairs and only the upgrades that will pay for themselves by substantially increasing your home’s value.

Don’t Add a Pool Unless YOU are Swimming In It

You will not be able to add the price you pay for a pool onto the previous value of the home. It doesn’t work that way. We have seen people spend over 50k to add a new pool, only to be able to add a couple thousand to their asking price. Unless you plan on swimming in the pool yourself for years to come, a pool will end up costing you more than it adds value. Point blank: A pool doesn’t provide returns. 

Don’t Get So Personal

Avoid overly customized designs. This can include overly designed kitchens, baths and anything else that you consider one of a kind. Consider toning down bold colored rooms and creating environments that are a bit more neutral. A can of paint is a lot less expensive than a total room redo. And on that note…

Don’t Decide for Your Buyers

If there are obvious repairs or upgrades needed, don’t make them. Instead, provide a credit to the buyer, so they can have things done the way they want. It can be a great incentive when buyers have the ability to decide on the details of the home. People will be attracted to the idea of choosing their own countertops and lighting fixtures. Point Blank: Don’t make upgrades based on your own personal enjoyment or taste.

Leave the Basement Alone

Do you have a house with an unfinished basement? If, so… leave it that way. The costs to finish the basement aren’t worth what you will get back. Plus, many buyers will choose to renovate those areas on their own terms. If you haven’t renovated it while you lived there, there is no reason to do it now that you are trying to sell. Point Blank: An unfinished basement is best left that way. 

Make the Space Intentional

Keep the rooms as they were intended. Extra bedroom? Keep it a bedroom, not an office. A converted Garage, change it back to a garage… Let the prospective buyers decide how they want to use the space. A room conversion will only knock down the perceived value. A 4-bedroom, 2-bathroom home will get more traction than a 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom + den at the same price. Also, a gym/office/library/breakfast nook can become confusing. Point blank: Plan your space with purpose. 

What are the Neighbors Doing?

Take a look at other homes in your neighborhood and keep your upgrades somewhere in the middle. If you go too far with your add-ons, you will be targeting high-end buyers. And maybe your neighborhood isn’t known for that. In addition, you will alienate buyers who love your neighborhood but don’t want to pay the high price. Point blank: Keep your property competitive within your neighborhood, but don’t take it too far! 

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