Tribune Print Share Text

Unnecessary renovations won’t help sell your house

Created date

May 22nd, 2012

One of the worst situations for a seller is pricing a house beyond market value to try and recoup costs from major, unnecessary renovations. You should avoid the following renovation projects: A brand new kitchen. The kitchen is one of your home s most important selling features, but even with a full kitchen makeover, which could cost $20,000 or more, a buyer may not care for your style. Decluttering and cleaning, updating the hardware and lighting, and staging with updated accessories will make the kitchen appealing to buyers. If more work is needed, consider painting or re-facing the cabinets. Replace appliances that are not in good working order with a midrange appliance package instead of high-end commercial appliances. Damaged, colorful, and/or outdated countertops can be replaced with a counter that looks like natural stone or granite and includes a new sink and faucet. A full bath renovation. The bathroom is another area that is taste specific. Instead of gutting and replacing the entire bathroom, consider replacing outdated fixtures, re-grouting or glazing the tile and tub, painting the vanity, adding new hardware and lighting, and staging the bath. For under $1,000, an outdated bath can realize an updated appealing look. Renovations that add a wow factor. A pool, hot tub, or theme rooms such as man caves will rarely see a return on investment. The truth is many buyers avoid houses with a pool because of safety, maintenance, and upkeep. These renovations may actually hinder a sale rather than help. Renovations done with poor workmanship, inferior materials, without required permits, or projects that are too taste-specific can all decrease the value of a house. Consult with a professional appraiser to evaluate how much return you will get on a renovation investment. As a rule, invest only in renovations that buyers need versus want, avoid updates that folks can live without, skip taste-specific renovations, and focus on cost-effective updates that will make the house appealing and more attractive.