What Are The Biggest Waste of Time Renovations?

couple doing house renovations

Maximizing the value of your house when selling is a common goal for homeowners. However, not all improvements and repairs are worth the time and money invested. To help you make informed decisions and avoid unnecessary expenses, we have compiled a list of fixes and repairs that you can likely skip. By following these guidelines, you can save both time and money, ultimately ensuring a successful sale.

Many sellers are under the impression that they need to remodel their homes to get top dollar. But that is a deceptive idea. Suppose you can sell your house for $580,000 in its current condition, and $660,000 all fixed up. That sounds like a big difference. But if you need to put $80,000 into the house to get that higher price, then you just break even, and it is a literal waste of time. Before you start throwing money and time at your house, look over this list of things that, in my experience, could be a waste when selling.

1. Don’t Partially Remodel

In most cases, remodeling only a specific area of your house won’t yield a high return on investment, especially if you neglect other outdated parts. For example, if you renovate the kitchen but leave the 1990s-style bathrooms untouched, potential buyers will still perceive your home as a dated property. It is essential to consider the overall coherence and consistency of your updates to attract the right buyers.

2. Don’t Bother with Cosmetic Fixes That Don’t Show

While small visible repairs can enhance your home’s appeal, it’s crucial to prioritize the ones that truly make a difference. Address issues like mildewed grout around a tub, cracked windowpanes in the entry door, small holes in the drywall, or worn-out electric switch plates that are easily noticeable. Assess the prominence of the problem and evaluate if a fix will help it blend seamlessly with the surrounding area. However, there’s no need to replace switch plates hidden behind furniture or invest in new carpeting if a runner can cover faded areas. Buyers often overlook minor cosmetic details during their initial visit, focusing more on the overall impression.

3. Don’t Bother Updating the Furnace or Water Heater

Unless your furnace or water heater is malfunctioning, there is no need to replace them before selling your house. Home inspectors will inform potential buyers about the age of these systems, allowing them to make their own decisions. Preemptively replacing these functional features can be costly and may not be recouped in the sale. Instead, prioritize presenting the attractive features of your home that capture buyers’ attention, allowing them to fall in love with the property before addressing functional aspects.

4. Don’t Make Partial Upgrades to the Bathroom or Kitchen

Adding modern touches to individual areas, such as replacing a 1990s kitchen faucet or installing an expensive light fixture in the bathroom, won’t significantly impact your home’s value. Instead, focus on deep cleaning the entire house, including the kitchen and bathrooms. While addressing minor issues like mildewed grout is advisable, you don’t need to re-grout the entire shower surround for the sake of brightening it up if the tiles are simply dingy. Prioritize cost-effective fixes that have a noticeable impact on the overall cleanliness and aesthetics of these areas.

Questions to ask yourself…

To ensure you invest your efforts in the right places, ask yourself the following questions before undertaking any repairs or improvements:

  1. Will this item deter potential buyers from making an offer?
  2. Could this repair cost more than its added value at closing?
  3. Will this problem lower the sale price compared to other comparable homes in the neighborhood?
  4. Is the buyer likely to make changes regardless of what I do?

“How can I be sure I’m putting my efforts into the right things?”

To navigate this process successfully, consider enlisting the assistance of an experienced brokerage like Ember Realty. A complimentary walk-through of your home with an expert’s guidance can provide valuable insights into the most effective areas to focus on. Drawing from our extensive experience and knowledge of buyer preferences, We can help create a roadmap for preparing your home for sale while maximizing its value.

To benefit from this service, contact us to schedule an appointment well in advance of your planned selling timeline. This will allow you ample time to work through the details and optimize your home’s potential without unnecessary expenditures. Remember, thoughtful planning and strategic improvements will position your house to attract the right buyers and secure the best possible price.

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