If you're getting ready to put your home on the market, it is no secret that it is intensely competitive. With this in mind, you are probably thinking about making some home upgrades that are certain to attract flocks of buyers. While it's certainly a smart move to make a few improvements, don't overdo it. If you spend stacks of cash on remodelling expenses, you'll probably never recoup your investment - especially in a buyer's market.
So how do you know which upgrades are worth it and which ones aren't? For the most part experts agree that new kitchen countertops and appliances, bathrooms and energy-saving improvements will pay off in the long run. On the other hand, these four upgrades aren't worth your time or money:
- Over The Top Improvements: Before you invest tons of money in an elaborate full-house renovation, consider what the competing properties in your area have to offer. While you want your house to stand out from the competition, you shouldn't make unwarranted upgrades that greatly exceed other properties in your area. If you're home is in a neighborhood of homes ranging from $250k to $300k and you put $400k into your home, you will surely lose money! Make appropriate choices and ask your agent for advice before you spend money!
- Swimming Pools: This one is a big surprise for many homeowners. Believe it or not, a swimming pool rarely adds value to a home in this day and age. First, it usually costs a small fortune to have an in-ground swimming pool installed. Secondly, you're probably not going to recoup this cost! Why? Because many buyers see this as a high maintenance hassle and a safety hazard. Many buyers see it as an inconvenience rather than a plus!
- Replacing a Popular Feature: Before you consider turning your garage into a games room, take a look around. If every other home in your neighborhood boasts a garage, you should probably think twice! You don't want to be the only house on the block with no garage. Most homebuyers would prefer a sheltered place to park their car in our harsh winters, rather than a room to play ping pong and darts.
- Daring Designs: We all want our home to reflect our unique style and taste. However, if you're trying to sell your home, now is not the time to incorporate bold design choices into the decor. If you have lime-green granite countertops and leopard wallpaper, lavernder carpet and an elaborate mural of chubby cherubs on your bedroom ceiling, one look will send buyers dashing for the door! Tone it down before you plant the "For Sale" sign on the front lawn! Replace the lilac carpet with beige, tone down paint tones and get rid of as many "personal" features as possible.
Overall, it's good to put some work into your home before you try to sell it. It can add value and make it more attractive to potential buyers as they are usually hoping to find something "move-in ready. "However, there are some things that will have the buyer running for the door - or at least not add anything to your homes value or the closing price! Keep things simple, neutral and you will definitely reap the rewards!
Keeley Ward is a sales representative with Century 21 Infinity Realty Inc. in Oshawa, Ontario.