5 Renovations You Probably Shouldn’t Make Before You Sell Your Home


When it comes to selling your home, you want it to be in pristine condition to impress the slew of buyers who will come across it. Many home sellers will often invest in professional home staging services in order to showcase their homes in the best light and attract as many buyers as possible, which in turn will help bring more sizeable offers to the table and get the property sold in a relatively short amount of time. Oftentimes some repairs and even certain remodeling jobs may be in order to bring a home up to par and demand high offers.

However, not every renovation is necessarily a good idea prior to selling. The idea is to reap the highest return on investment upon the sale of the property. Yet certain jobs simply aren’t worth the cost, as money spent likely won’t be recouped come sale time.   

If you’re getting ready to sell, consider scratching the following renovation jobs off your list.

Luxury Kitchen Remodels

The kitchen is perhaps the most important room in a home and plays an instrumental role in how much your house is valued at according to current market conditions. Modernizing your kitchen can bring you a decent return on your investment, but you’d be better off avoiding extremely expensive, extravagant upgrades that will cost you a lot more than the perceived value added to the property. 

High-End Bathroom Renovations

Bathrooms might be small, but they are very important spaces in a home. If they are up-to-date and in newer condition, they can add tremendous value to a home and appease buyers. If your bathroom is in need of a little TLC, there’s nothing wrong with sprucing it up and updating it.

However, you will likely see very little money recouped upon the sale of the home of you dump too much money in a luxurious renovation, especially if the neighborhood doesn’t call for such opulence. Not only that, you still might not suit the buyer’s tastes once the job is complete. As such, you’ll be limiting your buyer pool. Stick to simpler, more affordable updates, such as new faucets, new light fixtures, and a new vanity.

Combining Bedrooms

Cutting back on the number of bedrooms can hurt the marketability of your home, since buyers are usually looking for more bedrooms. For instance, a 4-bedroom home is typically worth more than a 3-bedroom home, especially when looking at similar homes that have sold in the area in the recent past. Also, if the typical home in the neighborhood has 3-bedrooms – which is what buyers in the area expect – you’d be doing your home a disservice by converting it into a 2-bedroom.

Room Addition

Working with what you’ve already got is one thing, but adding additional square footage comes at a high price tag. You might want to increase the living space of your home, but the cost to add another room to a home is more often than not a bad investment if you’re just planning to sell the home soon after.

There may be certain circumstances where an addition makes sense, but these circumstances are typically reserved for complete fixer-uppers that need to be brought up to comparable square footage as dictated by other homes on the block. Otherwise, you’ll barely recoup even half of your initial costs when you sell.

Large projects like room additions are not worth doing because these jobs usually take a long time to complete, from the planning stages, to obtaining permits, to completion. Not only that, an addition might actually increase the value of the other homes on the street, but they likely won’t do much for your home except make it harder to sell at the price point you want.

Adding Unconventional Features

Unique features, such as a wine cellar, indoor hot tub, or off-the-wall kitchen tile might sound like amazing features to include in your home, but you might not necessarily find many buyers who will appreciate the money spent to make such changes. You probably won’t get too much of a price increase for such unconventional features if prospective buyers are looking at them as things they probably wouldn’t use or may even tear out.

If you are thinking about adding a unique touch to your home, it should be to satisfy your tastes and wants if you plan on staying put for a while longer. But if you’re going to be selling shortly, those personal touches could make it even harder to sell your home because some buyers may not be too keen on them.

The Bottom Line

The lower the price and simpler the project, the better when it comes to how much you can recoup compared to how much you spend. Even though they will probably boost your home’s appeal and resale value, you probably won’t get 100% back on major renovation investments.

Some markets may allow a 100% recoup of your costs regardless of the project, but these markets are typically extremely hot ones. In San Francisco, for instance, the addition of a whole new deck can bring as much as an astounding 147% ROI.

Make sure you understand exactly what your market is like and what types of returns you can get for specific renovations in your area before taking on major renovations.