Upgrading your property before selling is a great way to increase buyer interest and net a higher asking price – the trouble is that some buyers may see certain alterations as extra work for them, after the sale. If you want to maximise your home’s appeal for a wide range of buyers, it’s worth considering these potential roadblocks and how to avoid them.
Wrong Floor Plan
These days everyone wants an open floor plan. If your house was built ten or more years ago, this desired feature is likely missing. Deciding to knock out some walls might seem like a great idea, but you have to be careful and think about practicality. Having one big square room probably will not wow the buyers, if it does not make sense with the rest of the house.
You can create some space for entertaining by connecting a kitchen, dining and living room, but also consider keeping enough room for more private areas like a TV room or breakfast nook.
Technology is getting fancier all the time, and there’s always a new gadget waiting to find a home with you. You might love your brand new in-built microwave or bread maker, but if it’s too unusual or difficult to operate, the thought of having it removed and replaced could turn away potential buyers.
New appliances won’t necessarily increase value – in fact, a number of them have been dubbed useless – so don’t spend too much money on a fancy new fridge for the kitchen or high-tech faucets for the bathroom. Your potential buyers probably aren’t all that fussed about showy features which can begin to seem unnecessary after a while, or even mildly irritating.
The carpet might have seemed like a good option when you were designing your home’s interior, but they do tend to age and need replacing more quickly than tiles or recycled timber flooring. This is especially true if you have children or pets, as it’s much easier to get dried playdough or dirty paw marks off a hard floor surface, and there’s less chance that minor spills will turn into long-term smells.
In case you already have a carpet, you might like to remove it, or simply give it a thorough steam clean before prospective buyers arrive.
Whether you’ve added an unusual wallpaper, thrown in a tile feature wall, or even completed a few DIY projects, potential buyers are likely to see your unique stylings as extra work to be done after the sale. The truth is that your personal taste will never appeal to everyone, and it’s best to present your prospects with a blank canvas so that they can begin to imagine their own style taking hold.
The same goes for any DIY projects you’ve taken on – unless you’re a qualified tradesperson, these little renovations will be unlikely to add any value, and may even reduce the eventual selling price.
Loads of lawn
Green grass can be a very attractive property feature, but only in the right conditions, and like all garden features, it requires maintenance. Grass needs to be watered just like any other plant, and especially during extra-dry weather conditions or when new turf is forming roots.
In countries where drought is a real possibility, water restrictions are a factor that can also come into play, which makes it more difficult to maintain a healthy lawn. Without the option of sprinklers, potential buyers might be scared off by the thought of spending hours each week watering the lawn with a watering can.
There’s nothing quite like a refreshing dip in your own backyard pool until it comes time to treat the water. Regular maintenance is an ongoing requirement for every homeowner with a pool, and while you might happily spend the time to test and maintain the water quality, your potential buyers may not be prepared to do so.
On top of the time and money required to service a pool, owners also take on responsibility for risk-prevention, which often means things like learning CPR and being vigilant about the placement or storage of anything which could be used to climb over a fence. Parents of young children, in particular, may well be turned off by the presence of a swimming pool, and the same goes for any buyer who doesn’t like the idea of ongoing maintenance and the costs associated with the same.
Anything that overshoots the mark
Every neighbourhood has an average property price determined by a range of factors like proximity to the city centre and key features like schools or hospitals. Smart home buyers take the time to research the average price mark before attending inspections since they already have some idea of how much they’re willing or are able to pay.
By attempting to turn your house into one of the best in the neighbourhood, you could be hurting your chances of making a sale at all, so you might consider skipping the renovations and saving your extra cash for a home in a more expensive neighbourhood instead.
Selling your home can be a long and arduous process, especially during the renovation stage, but you can save yourself a great deal of time and money by avoiding certain upgrades. Remember to keep the buyer in mind throughout the entire decision-making process, and you’ll have the best possible chance of earning dividends on your investment.