7 renovation mistakes to avoid before selling

A renovation strategy is an excellent approach if you want to sell your home and maximise its value. But beware of falling into the traps that could hurt your return.

A significant influencing factor that owners often forget when preparing for sale is the buyer’s preferences, and identifying features that will command a price premium.

Buyers love a great kitchen and bathroom but can recoil if you’ve gone too upmarket. They’ll question your asking price, wondering what percentage of it has been determined by the upgrades.

Before you start thinking about spending money, consider talking to your favourite agent to discuss which cost-effective improvements can positively influence the sale price. I’d be happy to help. 

If you second-guess these improvements, you risk wasting money on features that no one wants or values.

Below are some examples of ‘upgrades’ that are not considered improvements by most buyers. 

Gourmet kitchen

You risk limiting your pool of potential buyers by going the full Gordon Ramsay. If your prospective buyers are not gourmet chefs, they’ll see this as an unnecessary cost. Most owners never get their money back if they invest too heavily in a new kitchen.

Spa quality bathroom

A similar principle holds for the bathroom as it does for a kitchen. Keep your renovation in proportion to the quality of the rest of the home. Otherwise, you’ll not recoup your investment no matter how fancy your European tiles are.

Wall-to-wall wallpaper

Patterned wallpaper can be overpowering if it’s a feature of the entire apartment or house. Many buyers will consider it a headache to remove. Instead, opt for fresh paint of neutral colours. 

On the tiles

Taste is subjective, and what you might appreciate does not necessarily win the favour of buyers. So, avoid patterned tiles if you’re thinking of selling in the shorter term. Like paint colours, keep your tiles simple and neutral.

Textured Walls and Ceilings

Many buyers will dismiss a home at the moment they see this feature. It’s hard and expensive to remove and ‘features’ like suede paint are notorious for fingerprints. 

Carpet everywhere

Carpet is not in fashion right now. Hardwood, bamboo and laminate floor coverings are more prized. Carpets hold the dust and are considered not to be healthy. Hardwood flooring can add between 2-5% to your sale price, say some surveys.

Lavish lights

We all love a chandelier but maybe not in our living rooms. Light fittings make a huge visual impact, and if you’ve gone over the top you’ll turn away many buyers.