If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, you want to do everything you can to make your home as appealing as possible to potential buyers. When your home is clean and well-maintained, buyers are more likely to make higher offers, and your property won’t languish on the market.
That being said, unfortunately many homeowners make the mistake of going too far with their DIY projects in an attempt to make their homes more attractive to buyers. Even if you aren’t trying to sell, certain popular “home improvement” projects actually decrease your home’s value. Before you hit the home improvement store and start sprucing up your home on your own, make sure you aren’t making any of these common mistakes.
1. Permanently Installing Electronics
Although spaces that can be used as home theaters can be appealing to buyers, adding built-in, customized electronics are often a turnoff. For starters, such items are often quickly outdated, meaning that the new owners are either forced to upgrade or remove the items, an expense they may not be willing to take on. Beyond that, though, permanently installing TVs, stereos and other electronics limits how future owners can use the space and may mean that they have to do renovations to make it what they want. You’re better off, then, to go ahead and purchase the big TV that you want, and then hire a Houston TV mounting company to professionally, but temporarily, install the device so it doesn’t hurt your home’s value.
2. Garish Paint
Paint is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to update a space, but just because you love a turquoise and coral color scheme doesn’t mean that everyone else will. A good rule of thumb is to enjoy the entire rainbow of bright and colorful paints while you’re living in the home, but plan on covering it with a more neutral shade before it goes on the market.
3. Themed Rooms
Themed rooms can be done very tastefully — or they can be overwhelming. It’s easy to get carried away when doing a theme, adding murals and carpets and all sorts of details, but when it’s time to sell, it’s also time to tone it down. Your kids might love Pokémon or the Dallas Cowboys or Disney Princesses, but there is no guarantee that the buyers’ kids do, too — or if they even have kids. Much like with bright paint, if you do decide to go all-out with a theme, be prepared go neutral when it’s time to sell. Or, be subtler in your theming, using non-permanent details to express it. A neutral wall color and carpet with sports-themed accessories, for instance, will make your small sports fan happy, but also allow buyers to envision their own things in the room.
4. Over-the-Top Lighting
Lighting fixtures are one of the easiest things to upgrade in any room — and also one of the easiest places to get carried away. With so many options, from simple and rustic to full-on glamor, it’s not hard to fall in love with something that looks great hanging in a showroom but will look out of place in your home, or even worse, dated in a few years once the trend passes. When it comes to lighting fixtures, simple is almost always better when you’re getting ready to sell. If you find something unique that you really love, replace it with a simpler option while the house is on the market and hang it up in your new place.
5. Anything That Is Poorly Done
Here’s the thing: In any home improvement store, you’ll find items designed to make projects quick, easy and inexpensive, from stick-on tiles to laminate flooring to temporary wallpaper and more. When installed properly, these items can add a luxe look to your home and make dated and drab spaces fabulous. When not installed properly? They can look cheap and serve as a signal to buyers that they will have to do some work — and that maybe you are trying to hide something. The bottom line is that if you don’t have the skills or tools required to make improvements that are actually improvements, it’s best to leave the job to the professionals.
Taking steps to make your home more appealing to buyers is always a good idea. Clearing clutter, painting, cleaning or replacing carpets and taking care of small jobs like replacing broken light switches can help attract better offers. Just be careful of too much personalization or making things worse, or you could find that selling your home is a lot harder than you expected.