Certain features in a home have stood the test of time in terms of adding value to a property, while others often don’t bring in the type of ROI that sellers usually look for when they sell.
As a seller, you’ll obviously want to prep your home accordingly in order to attract the masses of buyers out there. That’s precisely why many sellers employ professional home stagers. But in many cases, taking on certain home improvement or upgrading projects might be warranted to bring your home up to par.
That said, you’ll need to be very careful about the type of projects that you undertake. More specifically, the following projects might not add as much value as you’d like and probably won’t allow you to fully recoup what you spend on them.
When it comes to adding perceived value to a home, features that buyers can actually see are what really matters. While things like the electrical panel and wiring or new plumbing pipes are certainly nice to have, buyers might not always associate the importance of such upgrades with offering more money.
Even though you may have spent thousands of dollars upgrading the wiring and pipes, you may not see all that money recouped in the offers that buyers submit.
Of course, making the necessary improvements in these areas isn’t necessarily a bad idea, and it may sometimes be needed in order to actually sell your home. That said, don’t assume that such upgrades will allow you to hike up your asking price.
New HVAC System
Like the utilities in your home, the HVAC system isn’t something that buyers will notice. Of course, if the A/C is completely dead and the inside of the home is boiling hot, buyers will notice. In this case, you’ll have little choice but to repair or replace the unit before you sell.
But simply upgrading your entire HVAC system isn’t necessarily going to allow you to recoup all the money you may spend on it when it comes time to sell. Buyers are not likely to pay more for it.
Adding a Swimming Pool
Many buyers in California expect a home to have a pool when they buy. But if your home doesn’t already have one, adding one now isn’t exactly going to bring you a high ROI. In fact, you could lose money by taking on such a huge project.
Installing a pool is a very expensive job. You’ll likely spend no less than $30,000 on a pool installation, but you probably won’t be able to tack on that extra $30,000 to the asking price.
Buyers who really want a pool can always install one themselves and design it in the way they like. If other homes on the block have a pool, you’ll need to make the appropriate price adjustment to your asking price, which might be the better way to go than installing (and paying) for a pool installation that will likely cost much more than you’ll get back for it.
Solar Panel Installation
An increasing number of buyers – especially those in the millennial demographic – appreciate “green” homes that are easy on the environment – and their pocketbooks. And solar paneling is certainly a great feature for a home to have that can save energy and money.
But the installation cost is extremely high. People who install solar panels usually do so if they are planning to remain in their homes for the long haul, as they won’t see any recouping for years to come. Installing them today will definitely not add the kind of value that you’ll be able to get back when you sell.
Bathrooms might be small in size, but they play a key role in the value of a home. A home with three updated bathrooms is obviously better than a home with one old and outdated bathroom, for example. But while you might want to spruce up a tired-looking space, installing a brand new bathroom might not bring you back what you spend on such a project.
In fact, you can expect to get back no more than half of what you spend on a new bathroom installation. If anything, consider updating the one(s) you already have, within reason.
Your home’s landscaping plays a key role in curb appeal, which is crucial when selling your home. Your lawn should be mowed and free of weeds, your flowers should be healthy, and your bushes should be trimmed. But going overboard with your landscaping will risk losing money when you finally sell.
Not only will you probably spend a lot more on your landscaping that you’ll get back, but you might even turn some buyers off who prefer to personalize their landscaping without so many extensive intricacies.
When prepping your home for the market, it’s important that you stay in line with what the majority of homes in the area offer. A home that’s been overloaded with high-end upgrades on a block that has more modest homes might not make sense. You’ll probably do nothing more than make your home stand out like a sore thumb.
You may have spent some good money on ornate lighting, extensive crown molding, decorative wainscoting, innovative kitchen appliances, or Italian marble countertops, but are buyers in the area willing to spend the big bucks to have all that? These types of features are super expensive, and it’s unlikely that you’ll find a buyer who would be willing to pay as much for your home as what you spent on it.
The Bottom Line
Upgrading your home is certainly a good thing when prepping your home for the market. But the types of projects you take on and the amount of money you spend on them should be carefully considered. While you want your home to impress buyers, you also want to make sure the ROI is worth it. Speak with your real estate agent to find out which projects make more financial sense, and which ones you should steer clear of.