Jan 19, 2022

Home improvements that may not pay off when you sell

An expensive bathroom

As a home seller, you'll want to make the most of the sale. Before putting your home on the market, there is a lot of work to do. It's in your interest to invest in upgrades that add value to the house. Thus, after estimating your budget for maintenance, cleaning, and improvements, make a list of what you want to change. Then, calculate which changes will benefit you most. As a homeowner, you may be biased and not realize that you've chosen home improvements that may not pay off when you sell.

Expensive kitchen elements

A renovated kitchen can significantly add to the value of your home. Still, it's important to stay realistic in your expectations. If you have a big home with luxurious features, it's appropriate to invest in such upgrades in every room of the house. Still, focusing on a specific area, like the kitchen, and spending a lot of money on new appliances, cabinets, tile, and countertops won't pay off. No buyer wants a single area that stands out. When exploring their options, future homeowners lean toward homes that offer the most in every field. Marble countertops and expensive tiles are home improvements that may not pay off when you sell. Instead of such investments, go for energy-efficient home upgrades - they are much more sought after among buyers.

A kitchen with marble countertops
Marble countertops would be appropriate in a spacious kitchen, but not so much in a small one.

Luxurious bathroom upgrades

Bathroom improvements that may not pay off when you sell usually include fancy tiles, marble countertops, bathtub and shower replacement, etc. These upgrades are unnecessary if you have a functional and well-maintained bathroom. Instead of spending your remodeling budget on non-essential upgrades, replace the shower curtains, bins, refresh cabinets, and thoroughly clean everything. If you scrub the tiles, grout, and utility areas, your bathroom will look brand new. Add a few decorative pieces to it, and you're done!

Master bedroom expansion

Even though a large master bedroom provides comfort, you should ask yourself whether the future homeowner thinks the same. Moreover, calculate if sacrificing additional space is worth the hassle. If you join two rooms into one, you'll have one room less. The number of rooms is a frequent keyword buyers use when browsing houses for sale. Thus, before deciding on this remodeling step, research which option benefits you more - a huge master bedroom or an additional room? When it comes to value-adding home improvements you should tackle before selling, the ones worth considering shouldn't cost too much. But they'll be worth the mention in your listing.

A master bedroom
Instead of expanding the master bedroom, investing in closet and storage space might be a better idea.

Floor treatment 

Quality flooring is a significant feature of every home. Therefore, investing in this area is recommendable before putting your house up for sale. Still, some types of flooring are considered more valuable than others. If you have quality floor-to-floor carpet in the living room, your home probably doesn't lack any coziness. However, carpeting often looks dated, and it requires a lot of maintenance. If this is your primary flooring, this could drop your home value by approximately $4,000. Make sure to hire professional cleaners to thoroughly scrub your flooring in case you cannot do anything else about it.

A swimming pool can be a double-edged sword

In an area with a warm climate, a swimming pool can add up to 7% of your total home value. Still, its maintenance can be incredibly time and money-consuming. Additionally, if you don't have a big backyard, the pool will take up most of the space, which the buyer might want to use differently.

Homes with swimming pools only pay off if the owners can use them all year round. Moreover, it can pay off if you're to a specific group of buyers. According to relocation experts from centennialmoving.ca, families with kids avoid homes with swimming pools. However, in neighborhoods with many vacation homes and rentals, adding a swimming pool is a good idea.

A swimming pool
Expensive mosaic tiles and pool upgrades are home improvements that may not pay off when you sell.

Going overboard with landscaping

Dedicating some attention to curb appeal and landscaping is essential if you want to attract buyers. Poor maintenance of the property leads to early decay, and such homes only attract fixer-upper enthusiasts. However, fixer-uppers usually have lower price tags since they require significant investments. If you want to sell your home at a realistic price, improving the exterior matters the same as the interior. Usually, home sellers invest in lighting, repainting the doors, windows, pressure washing the stairs, porches, and driveways. Such home improvements can take years off the property, giving it a clean, new look. Still, nothing makes a house more welcoming than tasteful landscaping.

You can do many landscaping projects on your own. But without the right information, a backyard makeover can cost you more than you'd expect. So, before starting with this project, research native plants for your garden. They are affordable, need less water, and are more sustainable exotic flowers. Keep in mind that seasonal plants might not be a great idea since your home could stay on the market for a while. No homebuyer wants to see photos of a booming yard and face the grim reality of a dying garden.


Selling a home for the first time can be difficult. It requires a lot of preparation and a practical approach to attract potential buyers. If you're uncertain about some of your choices, there are experts that you could consult about home improvements that may not pay off when you sell. Alternatively, you can get inspired by comparing home features with similar properties on the market or visiting open houses.

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