Looking to Sell? Avoid These Home Improvement Mistakes

Although it may seem as though home improvements are a good investment and automatically increase a property’s value, that's not always the case.

Certain improvements won't raise a home’s value enough to repay their costs. Even worse— they can actually lower your home’s value.

If you’re thinking about improving your home and concerned about your home's value, be sure to avoid these three mistakes.

Patchy Improvements​

It's important to make sure your improvements look cohesive throughout your home. A beautiful and modern kitchen may be a great selling point, but if your bathroom and living areas look dark and drab, chances are that most buyers will be put off.

You are better off saving some of the money on your kitchen remodel and applying that to other areas of the home to give your home a more consistent and updated look.

A cohesive look throughout makes the home feel well-maintained and is more attractive to buyers than if one area of your home is getting all the attention.

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Poor Planning​

A poorly planned renovation can cause more problems than it solves.

For instance, if you are considering swapping out your flooring, try to make it level so that there aren't any unnecessary transitions from room to room.

If you are going to replace that hallway furnace, you may want to look into putting it in the attic or the garage to free up space in your home so you can eventually expand a bathroom or add a closet.

Try to plan out your improvements carefully so you don't run into issues in the future.


The key to not over-improving is to take into account the average property types and values in your neighborhood. If you improve your home too far from your neighborhood’s level, you’ll have difficulty getting your money back. 

Even if a buyer is willing to pay a premium the appraiser may find it hard to find comps to support the price.

However luxurious and attractive your home, if it doesn’t fit well into its area when it comes time for buyers to decide on a price they are going to look at the comps.  If the comps are much lower than what you are asking, it will be hard for buyers to justify the difference.

They’re more likely to spend the money for a more basic home in a higher-value area.

If you’re planning to stay in your home, then go ahead and make improvements that will increase your quality of life. You may want to think twice if a future move is a possibility.

Keep in mind that not all improvements will pay for themselves, and some may actually make your home harder to sell.


If you are worried about whether the improvements you are considering will be a good investment, contact your local real estate professional.  They know what buyers are looking for, and where you need to invest money into your home to get the best return.

If you are thinking of selling and want to know which improvements will net you the best return, take a look at my post about selling and home improvements.

I have written a lot on this subject, here are some other articles you may find helpful:

Buying or Selling a home with Unpermitted Updates

5 Easy and Inexpensive Ways to Update Your Santa Clara Home For Selling or Not

Should You Fix Your House Up or Sell Now?

Fix It or Not? What to Ask When Prepping Your Home for Sale

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