Avoid these Home Improvement Mistakes to Sell Your Home Faster

Posted by Steve Harmer on Thursday, November 26th, 2015 at 1:07pm.

Owning your home means more financial responsibility than merely being an occupying tenant in a rental property. There are a considerable amount of additional costs that go in to purchasing a house such as Home Owners Association fees, insurance, maintenance, and repairs. In spite of the extra expenses having a place to call your own gives you a sense of pride and accomplishment as well as provides a fantastic investment opportunity as equity is built over time. 

One of the best aspects of purchasing your own residence is the ability to put a personal touch in to the decor and style. Paint colors, flooring, lighting, or total room redesigns are all just waiting for you to choose and customize. However, a home owner not only needs to keep their finger on the pulse of today's shifting trends and styles. They should also be thinking of a future when they themselves will be selling the place they called home and new buyers will be viewing their property with as much scrutiny as they once had during their home search. 

Personalizing your home can backfire when taken too far. Potential buyers may be turned off by the custom touches you thought were picture perfect. Here are some home improvement mistakes to avoid that might turn your home in to a hard-to-sell property:

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Converted Bedrooms

Most individuals want rooms to serve their original purpose when the home was built. During your time as the home owner whether you closed in a closet, knocked down a wall, or expanded an opening to install french doors, most buyers will have a hard time accepting your alteration. Chances are you probably converted a room to fit your personal needs. But most likely your needs will not be those of the potential buyers viewing the home. These major changes to a floor-plan will also bring in to question the quality of the rooms alterations and whether or not a buyer should be worried that the transformation was done professionally.  

 Enclosed Garages

Enclosing a garage space can also turn out to be a negative selling feature. A garage can serve two very important functions. First and foremost, it shields our vehicles from the damaging effects of the intense Summer Sun and harsh winters. Secondly, storage, many  home owners use some or all of their garage space to make up for lack of storage. If you enclose a garage it takes away two desirable features of a home that potential buyers could view as unfavorable. 



In recent years, wallpaper has made a major comeback in design styles. Modern and sophisticated colors and patterns have replaced the stripes and florals of the 80's and 90's. However, that doesn't mean wallpaper is universally accepted as a desirable decor choice. Think twice before adorning your walls with this style option. Potential buyers may view wallpaper as a headache to remove and take your home off the list of possible options.  


Pet doors

Constantly opening the door for your four-legged friends every time they want outside can be a never ending task. Installing a pet door can help maintain an animal owners sanity as well as provide consistent and convenient access to the outdoors anytime nature calls.  But not all home shoppers are pet owners. There are many individuals that will view a large hole that's been placed in the side of a home or through a door as an eye sore as well as a repair item that will need to be addressed if they purchase your home. Over time doggy doors can also get damaged, and become covered in dirt and pet hair if not properly cleaned and maintained. A filthy pet door in poor condition will alienate a large pool of potential buyers. Before having one installed, take this in to consideration. 


Face lift Fails

We've all been to the house of a friend or family member who decided to tackle a home improvement project based upon an on-line article they read or perhaps a YouTube video inspired them to try their hand at home enhancement. Either way, poorly refinished kitchen cabinets, crookedly laid floor tile, or incompetently installed light fixtures can spell disaster when attempting to resell your home. If you are handy with a hammer or skilled with a saw then by all means, enjoy the satisfaction attained from upgrading your property on your own. But if you are unable to replicate that which a professional can accomplish then you may want to lay aside your tools and call in the experts. 


Overbearing Landscapes

Plenty of homeowners have a green thumb and a desire to improve their yards by planting lush bushes, tall shade trees, seasonal flowers, and decorative water features. What you may consider a relaxing paradise others may view as a maintenance nightmare. Not everyone in the market to purchase a property is looking for a never-ending weekend landscaping project. If you go overboard with your outdoor improvements it could be a turn off to a large pool of home shoppers who don't have the same appreciation for nature. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the fruits of your labor being able to walk barefoot across your perfectly manicured lawn and trimming your carefully sculpted hedges. Just keep in mind that a garden utopia for you might mean a tough sell in the future as some individuals simply don't have the time or desire to handle the upkeep. 



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Shabby Sheds


Having a designated outdoor covered and enclosed storage space to lock-up and protect tools, equipment, seasonal holiday decorations, and any other item of value can be an appealing feature to a home buyer. But if your outbuilding has seen better days and is one more heavy rain storm away from completely falling apart then this property upgrade will be considered more of a hazard to those viewing your home. Thoughts of how to tear down and dispose of the dilapidated structure will begin to run circles in a buyers head distracting them from other more positive aspects of your dwelling.  If you are going to enhance your home owner experience by adding a shed to your property then be prepared to keep it looking as fresh and neat as the main home itself, otherwise it will be a major detraction when it comes time to sell.  


Home improvements are a marvelous way to add your personal touches around your residence and is just one of the many positive aspects of home ownership. However, these  enhancements should be carefully considered with an eye on the future not just on the present. The overwhelming majority of individuals will own and sell multiple properties in their lifetime meaning at some point you will need to attract potential buyers for your home. Your property will need to appeal to the tastes and desires of a broad audience if you hope to compete against other available abodes on the market and have your home sell quickly.



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