Never Do This if You’re Planning on Selling Your Home

Friday Feb 17th, 2023


Removing a bedroom

The kids have finally flown the coop, and you have an extra bedroom you don't need. That spa-like master ensuite is about to become a reality as soon as you remove the walls. But is it something a real estate agent would do? Not a chance. "You may not need the extra bedroom, but future buyers may," says Madison. Not only does removing a bedroom lower your home value in comparison to other homes with similar square footage, but it also takes you off potential buyers' shortlists. This is especially true if your house is located in a family-oriented neighbourhood, where an extra bedroom can make or break a deal.


Neglecting repairs

We're all guilty of it from time to time—putting off repairs until you're a month away from hosting a big party or waiting till the furnace completely stops running to call a service technician. Real estate agents address problem areas straight away for two reasons. One, neglected areas in the home are unattractive. And two, they become expensive to repair when left unattended.


Hiring non-licensed contractors

It's probably not a big deal to DIY a loose floorboard or hire your cousin to install a ceiling fan, but when it comes to the major housing components like plumbing and electrical, you should hire licensed, bonded contractors and possibly get permits. "This is very important because real estate agents know the value of being able to say that a licensed contractor or expert did the work and the permits are on file with the city,"  "This gives a potential buyer peace of mind, knowing that things are right, and the same is true when they go to sell the house later." Of course, just because someone is an expert, doesn't mean he or she is the right expert for you.


Investing too much money in upgrades

Everett would never spend all her money on expensive upgrades without first looking at the comps of other houses in her area. "I would pick and choose the upgrades I think will bring the most return—maybe just the kitchen, since buyers love new kitchens," she says. Some of the upgrade decisions are easier to make than others, like replacing outdated appliances. "That is a small expense that makes a big difference,"


Using loud and bold colours

Hey, it's your house, and if you want to paint your living room blood red and your kitchen pumpkin orange, go for it. But real estate agents would rather dip their paintbrushes into neutral colours. "There is a reason real estate agents and house flippers use neutral colours—they appeal to larger audiences,"  real estate agents also advise against wallpaper. There's a slim chance a buyer will like it, and most buyers will take one look and think of the cost and labour to remove it.



A house is transformed into a home-sweet-home when you add personal touches, but if you're thinking about selling your house down the road, you might want to rethink going all-in with your favourite motif. Melanie Everett, managing broker and founder of Melanie Everett & Company in Chicago, loves animal prints, but she's not going to wallpaper her house with it. "I opted to buy some beautiful pillows instead," she says. "Plus, I can take these with me to my next home, and I don't have to worry about overwhelming a potential buyer."


Planting trees too close to the house

Leafy trees, flowering bushes, and colourful perennials instantly add a welcoming and homey touch to that all-important curb appeal, but if you plant trees too close to the house, you might regret it down the road. Trees with long root systems can uproot the ground and your budget, and large limbs can fall on the roof or damage siding. "Roots over time can damage underground plumbing, foundation, and driveways,". "It may look nice at first, but when you go to sell it in a few years, those roots will cause very expensive damage."


Painting in pastels

Baby blue and millennial candy pink are lovely and soothing, but they don't translate well on the face of the home. "Curb appeal is very important, whether your home is on the market or not," "You always want your home to feel welcoming." And don't forget the front door. It's part of the all-important first impression.



Ignoring curb appeal

You worked for months on the interior of your home, and now that it's HGTV-worthy, you're too tired and uninspired to care about the shabby lawn and cracked walkway. Shake off the sawdust and swap out your tool belt for some gardening tools. 


Story by Lisa Marie Conklin, 

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