7 Home Upgrades to Avoid When Selling Your Home

While there are certain home upgrades that will most definitely add some value to the home you’re about to sell, there are some that can be considered a waste of money. Why? Well, that’s because they are costly and don’t add any value to your soon-to-be ex-home, even though things don’t seem that way at first sight.

Luckily, we’ve put together a list of 7 upgrades to avoid when selling your home. In it, you’ll find the most appealing home upgrades that, unfortunately, don’t add any value to your home before a sale. So, shall we begin?

Here at GreatBuildz, we speak with clients every day who are considering a renovation project. GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, pre-screened remodeling contractors, then provides ongoing project support to ensure a stress-free experience.

#1 The so-called invisible home upgrades

We’ll start this list with the so-called invisible upgrades. They represent costly projects that actually make your house a better place to live. However, there are not noticeable, so most folks simply ignore them. For instance, you could replace your HVAC unit, but most buyers would assume everything’s working fine, so they won’t pay you additional funds just because you’ve recently done it.

Of course, these upgrades might help you sell your home faster but don’t expect to recover the invested money when the selling time comes. All in all: the so-called invisible home upgrades are a part of ordinary, regular maintenance, not an investment you’ll reap benefits from.

A silver faucet with leaking water, upgrades to avoid when selling your home

Updating your plumbing is mandatory, don’t think of it as “a home upgrade that will greatly add value to your home.”

#2 Taking care of driveway and walkway cracks

Here’s another one to avoid: taking care of driveway or walkway cracks. Now, don’t get us wrong. Buyers will certainly pay extra for a home that has fantastic curb appeal. For instance, replacing or repairing your front door might be an idea with the best ROI, but what about repairing driveway or walkway cracks?

You’ll want to know that buyers aren’t, so how should we phrase this, nitpicky. A driveway or walkway crack will rarely, if ever, ruin a sale. Therefore, you shouldn’t worry about that too much. Keep that money inside your wallet and spend it, for instance, on the moving process that will ensue once you sell your place. If you’re an LA resident hiring moving services, rely on expert help with any task. There are many experienced professionals in the area offering their services. 

#3 Finishing your basement

If you have a basement and it’s not finished, we strongly suggest you don’t begin now. Here’s the thing: it will cost you a fortune (some mention numbers such as $30,000 and up), and you’d have to be extremely lucky to get an ROI that will cover the expense. Not to mention all the stress you’ll have to go through during the process.

Now, there’s an exception to the rule. If all your neighbors “sport” finished basements, making it a certain expectation of the neighborhood, it might be good for you to discuss the option with your real estate agent. They’ll give you the best advice.

An empty, unfinished basement, upgrades to avoid when selling your home

You haven’t finished your basement still? Our suggestion: don’t do it.

#4 Granite counters

Kitchen Renovation Cost Countertops

Who could’ve forgotten granite counters? Nowadays, many buyers have a preference on what type or category of countertop they want. Some actually want granite, but it’s not like they’re going to pay extra because you’ve somehow guessed their taste. Not to mention that we’re talking about a home upgrade that comes with a decent price tag. All in all: don’t expect a hefty ROI on installing granite countertops.

#5 Extravagant and over-the-top upgrades

Certain home upgrades might make your spaces seem more luxurious, or at least, you can imagine that they do. Even though some of them seem at first glance like a good idea that will pay off, we recommend that you steer clear of introducing them to your soon-to-be ex-home.

We’re talking about fancy hardware on doors and furniture (did someone say tile?), fancy or unique light fixtures, lawn fountains, etc. You get the idea. Now, this, of course, doesn’t apply to homes that are already over-the-top in a sense. However, applying these fancy, extravagant upgrades to a home where they’ll stick out like a sore thumb is an idea you should steer clear of.

Some sellers assume simply installing a gold-plated bathtub will do the trick. We suggest that you opt for a more minimalist approach instead of going over the top.

A set of light fixtures, upgrades to avoid when selling your home

Extravagant light fixtures inside an ordinary home will stick out like a sore thumb.

#6 Opting for wall-to-wall carpeting

Ugh… Where do we start with this one? Okay, we assume most folks like to walk on a soft, plush carpet. However, will wall-to-wall carpeting enthrall your buyers so much that they’ll pay extra for it? Probably not.

Therefore, it’s one of the upgrades to avoid when selling your home. You might feel inclined to update your flooring before putting your home up for sale, which is completely fine. However, too much of it (installing wall-to-wall carpeting) won’t put a smile on your potential buyers’ faces.

Wall-to-wall carpeting can actually make your home look somewhat outdated, and that’s clearly something that won’t add numbers to its price. 

#7 Overbuilding

The last spot on this list of home upgrades to avoid when selling is reserved for overbuilding. So, what’s the catch? Let’s say you’ve considered adding an extra bedroom, a home office, or an additional floor to your home to make it more appealing for buyers. It’s a fine idea, but you’ll need to make sure not to “overbuild the neighborhood,” as they say.

In other words, you’ll need to see whether these improvements will make your home fall outside of the neighborhood norm. If your neighborhood consists of one-story homes, adding a second floor or an accessory dwelling unit to your residence might make it less appealing. Such an upgrade most probably won’t add any value to your home. 

The explanation for why this happens is fairly simple: buyers don’t want to pay much more than the average price of a home in a neighborhood. All in all: the price per square foot should be aligned with the homes in your nearest surroundings. 

Final words 

All right, folks! That’s about all that we’ve prepared on the subject of upgrades to avoid when selling your home. Hopefully, you’ll steer clear of installing most of the home improvements we’ve mentioned above. Trust us; it’s better to invest that money into something else, like renovating your new home or paying for the moving process. Until next time! 

When it comes to planning and coordinating a renovation on your property, you shouldn’t have to go it alone – GreatBuildz can help simplify your renovation experience.

GreatBuildz is a free service that connects homeowners with reliable, thoroughly screened general contractors and provides project support from start to finish. Call now (818.317.3567) to chat with a real person about your next renovation project or visit our website for more information: www.greatbuildz.com.

Hi, we're Paul and Jon - Co-Founders of GreatBuildz. We believe everyone deserves to find a great contractor, have a stress-free renovation, and enjoy their beautiful new space. There are so many contractors out there and it's often hard to tell the good from the bad... until it's too late. We started our company to help simplify your contractor search and help you have a stress-free renovation experience. We're always available to help, no matter where you are in the process. Click here to learn more about our story.

How can we help with your project?

Explore More Remodeling Topics

Remodeling Cost Guides

Cost Guides

design ideas

Design Ideas

Finding a Contractor

Finding a Contractor

Picking Materials

Selecting Materials

remodeling advice

Remodeling Advice