So the “project” starts out on the right foot inspired by a home improvement TV show. But in the long run, is the investment of time and money pay off for you?

As a listing agent, I often take calls from prospective home sellers who boast all the improvements they’ve made to their home. Some sound really great, other alterations simply don’t pay off and can actually make it harder to sell.

If you want to invest time and money the right way so you can eventually sell your house at a higher price, keep in mind that you’ll need your house to stay marketable to the masses. Don’t make “improvements” that not everyone would appreciate unless you plan on staying in your home forever or will change it before you leave.

Here are some more specific examples of DIY home improvements that don’t sell:

  • A 4-bedroom house turned into a 3 bedroom house giving you a master suite is not a good idea. If you’re knocking down walls, flooring, as well as ceilings, and support, this is a huge undertaking and marketing the house for sale got cut in half, at least, by losing a bedroom for all that work.
  • Updating the kitchen and/or bath without extreme planning doesn’t always work for the charm of the house. Consider the walls all around the project area impacted before retrofitting modern layouts and appliances.
  • From cars to couches. Incorporating living space from garage space is affecting HVAC big time for this type of project. It’s typically not completely correctly, and then where do you park the cars afterward?
  • Old houses weren’t built with cars or garages in mind. In so many cases, the garages are afterthoughts. Keep in mind, the availability you have to your backyard and always manage the that area.

The best return on investment a homeowner can make is neutral paint! Other improvements may or may not help the value of the property dollar to dollar. The value of each improvement largely depends on the specific neighborhood/market. Something to remember… It’s not as easy as they make it look on TV.

It’s very important to consultant with your Realtor prior to making improvements, so you can understand dollar for dollar, which improvements pay, and which ones put you at a disadvantage should you decide to sell.

photo credit: cafemama via photopin cc