You’ve moved into your new home and it’s time to make it your own. Resale value probably isn’t top-of-mind at this point, but it should be! In a departure from our collection of articles providing serious home buying advice, we hope you enjoy this tongue-in-cheek look at homeowner mistakes…some of the easiest ways to HURT the future value of your home.
- Use wild colors
If you like bright colors, inside and out, you are on the right path. The reason real estate agents encourage “boring” white and beige tones and neutral colors is because it helps a potential buyer imagine their lives taking place in your home, their furniture and belongings being placed in your house. If you want to avoid higher selling prices and reduce the number of offers, take a bright and/or dark color in hand and PAINT with wild abandon!
- Don’t worry about cleaning
Cleaning? Psssshaw! Who needs it? And forget about decluttering too. Live in your house the way you like! Sure, potential buyers look at details like cleaning in corners and knocking down spider webs. They want bathrooms and kitchens to gleam, but not you! Keep your resale price down by adopting the “it is what it is” attitude about cleanliness and organization.
- Combine a couple bedrooms
If you want to have one large bedroom instead of a couple small ones, go for it! Buyers usually prefer more bedrooms, and pricing models assign higher values to them, but you need to live in your house the way it best suits you. Want to cut that pesky high resale price? Start bedroom-combining renovations!
- Convert your garage into living space
You want a little more room to roam “indoors?” Turn to your garage! Buyers are usually willing to pay more for the houses that have them, so nip that in the bud a.s.a.p. and eliminate your garage in favor of a man-cave or a craft room. Oh, and be sure your renovations are done without permits. That should slow or stop sales—or at least dramatically reduce the resale value!
- Show off your green thumb and personal taste
If you work hard to get the exterior landscaping as elaborate as possible, you will keep those bothersome resale prices down—at least for your house. High-paying buyers seldom want high-maintenance landscaping and gardens. Or, if you don’t have a green thumb, just let your lawn go brown. It will cut down on the amount of mowing you’ll need to do as well as the price of your house. Win-win!
- Never replace exterior doors
If you want to keep your resale value as low as possible, leave your old front door exactly as it is. Don’t even put a fresh coat of paint on it. If the door absolutely MUST be replaced, avoid using a steel door, since they increase the value of your home by more than it costs to buy and install them. You know what they say about “curb appeal?” Even the smallest upgrade to the front of your home could result in more money when you sell it, so beware! If your garage door is in bad shape or doesn’t work properly, you are on the right track.
- Keep your exterior siding dingy
Don’t replace your vinyl siding. Don’t add any manufactured stone veneer to the bottom third of your home. Don’t even power-wash the thing. Seriously, if you want to keep those resale values under control, leave things dirty, dingy, and seasoned outside.
- Don’t add outdoor living space
No decks or patios. Anything that encourages you to take advantage of the outdoors for living and entertaining should be avoided. Stay indoors. Buyers who are willing to pay more for a home are looking for such spaces. You have been warned.
- Like doors, windows should remain original
If you have an older house that you want to sell for less money, don’t replace any cracked, damaged, or stuck windows. Leave them. Buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for a house get really excited about windows that work well AND look great. You can chase them away easily! Just leave the windows alone.
- Don’t keep records
When you absolutely must perform regular maintenance or make an upgrade, be sure to toss all those receipts and records. Potential buyers want such things, so you need to be sure you don’t have them.
If you are trying to keep your home’s resale value down, these tips should get started. Sure, there are many other ways, but these are some of the most popular and effective!
Larry MItchell, Texas Realtor
Broker Associate, ABR, CRS, GRI, VLB
254 681 5115 Cell