It’s time to sell your home, so you’re probably thinking about all the projects you need to start working on, right? Wrong. Be careful about “improving” your property, because not everything boosts the value of your home or is worth doing. 

What projects will make your buyers say “wow” and what will go unnoticed? Do you need to add a pool? A new floor is always a good idea, right? Let’s see what 6 home projects you shouldn’t be trying out when selling your home. 

  1. Don’t repaint your entire house

While sprucing up your home is a good idea that can increase appeal to buyers, you don’t want to go overboard and waste time and money on a full-house paintjob, inside and out. Here’s why: your buyer will want to change the color of the walls, no matter how beautiful you think the color you chose is. 

Investing a lot of time and money into painting every room of the house, as well as the outside just ends up being a waste, or even a detractor for buyers, depending on the colors you choose. 

What to do instead:

If you feel like your home could use the spruce, focus on the areas that really need it. The outside of the home can usually benefit from a fresh coat of – neutral! – paint. 

The kitchen surely needs a refresh because of the cooking smells and oil splatters, so that’s a good use of your time. If you smoke in any of the rooms, they probably also need a refresh. If any of the areas in your home have chipped, cracked paint, or damage, painting over that will give it a better look. But when it comes to bedrooms, hallways, pantries – don’t bother. 

  1. Don’t invest in expensive appliances

Everyone will tell you to invest in your kitchen, because that’s the room that sells the house. Of all the rooms, this is where the bulk of your money should go. However, many make the mistake of redoing their entire kitchen, complete with top of the line, expensive appliances. 

Especially if you’re not planning on living in this home for much longer, a brand new kitchen will probably be wasted. You don’t get to enjoy it, and the buyers might not be big fans of your style or the choices you made for appliances. If they want to bring their own, you’ve just spent a lot of money for no reason. 

What to do instead:

Do invest in some new appliances, if yours are outdated. Change the dishwasher and the stove if they’re old, give everything a good clean, remove the clutter – but don’t go all-out on a professional-grade kitchen. Always think about who is likely to live in this home, and how much they’re going to be willing to pay extra for your new kitchen. 

If they’re the kind of people who value an expensive kitchen, they probably already have their own very specific preferences. If they don’t care that much, they won’t care about your appliances. Invest some money here, but don’t blow your budget; it’s not worth it.

  1. Don’t pick this time to install a pool

If you’re looking at your backyard and thinking that it’s looking a little bare and needs something extra to make it more appealing, you’d be right. But don’t jump to installing a pool. 

On the surface, it seems like a great idea – everybody loves a pool, and it adds value. However, it might come with more headaches than it’s worth. First of all, pools are extremely expensive, so putting one in just for the sake of buyers alone doesn’t make sense, financially. 

Second, pools take a very long time to put in, and you might find yourself in a situation where you’re not quite done by the time you need to sell. And then you’re showing a home with a giant hole in the backyard that’s going to scare buyers away instead of attracting them.

What to do instead:

It’s true that the backyard or garden is a huge selling point, so you might benefit from spending some money there to make it appealing, but there are better ways than getting a pool. 

Landscaping does more for your backyard, and it’s cheaper and easier to put in. Tend to the lawn and the trees and add some flowers and nice shrubbery, or a pathway, and you’ll have yourself a beautiful backyard that buyers will love regardless. 

  1. Don’t replace your furniture

In assessing your home to prepare it to sell, you might have noticed that your furniture is old and outdated. Not a great look – so you want to replace all of it. But it’s really not worth the expense. Even if you’re selling your home furnished, the buyers will want to move their own stuff in. That makes your furniture a burden they need to offload. 

Plus, no one can guarantee that they’ll like your new furniture either, even just as staging. The last thing you want is to get rid of perfectly good items just to replace them with what you think buyers want. People step into a house to envision their own life and items there, so they look beyond your furniture anyway. 

What to do instead:

If any of your furniture is broken or dirty and you were going to replace it anyway, you can do that. Or remove it altogether. In fact, if your space is overly cluttered, it’s a very good idea to take something away in order to allow the room to breathe and let its features shine through. Otherwise, all the buyers are able to see is a bunch of “stuff”. 

  1. Don’t try to add “personality” to the property

One major mistake is when sellers think their home doesn’t stand out enough on its own, so they try to add features to it that they think will be attractive to buyers. Some of them may go overboard with personal touches like “interesting” design, or too many family photos. 

Others lean too hard into the “trendy” aspect of home design and try to include every trend they think will sell – trendy wall colors, patterned wallpaper, expensive smart technology, funky tile shapes. Unfortunately, that can be very overwhelming and stand in the way of a buyer’s ability to really picture themselves in your space.

What to do instead:

Instead of throwing money on “bold” design choices or trendy technology, why not make sure that you’re offering buyers some attractive basics? Ensure that the home is staged in a neutral manner and let the personality come from the unique, original build features of the home, like archways, original wooden flooring, a beautiful fireplace or banister, etc. 

If you want to add some modern touches, make sure they’re popular, practical features or tech. Instead of a talking refrigerator, opt for a smart speaker, and make sure that you upgrade your broadband package. Think more “reliable” than “flashy”. 

  1. Don’t replace your floors 

Every guide you’ve ever read will tell you that replacing your floors with brand new wooden ones is a great investment, because that adds value and buyers love hardwood floors. While that’s true, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

First of all, you have to take into consideration the state of your current flooring; it may not need replacing at all. Second, you must think about the fact that replacing your floors is a major investment, and whether you’ll recoup it is always a gamble. 

Plus, you never want to take on this kind of project close to your ideal sell date, and never by yourself. Like the pool, you might end up with a situation where you’ve got a house to sell, but no floors. 

What to do instead:

If your floors are wood and aren’t damaged, then you’re much better off with a refinishing than a replacement. That’ll give your existing floors a shiny, new look, and it won’t leave you broke. 

If your floors are in a sorry state, you might consider laminate flooring – it mimics wood beautifully, but it’s much more inexpensive, and much easier to install. It’s probably better bang for your buck. 

Bottom line

Everyone wants to upgrade their home before selling, but not all projects are created equal or worth taking on, especially close to a sell. Buying things brand new is usually not a good strategy, whether we’re talking about floors, appliances, or furniture, and contrary to popular belief, repainting your whole house is not necessary. 


Instead, make sure the outside of your home is presentable, that your yard is appealing, and that the inside of your home is neutral and home-y enough that your buyers can imagine themselves living there. That’ll count more than your expensive zebra-striped carpet and professional-grade stove.


Article Courtesy of: Victoria Standridge