I’m a Real Estate Agent: Here Are 12 Home Renovations Buyers Want the Least in 2023 – Yahoo Finance

If you’re trying to sell your home, you might be thinking of ways to spruce it up for maximum profit. Besides taking care of general maintenance tasks and keeping your property tidy, one method of increasing your home’s market value is to renovate it.
See: 5 Expensive Home Renovations That You’ll Probably Regret
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Not all of these renovations have to be major or expensive either. Sometimes, even a minor change or two can significantly boost your property’s value.
But before you get started with any renovations, there are a few upgrades and so-called improvements that can actually backfire when it’s time to sell. GOBankingRates spoke with Realtors Omer Reiner, Rebecca Hidalgo Rains and Melissa Zimbelman about the top home renovations buyers want the least in 2023. Here’s what they said.
Solar panels can be a great addition to your home, and a major selling point, but only if they’re paid off before you put your house on the market.
“Do not add solar panels to your home unless you plan to fully pay them off or live in your home for at least five years,” said Hidalgo Rains, CEO and managing broker at Integrity All Stars at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “I have seen multiple buyers back out of a deal because a seller tried to push the cost of unpaid solar panels onto them. If you add solar panels to your home, do not sell that home until those panels are all or nearly paid off.”
Another renovation most buyers don’t want is an in-ground pool, according to Reiner, entrepreneur and president of FL Cash Home Buyers, LLC. Not only that, but the cost of installing and maintaining one can be prohibitively high for the seller.
“Depending on where you live, these can be unbelievably expensive to install,” said Reiner. “If you are in a very rocky area, the cost just to dig the hole can be astronomical. Even in areas such as Florida, where many people want pools to keep cool in the excessive heat and humidity, you won’t recoup the costs of this addition.”
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Real hardwood floors might seem like a winner when it comes to home renovations, but it might not be as practical — or as desirable — as you expect.
“Real wood flooring looks beautiful in every home when it is initially installed; however, the maintenance to keep it beautiful is not worth the hassle to homebuyers,” said Rains. “Most Realtors these days will not recommend doing hardwood floors. They are expensive to install and expensive to maintain. Unless you are dealing with high-income homebuyers who can afford to maintain it, I would not install it.”
Carpet is another home renovation that doesn’t sell as well as sellers might think. This is especially the case for DIY carpet installations that, more often than not, look cheaply done.
“Homebuyers, on average, do not like carpet in any other room besides the bedrooms,” said Rains. “The carpet looks cheap and is hard to clean if parents, pets, and children are walking and shedding hair and dirt all over the place.”
While not a very common upgrade, some people do install an elevator system in their home. Unfortunately, this can alienate prospective buyers more than it attracts them. Elevators are also an expensive renovation for the seller, from which they might not be able to recover the costs.
“These might help you up to the second floor now, but they won’t lift your bottom line at sale. Their costs — not just for installation but also for maintenance and required inspections — are not small change,” said Reiner. “Elevators require not just the shaft for the actual unit, but also a room to house all the electrical gear needed to operate it. There are more cost-effective options for anyone buying a home who might need mobility assistance, such as stair lifts.”
Wallpaper is one of those things that buyers either love or hate. So, even if you don’t enjoy the look of your walls, you might be better off letting the next person decide whether they want to put up wallpaper or simply repaint the walls.
“A touch of a tasteful and neutral paper might be all right, but wallpaper is one of those things that speaks to very personal tastes,” said Reiner. “And it isn’t fun to remove. A buyer would have to pay a good bit to change decor in a home filled with quite specific looks. Go with paint, which is far easier and less expensive to update.”
While many buyers look for a home with a yard, overdoing it with your backyard renovations can limit your prospects.
“A lot of sellers think doing a complicated and robust backyard remodel will add value to their home, but the reality is that it scares a lot of buyers away. A complex backyard means complex maintenance or paying a landscaper to maintain it,” said Rains. “Buyers aren’t looking for a fancy backyard; they are looking for a nice backyard. Don’t spend a bunch of money to add a pond when you can invest in making the grass look nice and full and fixing the fence out back.”
The thought of installing a free-standing bathtub might have crossed your mind, especially if your current bathroom only has a shower or is due for an upgrade. But this is another one of those renovations most buyers aren’t going to want.
“Free-standing bathtubs look really nice, and although they take up a lot of space in your bathroom, often aren’t large enough inside to actually sink down into,” said Zimbelman, property manager and Realtor at LUXE International Realty & Property Management. “Our clients almost always crawl into them empty when we are looking at homes, and are really bummed out when they realized they won’t get their knees and shoulders below water level.”
Although it might seem prudent to remove a bedroom or two to make other rooms larger, doing this can actually backfire when it comes to making a profit on your home.
“If your home has tiny bedrooms and you want to rearrange to make bigger, yet fewer of those private spaces, think twice,” said Reiner. “Anyone searching the market for specific types of homes will have the number of bedrooms they want in mind, and taking yours from four to three will absolutely cut your potential client base.”
While it’s generally a good idea to upgrade old or outdated fixtures, handles and accessories, sellers should be wary of going with themes that come across as ostentatious or even gaudy.
“Choosing polarizing finishes for faucets, lighting fixtures, cabinet handles, or appliances, while trendy, is looking like one of those fads that are nearly on their way out, before it made it all the way in,” said Zimbelman. “We have all worked so hard to get the old gold/brass accents out of homes for the last 15+ years, only to have it re-emerge as a trend. Many buyers are not in love.”
Putting on a new coat of paint or updating the floor can be a major selling point for a home, but sellers may want to be careful when it comes to the colors and designs they choose.
“Homes cost a lot of money today, and the last thing buyers want to do is spend more money fixing parts of the home they don’t like. The home should be as turn-key as possible, and that means having paint and flooring that are not a contentious color or material,” said Rains.
“You may love your yellow kitchen cabinets or your baby blue house, but your average buyer is not going to find it appealing,” she added. “You may get lucky and find a buyer who likes a divisive color, but you are going to find it harder to get multiple offers.”
At the same time, fewer buyers are in the market for a color scheme that’s too neutral or dull.
“We are seeing buyers starting to shy away from the newly-renovated homes featuring only gray tones on the counters, walls and flooring,” said Zimbelman. “While grays were a new and interesting turn away from the tans of old, some sellers have gone too far and left these homes devoid of any personality at all.”
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: I’m a Real Estate Agent: Here Are 12 Home Renovations Buyers Want the Least in 2023
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