Realty Executives Exceptional Realtors®

Karen Miglin

REALTOR® /Sales Associate (908) 347-9118

Karen Miglin

REALTOR® /Sales Associate

Realty Executives Exceptional Realtors®


8 Upgrades to Avoid When Selling Your Home

(Published on - 9/11/2022 3:49:52 PM)

Alysia Heun, Realty Executives International

Buying a home is exciting. It can also be nerve-wracking, complicated, risky, and keep you awake at night. The same can be said about selling your home. Both are important decisions that can potentially change your life.

Buying or selling a home requires a lot of preparation. We recommend that you research and consult a professional realtor to streamline the process. Additionally, use all the information available and look at other people’s experiences in selling their homes so you can avoid common mistakes. For example, many homeowners decide to do some remodeling prior to listing their home on the market. While this can improve your chances of sale at the best price point, there are some upgrades to avoid when selling your home.

Upgrading your home may help you sell faster and for a better price, but that’s not always the case. You can potentially cause serious financial damage if you are not careful. Some of the upgrades you do to your home won’t pay off when you sell, so be careful with projects such as:

1) Kitchen renovation

2) Basement

3) Landscaping

4) Wine cellar

5) Swimming pool

6) New appliances

7) Partial upgrades

8) Trendy decoration

New Kitchen

Remodeling a kitchen is the first thing that comes to mind for many people when selling their house. They feel a nice shiny new kitchen will attract buyers, which is not wrong. It will likely attract buyers, but you must consider the return on investment. Renovating a kitchen is very expensive. New marble countertops, new cabinets, appliances, painting, and installing new floors can be pricey.  Not to mention, it requires a lot of time and effort. And according to statistics, major overhauls rarely pay off when selling, resulting in a financial loss. The best thing to do is work on fixing problems that can devalue your home, such as broken kitchen appliances and bad plumbing. Those things will be more important to potential buyers than trendy expensive countertops and cabinets.


Another upgrade to avoid has to do with the basement. Finishing your basement and turning it into another room (bedroom, playroom, office) seems like an excellent feature for a house hunter. But that’s not quite the case. You don’t know who will buy your home in advance, and people have different needs and wishes. Someone will want an extra bedroom, someone else a baby’s room, while some people need more storage. It’s better to leave the basement space empty and clean so people can decide what they want to turn it into later. Painting and decluttering your basement will be enough. Plus, keeping the space neutral is economical.


One of the upgrades to avoid when selling your home is excessive landscaping. A lovely exterior can make your house look very inviting to potential buyers, but it would be best to avoid going overboard. If your landscaping is not in perfect shape, do not feel pressured to spend lots of money to fix everything. The best thing to do is tidy it up and keep it clean. Do the necessary trimming and cutting. Make sure there is no garbage and clutter around the house. You can plant some lovely flowers in the garden to add some curb appeal. A vast garden or yard that requires expensive landscaping can prove too much responsibility for potential buyers and turn them off. Leave room so the new owners can give their outdoor space a personal touch.

Wine Cellar

A wine cellar is a particularly risky feature to invest in, and an upgrade to avoid. Maybe you love wine and enjoy having a wine cellar, but many others don’t. And they are unlikely to spend extra money on a house just because it has a wine cellar. With this feature, you are limiting your options in terms of potential buyers. Consider a wine cellar an upgrade to avoid when selling your home unless your home is on the high end of the luxury market.

Swimming Pool

Probably the most expensive upgrade you can add to your home is a swimming pool. And because of that, it is also the one you should avoid. It doesn’t add as much value to your house compared to the installation cost. Also, the upkeep that it requires is not always appealing to buyers. You should only consider investing in a swimming pool when most other houses in your neighborhood also have it. That way, you ensure you do not lack a feature that other properties have.

New Appliances

If your appliances are a bit old but still working without problems, you should keep them. There is no reason to spend money on something that won’t make much price difference when selling. It’s common for new owners to decorate the house and replace appliances to their liking.

Partial Upgrades

When upgrading, it’s crucial to keep in mind the budget that you have. You can quickly go overboard trying to upgrade everything and not have enough money to finish what you’ve started. And worse than not upgrading your home is having a house filled with partial upgrades. It will look messy and unattractive. The best thing to do is plan one complete upgrade that fits your budget.

Following Trends

Following popular style when decorating never pays off and is an upgrade to avoid. Trends change very quickly, and what is popular now won’t be for long. Investing in expensive carpeting, painting, and decoration that will soon go out of style is simply unprofitable. Keep your home neutral and let new owners decorate the way they like it.

Final Thoughts

Selling a home requires a lot of work and preparation. You should consider what’s valued on the market right now, listen to the feedback from potential buyers, and invest responsibly in your home. It may seem tempting to upgrade, but try to control yourself, and don’t forget which upgrades to avoid when selling your home.



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