When preparing a home for sale, many sellers feel that undertaking renovations is a good way to get a higher sale price on the home. The truth is that while it may boost the sale price, it often costs more to undertake the renovation than any increase the seller is able to get, which ultimately means less profit in the seller’s pocket. One has to choose carefully which projects to undertake and which to avoid in order to maximize profit. Here are 5 renovation projects Brooklyn homeowners shouldn’t undertake before selling.

Installing A Pool

For Brooklyn homeowners lucky enough to own a single family home or a 2-4 family townhouse with a yard, installing a pool is one of those things that might seem like a nice luxury and a worthwhile investment to a home, but it should be avoided. First of all, rather than actually improve your property value, it can actually lower your property value. Many buyers simply don’t have much use for a pool, don’t want the hassle and expense of maintaining one, and would rather have the yard space. Add to that the cost of installation, and potential home insurance considerations, and this is one renovation Brooklyn homeowners should definitely stay away from.

Redoing The Electrical Wiring

Let’s be blunt: buyers in Brooklyn care mostly about things they can actually see. They’ll respond to a nicely painted house, or refinished wood floors, or beautiful landscaping, but they aren’t likely to be moved much by a house with new or redone electrical. As a homeowner, you can easily spend $15,000-$25,000 redoing the electrical panel and wiring in your Brooklyn home, and it simply won’t interest buyers that much – certainly not enough to get you that much more on the sale price and cover the cost. You’re better off spending half that much on minor items that can boost your sale price like painting, cleaning, and exterior appeal items like landscaping or a new front door, and let the new owner take care of the electric. Don’t take on this project.

High-end Kitchen Renovations

High end kitchen renovations are extremely expensive, highly personal, and will generally not bring a great return on your investment. It may boost the home’s sale price somewhat, but generally not enough to cover the expense of the renovation, which means you’re ultimately profiting less. It’s such a personal part of the house for every homeowner that you may spend tens of thousands renovating that kitchen only for the buyer to want to redo it to their tastes once they buy. And they’ll certainly work the cost of that renovation into their offer. Avoid splashing out on a high end kitchen remodel and focus on low-cost modest improvements that make the kitchen as presentable as possible without costing too much.

Combining Bedrooms

Sometimes a new homeowner might want to combine two bedrooms to create a larger Master Suite, or to create a large walk-in closet, or just to create a larger, more functional room. If you’ve just moved in and want to do this for your future use, go for it, but be careful about doing this just prior to a sale or thinking that it will get you more for your house later. For buyers searching for a Brooklyn house, extra rooms will almost always be more valuable in their eyes than a large master suite or a walk-in closet. Especially in the case of a 3-bedroom home, it’s almost never advisable to alter the layout to make it into a 2-bedroom home, as 2-bedroom homes sell for significantly less, no matter how nice or spacious the other rooms are. Be careful about eliminating a bedroom, as it may limit how buyers can use the space and can negatively impact how buyers view your property. 

Building an Extension Without Permits

Three words: DON’T DO IT. This also applies to building or rebuilding a garage. An extension or a garage requires the proper permits be filed, and then the completed work be signed off on by a building inspector before the permits must then be closed by the contractor or homeowner. Doing work on an extension or a garage without permits can lead to building violations, and even make it impossible for lenders to lend on the home – either of which could stop your sale dead in its tracks and cost you significant money on the sale of the property as well as expenses on resolving the violations.

If you’re a Brooklyn homeowner considering a sale of your property and you’d like expert advice on your property and what improvements, if any, you should make before listing your property for sale, this is advice we are always happy to provide. Reach out to Daniel Akerman today to schedule a free consultation that will include a Comparative Market Analysis and recommended improvements to take on before listing your home!