Not every improvement is a good idea if you plan to sell your house. Often, home sellers panic after they hear the initial listing price of their home, and venture into frantic updates that will further lower the total value of their property. From the wrong color of walls to shady DIY repairs, here are the top five home improvement projects that do NOT increase the market value of your home.

Let there not be too much light

Light fixtures are among the most noticeable decor elements in a room. Imagine a brass pendant light in the kitchen or a hallways chandelier. That’s not going to go unnoticed! However, light fixtures go out of fashion quickly, so if you invest in a new chandelier today, you might be forced to take it down after only a year because it had gone out of fashion. The rule of the thumb is to choose simple, yet practical lighting solutions.


Possible issues with wall surfaces

Since they cover most of the inside and outside of the house, walls and ceilings must receive special attention. Everything from the color, across to texture, and wallpaper should be a conscious and methodical choice.

The texture

Although a white wall might look drab and unappealing, it is ideal for selling your home. Homeowners often think of their walls and ceilings as if they were the Sistine Chapel, and they start painting, decorating, and ornamenting it along the edges. You might very well like a floral pattern, but unless the new owners share your aesthetic taste, they will need to hire a mason to take down the ornaments. Again, this will be an expense to them, not a bonus, as you might believe right now.

The color

The most important piece of advice you will read today has to do with colors. Namely, the walls, as well as most surfaces inside the property, must be neutral. Sure, it is tempting to paint the nursery blue or green, but the new owners might not use this space as a child’s room. When they see a tacky paint, dollar bills are going to start popping in front of their eyes and the house’s price will start going down the hill.


The wallpaper

It should be clear by now that most home buyers want to make zero investments. Anything you do to the walls is an unwanted expense, and there is hardly anything more annoying than unattractive wallpaper. Dirty, age-old wallpaper is a considerable deterrent, so make sure you peel all of it before the home is ready to be staged. The process of removing decades-old wallpaper glue will be painstaking but better to lose one afternoon than hundreds of dollars!

DIY repairs

Apart from an overall neutral décor, future owners expect everything inside the house to function properly. This means that the kitchen exhaust hood, the programmable thermostat, and the dishwasher should all be fully functional when new owners move in.

If any of the electrical devices are broken for some reason, do not engage in DIY repairs. You could damage the device and then have to buy a new one, basically wasting money that you don’t have. Even if you cause minor damages to a given device, it might prove hard to locate and order the correct parts by yourself. For instance, if you own Electrolux appliances, seeking professional help from an electrician will ensure you ordered genuine Electrolux spare parts for any broken appliance. Only the compatible spare parts and expert installation will ensure your home resale value stays unharmed.


Go easy on remodeling the kitchen

Many real estate market studies have shown that a kitchen remodel can be more expensive than its resale value! Sometimes, the difference translates into tens of thousands of dollars, so you need to go easy on this type of project.

Compile a list of only the bare necessities that need to be replaced inside the kitchen and clean or polish the rest. You can update the hanging cabinets with a fresh layer of paint instead of building new ones from scratch. Moreover, a kitchen island costs a pretty penny, but you’ll never be able to make the investment worth your while, so leave out this improvement from the very start.

Hardwood floors before carpets

Another annoying home improvement is carpeting. It is fine to have a mat in front of the door or a tasteful rug in the living room, but extensive carpeting can set a buyer off. Not only might prospective clients dislike the patter of a carpet, but if you have wall-to-wall carpeting, but they’ll think you’re trying to hide something, such as a damaged section of hardwood flooring.

Speaking of floors, leave them as they are: laminate or hardwood floors in the living room, bedroom, dining room, etc., and floor tiles in the bathroom and kitchen (with an anti-slip mat or two).


In the end

Most homeowners naively consider the above home improvements as investments. Although they will enhance the living conditions, they will NOT add value to a resale. That’s why you should opt-out of all five projects if you want to increase your real estate’s market value.