Your Guide to Good Renovations

Spring: the flowers are blooming, the birds are chirping, and the real estate market is primed for profit. According to Zillow,the first half of May is the best time to sell a home for maximum price with minimum time on market. Their recent study showed that homeowners can sell two weeks faster and earn a $2,400 premium. So, if you are ready unload your real estate – the time is now.


If May is a little too soon to sell, but you know the day is coming, now is the time to think about renovations. Sprucing up your home adds value and shortens time on the market. But before you start knocking down walls and erecting statues, remember that not all renovations are created equally. A lack of strategic thinking can leave your home lingering on the market for months. Here are my top Ali Safavi Real Estate Dos and Don’ts for pre-sale renovations.


Ali Safavi Real Estate DON’Ts

Renovations can feel exciting! You get to redesign a whole new area of your home, giving it that personal touch. The only problem is, your grand idea may be someone else’s nightmare.


Creative Wallpaper

Wallpaper has gone from simple patterns in the 60s to literally any design or photo ever created. You can turn your study into a Brazilian rainforest or line your hallway with castle grey brick. By all means get creative…except if you plan on selling your home. Home buyers often want a blank canvass. Too much of your own flair and it can be hard to imagine the home the way they want it. You may luck out and find a rainforest advocate, but we recommend a slightly broader strategy.


No Swimming

As children, we all loved the house in the neighborhood with a swimming pool. Soaking in the sun, poolside on a summer day is the American way. Of course, none of that has to do with real estate value. You may be surprised to learn that swimming pools can often be a deterrent for potential buyers. Is it because not everyone can swim? No. One, it takes away raw space in the backyard that could be used for other things. Even if they have no plans for a backyard bonanza, the extra hassle of maintenance is just not worth the hassle.? Pools demand a considerable amount of upkeep. A dedicated mom or dad will often take up the challenge, but again your shrinking your “pool” of potential buyers.


Leaf Me Alone

Trees are great. They provide oxygen, shade and an overall pleasant atmosphere. So you might think adding foliage is a sure bet for your upcoming renovations. Think again. Trees have leaves, and leaves tend to fall and create a messy yard. Some homebuyers may welcome the idea of Sunday rake day. The kids can jump in them and everyone has a good time. Takeaway the family and the dad who has time, and you have yourself a buyer who is no longer interested.


Man Caves

Have you ever met someone with a mancave? Often they take their garage, which was great for storage and parking, and turn it into a sports filled, beef flowing dwelling. Sounds cool…except if you want to park there or have extra storage. When selling real estate it’s not about you anymore, it’s about the buyer. So any renovation that is bold or personalized can turn off a potential buyer.


Ali Safavi Real Estate Dos



Durable flooring is always a good bet, especially if you are the buyer planning on using the property as a rental. Carpet and hardwood floor look nice, but they can be a big pain in the butt when it comes to damage. One stain or scratch can throw off the who esthetic of the room. While this can be on the higher end of renovation possibilities, it’s a big selling  point.


Kitchen upgrades

We’re not talking about redoing the whole enchilada here. Kitchens, like many of the items we talked about in Don’ts can feel very personal to a potential buyer. It’s best to let themfigure out how they want their kitchen to look. However, new cabinets or a counter can go a long way in breathing fresh air into an old kitchen. You might be thinking, “Umm new countertops are super expensive.” You’re right if you go with marble. However, there are a number of cheaper creative options that can add a modern feel.


Make Your Bathroom Shine

A gross bathroom can be a major buzzkill. If I am buying a new house I want to be able to eat off the bathroom floor (not literally, but you get the point). If your bathroom is a little less than perfect, it’s okay. Don’t feel like you have to spend $5,000 for a complete redo. Instead, make one or two changes and just make the rest look as clean as can be. A new modern faucet, for example, can catch the attention of a potential buyer and overshadow that less than perfect shower.


Manicured Landscaping

So we know trees are a no-go, but that doesn’t mean your front lawn should go un touched. Obviously the grass should have a fresh cut. If there are any dry spots, consider upping your watering and buying some grass seed. Potted plants are always a nice touch as well. Remember the front of the house is a buyers first impression. Stand in the street and ask yourself “Would I want to buy this house? Does it look as good, or even better than my neighbors?” Once the answer is a resounding yes, you’re ready to go to market.

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