Selling? Don't Overdo It!

There's lots of advice to be found about how to prepare your home for sale, but it's just as important to recognize when to take a deep breath and leave well-enough alone, as sometimes over-improving can lead to under-performing.

Have a house with a big backyard? You may decide that an impressive landscaping project is just the ticket to a quick sale. Before you do that, recognize that while beautiful gardens can certainly add value, if the new homeowner has no inclination to garden or thinks your yard looks time-consuming and expensive to maintain, it could end up backfiring on you.

Think that the next cook in your kitchen would love a shiny, stainless steel countertop, backsplash and gleaming professional-grade range appliances? Maybe, maybe not ... if all the buyers can think of is "fingerprints everywhere" in their stainless steel reflections, then that could be a distraction in their decision.

While renovations to kitchens and bathrooms are usually considered money well spent, it doesn't have to mean breaking the budget to completely overhaul them before your house or condo goes on the market. Instead, consider simply updating cabinets by resurfacing doors and upgrading hardware, replacing out-of-date lighting fixtures and replacing faucets. And of course, a thorough cleaning and a fresh coat of paint — both cost-effective and relatively simple projects — can go far in creating a new look for an old kitchen or bathroom.

Your real estate sales representative can advise you on which improvements are worth doing, and which ones would be considered "over-improving" and that would not only not provide the return on investment, but actually turn renovations early on in your home-selling plans.