Hommati Logo

Download the App

12 Common House Renovation Mistakes to Avoid for Sellers

Go back
12 Common House Renovation Mistakes to Avoid for Sellers


Does your house need a makeover?

If you are looking to sell soon, the answer may be yes. Many potential buyers are looking for a beautiful home that they can move into right away, not something old that will require months of time and effort to update.

For this reason, many sellers plan on doing some home renovations before listing their property for sale, but you will need to avoid some of the most common home renovation mistakes. Impressing buyers with elegant baths, a beautiful backyard, and a modern kitchen can often lead to quicker sales and higher profits.

However, home renovations are a complex task and can often delay your sale or cost you too much money, if not done correctly. To make sure your remodel goes perfectly, keep reading to find 12 common home renovation mistakes to avoid when you are preparing your home for the market.

1. Hiring the Wrong Contractors

One common home renovation mistake is to hire the wrong contractors. When starting renovations for kitchens, for example, it can be an expensive process—some sellers may be tempted to go with the cheapest contractor; however, the cheapest option is not always the best. When hiring a contractor, make sure they are insured and licensed.

You will also want to have a detailed contract in place, along with a timeframe for the work. We also recommend reading reviews and asking for references before hiring any contractors, to ensure you are finding the right company for the job.

Asking neighbors or friends is also a great way to find local contractors with a proven track record of success.

2. Don’t Blow Your House Renovation Budget

How much is your home worth? If it is not as much as you would like, renovating a key part of the home, like the kitchen or bathroom, can add a lot of value.

But before starting your renovations, you will want to set a firm budget and stick to it. Sure, you can spend huge amounts on your renovations, but if you spend too much, it is going to cut into your profits.

There are renovation options even for small budgets, so do not feel like you need to break the bank to increase the sale value of your home.

3. Avoid Being Too Trendy

It can be tempting to incorporate all of the latest home decor trends into your home. But, the problem with trends is just that—they are trends.

Trends change fast, and many potential buyers do not want to purchase a trendy property that will quickly become out of style.

Instead, look for classic home remodel ideas that will look gorgeous for years to come. Buyers will always be looking for renovations, such as added storage space, finished basements, and kitchen breakfast bars. 

4. Neglecting Curb Appeal

While focusing on your interior renovations, do not neglect the exterior of your home. Buyers have plenty of choices when looking for homes, and curb appeal matters to them.

First impressions play a big part in house hunting, so you want to make sure your home looks attractive from the first time they drive up to the open house.

There are plenty of ways to improve your home’s exterior from repainting the front door, replacing the mailbox, or adding in shrubs or flower pots.

5. Setting Unrealistic Timelines

Many sellers underestimate how long their renovations will take. The average kitchen renovation takes 3-5 months, from beginning to end, so leave plenty of time plus a buffer in case of any delays.

For a complete home remodel, it may take up to six months or more, depending on how much time you have to devote to the project.

You will want to complete all of your renovations well before listing your home for sale, as no home buyer wants to walk through a construction site at an open house.

6. Overestimating Your DIY Skills

The popularity of home remodeling and flipping shows make many of us consider DIY projects. DIY renovations can be a great way to save money, and can also be fun; however, if you do not know what you are doing, DIY renovations can end up costing much more in the long run than hiring a contractor.

Consider small, easy DIY projects if you are feeling confident, but it is probably best to leave the more complex jobs to the professionals.

7. Buying Cheap Materials

Another way sellers like to save money is by buying inexpensive materials. Cheap materials often do not look great and are not going to impress potential buyers.

You do not need to select the most expensive materials, but you probably will not want to purchase the cheapest either. You want your remodel to look enticing and professional, not poorly done.

We recommend buying the best that your budget allows, especially when it comes to kitchen appliances, light fixtures, and bathroom and shower fixtures. Bathrooms and kitchens are something buyers will be paying close attention to, so you want to impress in those areas.

8. Building Without a Permit

You will never want to start any additions or renovation projects without having the proper permits. Depending on your home, you may need a permit from your town or HOA to legally begin any work.

Potential buyers will likely have a home inspection done before purchasing a home. The inspector will check the legality of the work, with any work done illegally raising a red flag.

Renovations done without a permit will need to be taken down and may potentially be dangerous, so no serious buyer will consider a home that has had illegal work done on it.

9. Rushing Through Your Measurements

Patience is a virtue when it comes to home renovations, especially when it comes to measurements. As they say, measure twice and cut once!

A common renovation mistake is making errors when calculating your measurements or dimensions. Addition or multiplication errors can happen easily, even with a calculator, but they can cost you big time.

Always triple check your measurements to be sure you purchase the right sized appliances, countertops, and flooring. Otherwise, you may be left with an expensive dishwasher that will not fit into your new kitchen.

10. Forgetting to Order Spare Tiles

It is helpful to add in a buffer when purchasing important renovation materials, such as flooring or tiles. It makes sense to only purchase the exact amount of supplies you need, but this is not the best idea. What happens if you have slightly miscalculated? Or, if an installation error means some materials go to waste?

If you need any spare materials, hardware stores can change inventory fast, and you may be out of luck—do not risk severe delays to your renovations, purchase spare materials to be sure you can get the job done.

11. Ignoring Safety Precautions

Never take shortcuts when it comes to renovation safety. Not only can ignoring safety procedures lead to injury to yourself or your contractors, but accidents or mistakes can also damage your home and cause serious delays to your project.

This is especially true when it comes to always turning off electricity and running water before working in areas of the house near power lines or pipes.

If you are looking to list your home soon, you cannot afford major delays. It can be tempting to think of the time saved by skimming on safety, but it will cost you more in the long run.

12. Not Having an Overall Plan

Before starting any renovations, you need a complete plan for the project. What do you want to achieve in the renovation, what is your budget, and what exactly will you do?

From a design perspective, you also want a plan for how the finished product will look. All of your renovations should be cohesive and should create the look and style you want for your home.

Impromptu renovations, done without a clear plan, may come out looking mismatched and confusing, which will put off potential buyers.

Make Your Project a Success By Avoiding These Home Renovation Mistakes

Are you ready for a home makeover? There is no doubt that it can help your home sell faster, and for a higher price. Just to be sure to avoid these home renovation mistakes to make sure your project goes according to your plan and budget.

Once you are ready to list your home for sale, Hommati can help. We are a national real estate website, featuring homes and real estate for sale. Plus, we use video, 3D, and drone tours to ensure our listings stand out in a crowd.

To learn more about how Hommati can help your home sell faster, contact us today. We look forward to helping you get the best possible price for your newly renovated home.