Over-the-top changes can turn away potential buyers

As a rule, spending money to improve your home is a good idea. But Denver area real estate agents warn some investments could backfire when it’s time to sell your house.

Positioning your home for resale is all about making it attractive to a larger buyer pool. That’s one reason why neutral paint colors boost appeal, says Dan Thomas, 8z real estate agent.

“The larger the buyer pool, the better the resale opportunity,” Thomas says. “I always tell people if they are going to do home improvements, make sure you will get enjoyment out of it before you try to sell.”

Finishing the basement

Whether your home has a finished basement can seal the deal with some buyers. If you have an older 1950s single-level home in Denver or Arvada, finishing the basement adds more livable square footage and can boost your sales price, Thomas says.

But newer homes may have enough footprint above ground, Thomas says. “In that case finishing the basement is a bonus, but not a necessity.”

During the pandemic, there’s been a push to finish basements to add additional bedrooms or workspace. But spending too much to finish your basement could be a mistake, he warns.

“The problem is the next owner might visual the space differently,” Thomas says. “That could drive off some buyers who want something different but aren’t willing to take on the project to redo it.”

He also cautions against eliminating all storage space if you finish the basement.

Luxury bathrooms

Be cautious about adding high-end features if you renovate your bathroom, says Allie Carlson, West + Main managing broker.

While upgrading toilets, tubs or showers can be a bonus, adding something specific like a steam shower could hurt.

“A buyer for a potential $500,000 to $600,000 house won’t pay more for a steam shower,” she says. “It might help with a more luxury, high-end home, where that kind of feature could be a make-or-break deal.”

The news and editorial staffs of The Denver Post had no role in this post’s preparation.

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