10 Common Mistakes To Avoid When Renovating Homes Before Selling

Home Tips

Did you know that the average return on investment for doing home renovations before selling is 56%? Home sellers that do small renovations, such as landscaping or replacing windows, can expect around a 75% return on investment from their renovations. 

When it comes to renovating homes before selling, homeowners make a lot of mistakes. What do you need to know before you renovate your house?

Keep reading to learn about 10 common mistakes that may cause you to lose value and prevent you from selling homes quickly. 

1. Not Working on the Home Exterior

One of the biggest mistakes that people make when doing home renovations is only working on the house’s interior. If you are on a fixed home renovation budget and want to do indoor and outdoor renovations, focus on the outside first. 

The outside of the home is the first impression that potential buyers will get when viewing the home. Even if the home’s inside isn’t up to par, buyers will be more likely to buy if the outside is stunning. Focus on landscaping, painting, and installing new siding.  

2. Installing New Flooring at the Beginning

Bamboo Floor Installation | DIY


If you are going to put new floors in the house, don’t do it at the beginning of the renovation process. Floors are likely to get damaged and have paint spilled on them.

Between bringing in new appliances and painting the walls, your new floors will become a waste of money. Waiting until the end of your renovation to install floors will ensure that they don’t get damaged. 

If you already have nice floors in your house, be sure to take the right measures to protect them from the renovation. 

3. Not Buying Extra Flooring

Speaking of flooring, another common mistake is not buying enough of it. There will be installation problems and defects with some of the flooring. If you don’t buy extra, you risk not having enough to complete the job.

Worst case scenario is that the store runs out of the type of flooring you were using. Then you will have to leave the floor unfinished or choose a different type of flooring. 

4. Buying Appliances Last

When renovating your kitchen, you should buy your appliances before you buy your new counters. If you buy your appliances last, you may realize that only a certain size fits with the counters you chose. 

Appliances are among the biggest purchases you will make, so you should base your entire kitchen renovation around the appliances. 

5. Forgetting About Kitchen Workflow

It is easy to forget about kitchen workflow when renovating a kitchen. Doing so can deter potential homebuyers because they won’t want a kitchen with an awkward layout. 

When designing a kitchen, try to place the oven, refrigerator, and sink in a triangle. Make sure all your appliances can open and don’t obstruct other things in the kitchen.

You should try to place your dishwasher near the kitchen sink to make loading the dishwasher easier. 

6. Working Without a Permit

Did you know that you may need a permit for your home renovations? If you choose to hire a home renovation service, they will need to have their own building permits before they start. 

If you decide to do the renovations on your own, you may need to check with your county and state to see if you need any extra permits. If you don’t get clearance before starting, any additions to your home may need removing. 

7. Buying Cheap Materials

When renovating your home, it may be tempting to buy cheap home renovation materials. While it may be nice to save a few dollars, low-quality renovation materials will look bad, won’t last as long, and won’t increase home value

While you shouldn’t buy the cheapest materials, you should avoid buying the most expensive materials (unless you live in a high-end home). Spending too much money on renovations causes homeowners to lose money on the renovation. 

8. Measuring Incorrectly

Focus man measuring wooden planks | Centricity


If you will spend all the money to complete a home renovation, make sure that your measurements are correct. There is nothing worse than buying expensive materials and then measuring wrong. 

Be sure to double-check your measurements before making any cuts. Having the correct measurements will also speed up the renovation process. 

9. Choosing the Cheapest Contractor

Like choosing the cheapest materials, you also should avoid choosing the cheapest contractor. Oftentimes, the cheapest contractor won’t do as good of a job as a more expensive contractor. 

If the contractor doesn’t do a good job, your home may look worse than before you started the renovation. Before choosing a contractor, get different quotes, ask for references, and read the reviews. 

Don’t be afraid to ask them questions about the renovation, their permits, and policies. If the contractor acts annoyed by your questions, they are not the best contractor for the job. 

10. Setting an Unachievable Timeline

If you start doing renovations on your house, be sure to set a timeline that makes sense. While you would love to complete your kitchen renovation in a few days, kitchen renovations take several months.

When creating your timeline, add extra time for weather delays, buying material, and installation issues. If you have extra time built into the schedule, you will be less stressed when delays happen. 

Is Renovating Homes Before Selling Worth It?

If you plan on selling your home in the future, renovating could allow you to sell your home for more money. When renovating homes before selling, be sure to avoid these mistakes to get the most for your money. 

Did you enjoy reading this article on mistakes to avoid when renovating a home? If so, check out the home tips category for more helpful renovation ideas!