When the average homeowner begins to renovate their house before they list it for sale, something mysterious comes over them. It’s as if they are being filmed for one of those home-flipping reality television shows. They suddenly think to do everything wonderful they ever wanted to do to their house – they add designer cabinetry and fancy schmancy toilets. Unfortunately, they forget one important fact. They won’t be around to enjoy these new amenities. It’s no wonder that when they’ve finished styling properties, they often want to stay in the house.

Very often, these owners realise that they have spent so much money on their amazing new home that they have priced it completely out of the market. Good thing they like the way it looks – chances are it won’t be selling soon.

Here we’ve compiled a short list of dos and don’ts to keep your inner reality star in check as you’re renovating.

Don’t go overboard in the bathroom. Yes. A newly upgraded bathroom can be a great selling point, but leave those designer tubs and 21st Century loos on the dealer’s showroom floor. A well-done bathroom or kitchen can add value to your house, but in the end you want to be able to get your money back when the deal is done. Always consult with your home stylist before you go all out.

Do make everything lovely; just go with the best mid-priced model of fixtures, and appliances. Prospective buyers are in the market for an overall look and feel. While they will appreciate the new appliances, they will probably not immediately look to see if they are top-of-the-line models.

The same is true for light fixtures. A chandelier in the entry hall might just be the winning ticket, but look for a mid-range priced look-alike of the one you saw in that magazine. Careful shopping can increase your bottom line without costing you an arm and a leg.

Don’t get lost in the reality show fog. Yes. Marble countertops in the bathroom would be beautiful, but if you want to upgrade, why not choose an expensive-looking copy? The average buyer will love the look and probably appreciate you for the more forgiving copy that won’t stain quite so easily (and permanently).

Don’t forget to retain the integrity of your property. Believe it or not, some people want their Federation house to look and feel like it just rolled out of the 19th century. Trying to modernise such a period home will cost you big bucks in the end, and in most cases, it will look like a Federation house that’s been badly modernised. When in doubt, just don’t mess with a good thing. You may be tired of the ornate façade, but the buyers won’t be.

Do play up the period features. Do a bit of research on your home’s history, then work to feature the architectural design of your Edwardian house. Choose exterior paint colours to emphasise the vintage look and celebrate the still popular design elements.

Don’t come off half baked. So often we concentrate our renovation or upgrading efforts in one or two rooms and leave the rest of the house looking neglected. Make the entire house look fresh and new with paint throughout and repairs to all walls and ceilings. New cabinetry in a kitchen that opens on an ugly pea-green dining room simply serves to call attention to the dining room. When styling properties, think holistically when it comes to where you spend your money.

Do upgrade the outside. Try to upgrade your entire exterior area to make it another part of the living area your house has to offer, but avoid going to the expense of a pool. A pool will often turn buyers off, particularly those with small children.  Adding one is a huge expense with too many down-sides to earn much of a return on your investment.

Do discuss your plans with your stager. Styling properties is great fun and it piques the interest of our inner house-flipping mogul, but there is a thin line between a great reno and an impossible-to-recoup expenditure. Save your big investments in fixtures and amenities for the new place where you can enjoy it for many years to come.

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