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When you decide to sell your home, one of the first thoughts that comes to mind is how to fix it up in order to maximize its dollar value. Of course, such an endeavor can encompass a variety of home improvements, from planting new shrubbery to installing new hardwood floors. Whatever the project, expenses can add up — quickly. The general rule of thumb is to only invest in home improvements that will add at least twice their cost to your home’s value. But the reality is, you often don’t get much bang for your buck: the average return on your remodeling investment is usually 20 or 30 percent less than you spend. And that’s to say nothing of the missteps homeowners make in their efforts to ready a home for sale. To wit, here are some common pitfalls homeowners find themselves in when attempting to improve their home for resale:

-Trying to “add more space,” such as converting a garage into a living room. This can make a space seem incongruous with the rest of the house, and the chances of recouping the cost are minimal.

-Destroying period details (often unknowingly) that may have real value. Pulling up ‘70s-era carpeting is one thing, but removing a circa-1900 bannister because it is showing wear also removes what many would deem a treasure.

-The kitchen remodel. As many experts will attest, the kitchen is the single biggest selling point in a home. With that in mind, sellers often go all-in on a kitchen remodel, which can easily run as high as $50,000 or more. Yet, a fully remodeled kitchen usually earns 80 percent of its money back, making it one of the worst investments for home sellers.

The above doesn’t even take into account the headaches inherent with any major (or minor, for that matter) home improvement project. The inconvenience, delays, threat of budget overruns, and questions of workmanship can all turn the most well-intentioned of projects into much more than you bargained for. When you take a look at the factors involved, it may cause you to think twice before diving into the process of costly repairs and consider selling your home as-is in a fast cash sale.

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