“Desperate times call for desperate measures” may not be the best philosophy to abide by when selling your home.  Being a seller can be frustrating, especially if you’re doing it without a realtor, so naturally sellers blame the house’s presentation (or the lack thereof.)  Dana Dratch wrote an interesting article about six of the worst home fixes for your money; in addition, she included project averages and return ratios from Remodeling Magazine.  Before you make a hasty decision to plunge into a huge project to sell your home, consider the cost and return on the following:

Home Office Remodeling

Average Cost: $28,888

Expected Return: 45.8%

What’s the Deal?

The decrease in demand for home offices can be credited to technology.  With laptops, smartphones, and tablets, people can rarely be found sitting at their home office, especially if they can work at their favorite restaurant or amongst nature.  If you’re home has an office, you can get the most value if it can be easily converted into a bedroom or a den for the next buyer.

Backup Power Generator

Average Cost: $14,718

Expected Return: 48.5%

What’s the Deal?

Nothing screams “prepare for the worst” more than a backup power generator, particularly to a non-local.  If your house is in an area that is prone to power failure, then try to find the most inexpensive model.  Buying an inexpensive model or finding an inexpensive installation could cut costs significantly.

Sunroom Addition

Average Cost: $75,224

Expected Return: 48.6%

What’s the Deal?

We all want more; we just don’t want to pay for it.  The connotation of “addition” scares the buyer’s wallet even though you’re giving that buyer that additional square footage.  Additionally, the amount of money required in adding on a sunroom and the huge slump in housing prices causes your return to be dismal. However, adding a sunroom can be beneficial if another common area is needed.  Make sure that the sunroom fits the context of the entire house.

Upscale Master-suite Addition

Average Cost: $232,062

Expected Return: 52.7%

What’s the Deal?

You might as well throw a dart in the dark (and an expensive dart that is) in hopes to not losing it in the process.  The uncertainty of not knowing what kind of taste your buyer has in terms of design and layout makes upscale master-suites a risky investment.  To make matters worse, buyers could probably find a newer house with the same features and a better floor plan than your renovation for a better price.

Bathroom Addition

Average Cost: $21,695 to $40,000 for upscale

Expected Return: 53%

What’s the Deal?

Telling a buyer you spent $20,000 to $40,000 on a bathroom addition can be compared to flushing money down the toilet.  If you feel your house needs an extra bathroom, try utilizing your existing space to save money.  Reconfiguring your existing bathroom offers an inexpensive and effective alternative.

Upscale Garage Addition

Average Cost: $90,053

Expected Return: 53.6%

What’s the Deal?

The thought of having the top-of-the-line, detached garage that’s immune to clutter and confinement seems foolproof initially.  Unfortunately, only a small target audience is seeking an upscale garage.  With just a little over half of your return to expect back, you might want to save that money or invested it elsewhere in your home.  Garages rarely sell houses.