Tips to Ensure Your Home Makeover Doesn’t Become a Resale Nightmare

iStock/Thinkstock(CHICAGO) -- A million-dollar mansion in Marengo, Illinois may be one of America's most unsellable homes.

The mansion has an eagle painted on the ceiling, a dragon painted on the bedroom wall, and a life-sized ostrich statue in the living room.

Real estate agent Elka Roberts said she'd been trying to sell the property outside of Chicago for more than two years and is still looking for a buyer.

Unlike the houses in the neighborhood, the mansion has a custom drawbridge, its own tower, and a massive pool. But without any takers, the asking price has dropped by more than $200,000 to $1,099,000, Roberts said.

According to the National Association of Realtors, 2.3 million existing homes are currently on the market, the highest number in almost two years.

So, if you're looking to sell your home, Barbara Corcoran, a New York real estate guru who appears on ABC's Shark Tank, says to keep some cardinal rules of renovation in mind.

"You've got to keep things simple when you sell your house," she said. "White is better than orange. Simple furniture is better than anything fancy. Less art is better than more art. Painted eagles in flight on the ceiling? Think of those eagles as taking your money away."

Other tips include:

  1. Avoid custom paint jobs and ornate lighting.
  2. Don't install carpet. Real estate agents say buyers prefer uncovered floors.
  3. Spend on curb appeal. Studies have shown that most buyers won't get out of their car if they pull up to a house with an ugly yard.
  4. Mancaves don't pay.


Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio

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