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Bathroom renovation tips for the house seller

Last Updated Sep 28, 2017 · Written by Rob Schneider


Home buyers look for homes they can imagine themselves living in and enjoying. They look at every room in the house. If a bathroom appeals to them, it can be a major selling point. That doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune on a bathroom renovation when you sell your house. Here are some tips that will help you decide how much of a renovation your bathroom needs.

  1. A bathroom renovation can help sell a property
  2. Clean the Bathroom
  3. Bathroom makeover ideas
  4. Small Bathroom Renovation Tips
  5. What attracts buyers in the bathroom
  6. When buyers view your home

A bathroom renovation can help sell a property

The average cost of a bathroom renovation in 2015 was $17,800. Some bathroom renovations can cost $25,000 or more. A renovated bathroom can still be a selling point and help you get more than the cost of the bathroom in return for your investment, the trick is to spend the right amount on the right things. A bathroom makeover may be what is needed rather than a full renovation. 

In general, renovations before you sell should cost 5 to 10 per cent of the value of the home. Homes today are fairly expensive, so a bathroom renovation should be within the budget and allow for any other renovations that are needed. There are some steps you should take before you upgrade your bathroom. Then you will know what you need to do to modernise the bathroom.  

Clean the bathroom

Before you decide on the renovations you need to do, give the bathroom a thorough cleaning. You can remove dirt and mould from grout and soap scum with natural cleaning solutions. Sustainable and eco friendly cleaning products gives tips on how to clean the bathroom or any room in the house using natural instead of chemical products.

Clean the bathroom

After you've given the bathroom a thorough cleaning, you can see what you need to do. Do you need to:

  • Replace the floor and wall tiles?
  • Replace an outdated shower screen?
  • Get a new the vanity, bathtub and sink?
  • Get new lighting?

Modern bathrooms should have a spa-like feeling. Replace anything that is worn or dated looking. This may include a full bathroom renovation, but if you take half-measures, potential buyers will notice.

Modern bathrooms

Bathroom makeover ideas

A new coat of paint will make any bathroom look better. If you're selling, stick with neutral colours. Neutral colours don't appeal to everyone, but they won't make buyers think they have to repaint the bathroom. Neutrals are safer than trendy colours that won't appeal to everyone.

Bathroom renovation ideas

Lighting is an important part of a modern bathroom. Having one overhead light is a sign your bathroom is dated. Think about having an electrician install more lights in the bathroom. Bathrooms today have four types of lighting: task lighting, accent lighting, decorative lighting and ambient lighting.

Task lighting includes lighting around the vanity and perhaps in the shower. Accent lighting, decorative lighting and ambient lighting can be combined if you install dimmer switches. Another way to create lighting is to install hidden lighting in the bathroom. Hidden lighting does not produce glare, but gives just enough illumination to enjoy a relaxing bath. Our article, Hidden lighting to illuminate your bathroom gives tips on how to install hidden lighting. And don't look at "bathroom lighting" only. You can install any lighting that makes the bathroom look better.

Bathroom to sell a house

Bathroom fixtures are an important part of the visual appeal of the bathroom. These will include towel racks, taps, the showerhead and even the handles on the vanity. Replace everything with more modern fixtures. It's amazing how these small expenses can modernise a bathroom.

Bathrooms to sell a house

Now take a good look at your vanity. A cabinet maker can create a stunning vanity that will be the centrepiece of the bathroom. Before you design the vanity, look at basins for the vanity. "Vessel" basins are popular today and give a bathroom a modern appearance.  

If you have a large bathroom, you don't want it to look cluttered, but you can add touches that make if feel more luxurious. For example, a stool or chair can make a bathroom look like a spa rather than just a bathroom. A pot plant can brighten up any bathroom. Look for something that fits well in the room and gives it a more spa-like appearance.

Bathrooms

Small bathroom renovation tips

You can make a small bathroom appear larger? What colour are your wall tiles? If they are a dark colour, replace them with light coloured tiles. Also look at the floor tiles. What floor tiles make a small bathroom appear larger? Small patterned tiles create interest and can make a small bathroom appear larger.

Small bathrom renovation tips

A window or skylight makes any bathroom look larger. If you install a window, you can install it high on the wall or use frosted glass. Frosted glass allows light to enter the room, but gives you the privacy you want in the bathroom. It has the added advantage of allowing you to install larger windows.

Bathroom to help sell a house

Remember to keep the colours you use in the bathroom neutral. Buyers won't be put off by neutral colours, but a colour that appeals to you may not always appeal to potential buyers.

If you have a small bathroom, you can still install plants. They should be in small pots and put on display where they attract attention. Plants make any bathroom more appealing and add a touch of nature to the room.

Small bathroom renos

What attracts buyers in the bathroom

Buyers don't want to see a cluttered bathroom. A cluttered bathroom makes the room appear smaller and distracts the eye from the better points of the bathroom. Start by cleaning the bathroom and removing anything that gives it a cluttered appearance.

The vanity should be clean and tidy. Remove everything from the vanity and clean the surface of the vanity. Instead of having buyers see toothbrushes on the vanity, put a vase of flowers on the vanity. They will make it look fresh and appealing.

What attracts buyers in the bathroom

Buyers don't want to see anything that reminds them of housework. Remove sponges, toilet brushes, cleaning products and spare toilet rolls. If you have scales in the bathroom, remove them. The idea is to make the bathroom look clean, tidy and fresh.

When buyers view your home

You will complete the bathroom renovation before buyers start viewing the home. This means you will use the bathroom. However, you don't want the new bathroom to look used. Before buyers view your home, give the bathroom another good cleaning and remove anything that makes it look like you have been using the bathroom. This includes toothbrushes, used soap, razors and anything else you've left on the vanity, in the shower or around the bath. The bathroom should look untouched and free of water spots for the best presentation.

Stand back and look at the bathroom. Everything should be clean, tidy and sparkling. You can now add some touches to the bathroom. A few fresh towels on the towel racks will add some colour to the bathroom. You may even want to add some other touches that remind viewers of the function of the bathroom, but none of them should look used. For example, buy a designer container for liquid soap and place it on the vanity.

When buyers view your home

Place fresh flowers or a pot plant on the vanity and make sure the vanity is clean and has no water spots on it. If the bathroom looks fresh, tidy and unused, you're ready to present it to potential buyers.

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