5 Bathroom Updates that Get You More Money for Your Home Sale

Here are three bathroom updates that get you more money for your home sale.
Custom Master Bahroom Design Drawing with Cross Section of Finished Photo.

Are you thinking about putting your home on the market this year? 

Even well before listing your home for sale, it’s a great idea to begin thinking about what areas of your home could use a little attention. If improving your bathrooms are at the top of your list, you’re not alone. The Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2019 reports that 26% of sellers make at least some updates to their bathrooms before selling. In addition to attracting buyers, bathroom remodels offer among the best ROIs of any room in your home. 

Find out why focusing on bathroom updates is a good move, as well as what updates garner the biggest bang for your buck. Here are five bathroom updates that get you more money for your home sale.

Why You Should Remodel Your Bathroom before Selling (but Not Too Much)

Depending on where you look online, you may or may not see evidence of any return on your investment of a bathroom remodel. Much of that discrepancy is related to the scale of the work you’re undertaking. Full bathroom floor-to-ceiling upgrades can cost tens of thousands of dollars! It’s very unlikely that home buyers will consider such upgrades worth a comparable boost in home price. In addition, Zillow says that 39% of sellers said bathroom improvements took longer than they expected. That’s a lose-lose for you.

On the other hand, simple, low to mid-range improvements may generate more than 100% back on your costs. Zillow data indicates that for minor cosmetic changes, you’ll see a $1.71 increase in home value for every $1 you spend. These include things like re-caulking the tub, replacing bathroom fixtures, and installing water saving features. So, when considering updates for your bathroom, keep in mind that you could benefit more from small improvements than major upgrades.

What Bathroom Updates Generate the Biggest ROI?

If not all bathroom updates are created equal, where should you focus your time and money? After all, you get bigger returns on smaller investments focused in the right place! Consider the following tips when updating your bathroom:

1. Start with the Obvious

Leaky faucets, cracked tiles, broken toilet seats, peeling wallpaper. Buyers are going to notice the obvious features that need fixed before they notice that you swapped out the cabinet handles. If you can’t decide where to start your updates, start with the items that are most likely to show up in an inspection report.

2. Prioritize the Features Buyers Want Most

The National Association of Home Builders asked buyers to rate a list of features they most wanted in a bathroom. If you’re considering making significant updates to your bathroom, make sure they’re in line with what buyers want most. According to the report, a linen closet in the master bath is the most desirable feature. Having both a shower and a tub, and double vanities, were close behind.

3. Showers vs. Tubs

For several years, stand-alone showers have surged in popularity above tub-shower combos. Now, soaking tubs are making a comeback. However, when deciding what is best for your bathroom, first consider the functionality of your space. If you are converting a shower, make sure there’s enough clearance for the door. And if adding a standalone tub, make sure there’s enough space for it to serve as a focal point, and you’re not just wedging it next to the toilet.

4. Know What’s on Trend and When to Care

It’s easy to find lists of design trends. But many trends disappear as quickly as it takes for you to install a black tub in front of marbleized wallpaper wainscotting. As good as it is for you to know the trends, it’s better to know which to pay attention to and which to ignore. Double sinks, brushed metal faucets and fixtures, and luxury bonus features have been on trend for a while. And more importantly, their popularity is not disappearing anytime soon.

5. More is More

If your home only has one bathroom, don’t waste any money remodeling it. The money you would spend on a full bathroom remodel would be much better spent adding a second bathroom instead. A National Association of RealtorsⓇ study found that adding a bathroom increased the sale price of a home by 8.7%, more than twice the rate for adding a bedroom.

Additional Bathroom Updates that are Easy to Complete on a Budget

Depending on your time and budget, you may not want to complete any extensive bathroom updates. (And we saw above that they may be to your benefit, anyway.) Even so, there are still many great ways to give your home’s bathroom a significant facelift. 

Here are a few small bathroom projects you can complete in a weekend for a fraction of the price of a full update.

  • Paint or refinish cabinets instead of replacing them. Soft blues or neutral colors appeal most to buyers.
  • Update the hardware in the room so that it matches throughout (knobs, pulls, faucets, and towel bars). Brass is on trend and not going anywhere anytime soon.
  • Put in a new (framed) mirror or recessed mirrored-front medicine cabinet.
  • Add new lighting, especially integrated lighting, that gives the room a high-end look.
  • Install a new toilet. Please the most buyers getting one that’s white and a comfortable height, with an elongated bowl.
  • Replace scratched or cracked countertops. If you buy a new vanity, remember that buyers prefer double sinks. Granite tops at comfortable heights are also preferred.
  • Replace the flooring. Tiles or vinyl can be purchased inexpensively and still give the space a whole new look. BONUS: If you’re replacing the flooring anyway, consider installing radiant-heat mats underneath.
  • Deep clean! Get rid of rust stains, scrub every surface, and recaulk. A little elbow grease can make a big difference!

What Updates Should You Tackle Next?

Spring is the season of increased home listings. In order to compete with other sellers, your home should be in tip-top shape—and it should look it, too! Check out these posts that will help you ready your home to hit the market in record time.

Selling this Spring? Here are 4 Updates You Can do to Attract Homebuyers

10 Simple Home Improvements that Add Value to Your Home (and 4 that Do Not)

All real estate is local. In order to make confident real estate decisions, we believe it is important for you to have timely and neighborhood-specific information. If you would like more information about preparing your home for sale, our experts at Beverly-Hanks are here to help. Contact us today to speak with a Beverly-Hanks real estate agent about selling your Western North Carolina home.


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