Don’t Forget the Second Most Important Room When Selling Your Home
So you’ve just replaced the cracked molding in the living room, repaired the leaky kitchen faucet, retiled the utility room, and even managed to get the front yard (a former disaster area) in tip-top shape. Great, give yourself a well-deserved pat on the back.
But wait, there’s one room you may not have given enough attention to — as you prep your home to sell — despite the fact that many real estate experts stress it is the most important room in the home — after the kitchen — to showcase.
Sorry, but no, it’s not your prized trophy room – it’s actually the bathroom. And, fortunately, except for that rare case where there’s really no alternative but to replace or repair virtually everything in the room, the task of making the bathroom facilitate a quick home sale shouldn’t be a financial burden at all.
Experts agree that a home featuring modern, immaculate, luxurious-looking (at least in appearance), functional, well-maintained bathrooms can shorten the amount of time the home spends on the market. Many also note that, although a home may contain more than two bathrooms, most of the focus should be directed toward just the master bathroom and the guest bathroom.
Think about it – the guest bathroom will most likely be visited by many of your potential buyer guests. According to real estate insiders, the time a home shopper spends in this room is also time spent in evaluating the home as a whole. So, it stands to reason that if they are surrounded by spotless walls, shiny fixtures, and well-functioning faucets and toilet, it will leave a lasting, positive impression on them. And, of course, the prominence connected with the master bathroom – as a kind of companion piece to the master bedroom — can’t be denied.
So given the significance that should be placed on upgrading/enhancing your bathroom(s), keep in mind the following useful suggestions:
- Create space – An illusion of spaciousness can be achieved by effectively positioning mirrors (think about those stretching from sink counter top to ceiling), and bright lighting – especially over the sink area. Also, if it’s within your budget, a new floor made up of large tiles with a shiny surface (for reflecting light) will augment the illusion of extra space.
- If putting down a new tile floor isn’t in the cards, make sure the floor is spotless and shiny, and, if you find it’s not possible to make the grout spotless white, regrouting should be the alternative.
- Pay particular attention to the sink, bathtub, shower, and toilet. If it appears that it will be impossible to completely remove all stains/discoloration from these items or if cracks are visible, including the shower floor, they will really need to be replaced. Oftentimes, for example, when examining the condition of your toilet, you may notice that only the toilet seat will be cracked. In that case the simple, inexpensive job of replacing the seat would be in order. However, even if the toilet itself will need replacing, most people can actually do it themselves, despite daunting first thoughts about the procedure. And as far as the bathtub is concerned, if replacing it is the only practical solution (due to cracks or discoloration, or just plain old age), try installing a modern whirlpool-style tub – it will add a nice touch of class to the entire room. As for the sink, if it looks like it has seen better days, is beyond restoring, and your budget allows for it, installing dual sinks – especially in the master bathroom – adds style, elegance and, practicality, and draws buyers like a magnet. In fact, many home shoppers expect this feature to be present.
- Walls – If wallpaper covers them, it would behoove you to tear it off and apply a fresh coat of paint. This is another inexpensive and easy way to present the room in a bright, new-looking aura. Concentrate on light, neutral colors, though.
- Shower curtains – If at all possible, they should be replaced with a sliding shower door – it’s not only more elegant-looking but more functional, as well. At the very least, replace old shower curtains with new ones.
- Accent the room with large, fluffy towels folded and elegantly displayed, scented soaps and/or candles, and a few strategically-placed green plants.
- Faucets and other plumbing fixtures (including pipes underneath the sink) should be modern-looking, gleaming, and trouble-free in their functionality.
- Taking out the old-fashioned medicine chest altogether (if present) is strongly suggested.
- Keep hidden any personal articles such as shower caps, kids’ toys, shampoos, hair brushes, toothpaste, toothbrushes, etc.
- Above all, make sure all surfaces (including windows and mirrors) are squeaky-clean, with no hint of toothpaste, soap scum or other residues visible. When the cleaning is done, the room should smell fresh, and appear light and airy. Avoid sprays which leave behind an overly-perfumed aroma.
It may seem like a large task on the surface, but the time spent converting your bathrooms into rooms which bespeak sophistication, as well as functionality, will be well worth it, and you should easily be able to recoup the money you’ve spent in remodeling and repairs.