Tips & Tricks

The 5 Most Affordable Ways to Improve A Bathroom Before Selling

Bob Fuoto

Staging a bathroom can pose some unique challenges when you're selling a home. Bathrooms are as important as any other rooms in a house, and any prospective buyer knows they're going to be spending plenty of time in them and will want them to be aesthetically pleasing, functional, and up to date, but crowding into the bathroom to point out all the upgraded features and details isn't quite as easy as showing off a remodeled kitchen. The best thing you can do is reduce awkwardness by staging the bathroom as a place of refreshment, cleansing, and tranquility (rather than, well, going to the bathroom), and making sure it's going to make a strong positive first impression from the moment the door opens. Turning a bathroom from blah to spa doesn't have to take a lot of labor or money! Here are five things you can do to affordably stage a bathroom for sale.

1. Deep Clean

If a buyer walks into a dirty bathroom, that might be the only thing that sticks in their memory once they step out of the house. The first and most important thing you can do is clean bathrooms from top to bottom. Mold, grime, and hard water deposits have to go—stock up on specialty cleaning products and scrub it all away. Clean the shower, bathtub, toilet, and sink with a bleach-based bathroom cleaner, dust the vents and lighting fixtures, replace any burned-out bulbs, and put away any toiletries that are actually being used.

2. Caulk & Grout

A new tube of caulk can be a fast and easy way to make your bathroom look newer if old lines of caulk have gotten discolored. Grout isn't quite as easy to replace, but if it contains a lot of grime or mold or has started to crack and fall out, it's definitely time to put in new grout before you start showing the house.

3. Fix the Fixtures

Old, leaky, or worn fixtures can make a bathroom feel sad and run down. Replacing fixtures can get expensive, but in many cases, they can be cleaned, repaired, and refinished. Non-plumbing fixtures like towel racks and cabinet knobs are cheap and easy to replace, and doing so can help you add some style to your bathroom aesthetic.

4. Fresh Paint

When you've got peeling wallpaper, stained walls, or just an old and unappealing paint color in your bathroom, it's time to give it new life with a fresh coat of paint. Just remember to paint slowly and carefully around your fixtures and bath, using lots of painter's tape and taking the time to do a thorough, professional-looking job.

5. Make it Inviting

The last part (and for most people, probably the best part) is to make your bathroom and attractive and inviting place by decorating it in a way that brings to mind feeling of relaxation, cleanliness, revitalization, and peacefulness. Some ideas would be to add towels and rugs that complement the color scheme of your bathroom, put out decorative soaps, hang a painting, bring in some nature with potted plants, seashells, or pebbles. Resources like Pinterest or home décor magazines can help give you ideas.

You don't have to tear out your old bathroom and build a brand new one in its place to create an appealing, pleasant space that will evoke positive feelings in potential buyers. Start with a thorough cleaning, assess the problem areas of your bathroom that would benefit the most from fix-ups or replacement, and finish with some strong decorating game, and you won't have to spend a lot of money to have a bathroom that's ready for staging.


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