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  • Writer's pictureAron Pinto

How to Stage a Bathroom Buyers will Love

Everyone knows the old saying that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. It is absolutely true.

These two areas are of the most value to home buyers because they are perceived to be the most costly and difficult to change. So even if you didn’t touch any other rooms in your home, we would always urge to you ensure buyers love your bathrooms. If you make them fresh, elegant and pretty, they will fall in love.

To Gut, or Not to Gut?

To gut a bathroom can cost around $10k, and that’s only if the walls and the fixtures stay in relatively the same place. Hopefully your bathroom is not in such a condition that it requires a full gutting, but if it does, and if you have the budget, it is worth considering on a case by basis.

For example, if you live in a very high demand area where homes sell very quickly, you likely have buyers willing to pay more for an updated and stylish bathroom.

Start with the Basics

1) Clean and Tidy

This is the cheapest thing to do and makes a huge difference. It’s time to think deep down spring cleaning. Remove any sign of mold or soap scum. Remove any rust stains. Look online for many remedies and tricks for cleaning.

Tidy your cosmetics and toiletries so that they can hide neatly behind cabinets. NOTHING should have to sit on a counter. Properly dispose of old shampoo bottles, expired make-up and medicine. Ensure that the items you use daily can fit into a basket that you can easily pull out and put away as needed.

2) Repair and Replace

Is the floor tile cracked? Toilet or faucet constantly leaking? Cracked caulking? Vanity drawer broken? Now is the time to fix what you can fix and replace what you cannot. If you have dated purple or green tiles, or a tub that is in disrepair, the most economical option is to have these surfaces re-sprayed. We do not recommend the DIY type kit, as the adhesion isn’t as good and the finish is not the same quality. Pay a professional to re-spray any offending tubs or tile a pure clean white.

If your cabinet frame is in good shape but just looking a little worn, you can also paint it out, either white, dark grey or another dark neutral like navy blue. It all depends on the other fixed elements in the room, and what you are trying to highlight and what you are trying to camoflage. If you paint out your cabinet and focus on replacing the counter, sink, and faucet as necessary, you can get a fresh, modern look for a fraction of the cost of a gut job.

3) Buyers Like Shiny Things

It’s the details that will make a room feel dated or fresh. Update knobs, faucets and lighting to the same metal with a modern look – Satin Nickel is ideal. If you are doing a full gut job you could choose antique gold or black. But the key is all of your hardware is the same metal. You can do this for about $300.

More Top Tricks and Tips

For $1-2k, you can dramatically transform your bathroom and greatly increase buyer appeal. If you make smart upgrades and stick to a budget, you can get 3x your return or more on the selling price of your home. Even when the market is slower, your home will sell faster and for more money that the home with lackluster bathrooms.

1) Replace Just the Counter. If you have a dated built-in vanity, with a stained or worn out counter, you can get into bigger issues trying to replace the whole vanity.

Instead, find an independent stone counter supplier to see if they have remnants in a neutral colour that will fit, or have a piece of marble or quartz cut to size for around $300. With a fresh coat of semi-gloss paint on the cabinet and an under-mount sink, your vanity will look brand new while spending less than half the money.

2) Bling Is King. Buyers want sparkly, pretty, magazine worthy bathrooms. Often, function is not good enough in their eyes. An inexpensive way to do this is to make sure your metals are all in polished or satin nickel finish. This includes your cabinet door knobs, faucets and lighting. It provides a cohesive look and a sense of elegance that buyers lust after.

3) Dress up Your Mirror. Most homes are installed with the oversize builder mirror, which often gets chipped and/or cracked over the years. Go online to see instructions for dressing it up with applied moulding or, replacing with a framed mirror that adds a custom, high-end feel.

4) Ensure Your Tile is In Good Shape. Tile will either make or break your bathroom. If any of it is cracked or overly bold in colour or pattern, it will turn a buyer off. If your tile is in good shape, check to see if your grout is letting you down. Sometimes simply re-grouting can fix a dingy look. If any tile is damaged, replace it. It’s a two-day job that will save you headaches and money when trying to sell your home.

5) Paint. Paint is extremely effective in making your bathroom feel fresh and clean. Always think elegant; soft and muted colours work best. Try to work with any fixed elements and pick a colour to compliment any features or camouflage any negatives.

6) Add White. White is the easiest way to add a fresh and luxurious feel. Buy a white fabric shower curtain. Use white bath towels to fill your towel racks and even roll into baskets to accessorize with. A white vase with fresh greenery or flowers adds a true sense of luxury. Fill a glass jar with white soaps, or a basket full of toilet rolls is also great accessory options. Accessorizing your bathroom is key to getting that styled, magazine worthy look.

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