Article by: Deb Lindner
Buyers love the allure of a fresh, beautiful bathroom that reminds them of luxury hotels or soothing spas they have enjoyed. And, most important, buyers want to envision themselves enjoying this luxury every day in their new home.
However, the reality is that most of us do not have the perfect bathroom. And we know that, in most instances, it is not a wise investment to do a full, costly renovation just for a home sale. It simply doesn’t translate into profit.
A better strategy is to maximize what you already have, on a budget. You want to transform your real-life, everyday bathroom into a five-star hotel experience that prospective buyers will love, without overcapitalizing. Here are simple ways to create havens with a wow factor.
1. Clear off the counters to create a blank canvas.Remove all of your everyday toiletries and bathroom supplies. This includes soaps, toothbrushes, cotton balls — everything. (And don’t forget the products in the shower.) Buyers do not want to see your personal hygiene products. In fact, this can make them feel as though they are intruding on your personal space, which can be distracting and a little awkward.
2. Get rid of cleaning products. Remove all items that imply housework and maintenance, such as toilet brushes, wastepaper baskets, sponges, cleaning products, bath mats — even spare toilet rolls. These are a necessary part of everyday living, but they do not create a beautiful spa-like experience for your buyers.
Tip: Remove the bathroom scale, too. Remember, your buyers want a luxurious bathroom experience, not a reminder of those extra pounds they are trying to lose.
3. Maximize your storage. Storage space sells. Your buyers will be looking inside your bathroom cupboards to see how much space they offer. Make sure they are only half to two-thirds full and well organized. Store the little things you use every day (hair elastics, lip gloss) in a pretty box or basket with a lid to avoid a tidal wave of trinkets on the shelves.
Tip: If you’re running out of space to store your toiletries, keep the overflow in simple wicker baskets. When buyers are coming to inspect your home, just grab the baskets and stash them somewhere else.
4. Make minor upgrades. Rather than spending many thousands completely renovating your bathroom, it’s much smarter to spend your money only where it will show and to make small, inexpensive upgrades that will create a large impact. As a general rule, improvements that can’t easily be seen don’t translate into a higher sale price.
The best bang-for-your-buck bathroom upgrades are: repainting the walls, replacing leaking and worn taps, updating the cabinet hardware, installing new light fittings and updating towel bars.
Note: In some bathrooms it’s also worth considering changing the tiles (large white tiles always make a bathroom feel more spacious and contemporary), replacing shower screens and investing in new cabinetry and countertops. This is often warranted in a higher-priced property, where buyers are looking for (and expecting) a higher level of bathroom luxury.
5. Clean thoroughly. Clean everything to within an inch of its life. No, it’s certainly not exciting, but it’s super important. Buyers will pay a premium for new, so your aim is to create a new feel. Everything must be immaculate, as this creates the impression that your home has been well maintained and well loved.
6. Hang luxurious towels. Any bathroom can be instantly transformed by adding beautiful, soft towels. New is best (once towels have been washed, they never look quite the same). So it’s a great idea to keep your new towels just for display only. Pack them away between buyer inspections and reinstate them just before the prospective buyers arrive.
Tip: If there is a lot of extra counter space, you can also place a neatly folded pile of two or three matching towels on the vanity or side of the bath for extra luxury.
Thick, white, luxurious towels always work well, and there are some beautiful textured options. Funky, brightly colored towels are popular at the moment too; for a more dramatic effect, you could consider adding a splash of bold color.
7. Stick with neutrals. If you are going to repaint your walls, upgrade your tiles or invest in new cabinetry, it’s always a good idea to keep to a neutral palette for these larger elements, as it will appeal to more buyers. If you want to add some fresh color, use towels and accessories.
8. Beautify with accessories. Now that you have cleared away your personal bathroom products, bring in a few well-chosen accessories to add a layer of warmth, elegance and luxury. Think about creating a spa-like experience with accessories in tranquil, soft colors. Include fragrant soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs and candles.
It’s important to display these products as groupings rather than scattering them around the room; scattered products can look like clutter. Less is better. Think simplicity. You may want to consider using a wooden tray as a base and groupitems together in odd numbers. Vary the height of candles and jars, too.
9. Use flowers for impact. Fresh flowers and plants make any space come alive, and the bathroom is no exception. They make a dramatic impact, adding instant color and texture. Orchids are always a favorite in bathrooms; however, here’s no need to always buy huge bouquets. In a smaller room, a single stem of your favorite bloom, a small planter or even a branch with beautiful leaves placed in a jar will look understated and elegant.
10. Add a stool or an ottoman. To create the ultimate private-hotel-suite look for your buyers, add a beautiful decor piece that is functional as well. Put a stool beside the bathtub and add neatly folded face and hand towels, soap, a candle, potted plants or even a good book. You could also use other beautiful occasional pieces of furniture, such as a marble side table, a long ottoman stacked with fresh towels or a bamboo ladder, to add extra style and take your room to another level.