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Charlie Glahe WIN Broomfield

Bathroom upgrades that will help sell your home

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After the kitchen, the bathroom is the most important room in a home to prospective buyers. If you are planning to sell your home anytime soon, sprucing up your bathroom can make a big difference in how quickly your home sells and how much buyers are willing to pay for it.

Ken Perrin, the president of Cleveland, Ohio's Artistic Renovations, told HGTV buyers will be less enthusiastic about a home that will require them to make their own changes to a bathroom. 

"The kitchen and bathroom sell a house," Perrin said. "And most people buy the most expensive home they can afford. So they don't want to buy a house with a kitchen or bathroom that need to be worked on. That emotional tie is with the house where the kitchen and bathroom are in good condition." 

Fortunately, there are tons of great ways to restore your bathroom to great condition without spending exorbitant amounts of money. Some tactics are incredibly simple and mostly just involve a bit of organizing, while some might be slightly more extensive projects. They'll be worth it, though, as buyers will be much more excited about bathrooms that make them feel relaxed and at home. 

Before showing your home to prospective buyers, consider the following upgrades to boost the bathroom's appeal: 

1. Restore using neutral colors 
You might think certain colors or patterns are beautiful, but every person's taste is different. As a result, a bathroom displaying neutral colors will be appealing to the most people. Anything too personalized to your preferences could be a turn off to buyers. Even if it is something like the color of the walls, which would be an easy change once someone new moved in, buyers will have difficulty envisioning themselves using a bathroom that is decorated in a way they find distasteful. They don't want to see the space as yours; they want to be able to see it as theirs. Taking away anything too unique will help them do that. 

It isn't just the color of the walls you need to think about, either. Houzz suggested keeping cabinets, walls and tiles neutral for the best chance at appealing to a variety of buyers. 

2. Purchase a new sink 
Realtor.com recommended against purchasing a new bathtub (suggesting that you simply reglaze the current tub instead), but the publication did emphasize the importance of a new sink. Rebecca Knaster, an associate broker at real estate company William Raveis in New York City, told Realtor.com the sink is the first thing buyers look at when they enter a bathroom. Because it is used for so many different bathroom tasks, a new sink is a relatively inexpensive way to boost your home's appeal. 

Realtor.com also recommended installing a double vanity sink. Will Johnson, a real estate agent in Tennessee, told the publication that he works with many clients have no interest in a home whose master bathroom lacks a double vanity. The thought of having to share a sink with a partner is displeasing to many buyers. 

3. Improve the lighting 
According to The Money Pit, a publication based on the nationally syndicated home improvement radio show, good lighting in the bathroom can make a big difference. Consider adding task lighting over the shower, bathtub and/or vanity as well as any accent lighting that will highlight the best characteristics of the space. To make buyers love your bathroom lighting even more, make it energy efficient and make sure they know it will help them save on their electric bills. 

4. Add new accessories
Houzz said seemingly small upgrades like adding new, more luxurious hand towels can significantly alter how the bathroom appears to prospective buyers. Imagine you are a looking at a home on the market and you walk into a bathroom filled with soaps and oils in beautiful bottles and accented with flowers and candles. Chances are, you're going to want to spend more time in that bathroom, and that house will become instantly more appealing to you. 

To successfully incorporate these kinds of accessories, Houzz also emphasized the importance of getting rid of all your personal items that clutter the space. Buyers have no interest in seeing your toothbrush, toothpaste and makeup scattered across the countertop. They want to see a pristine, beautiful room that is ready to be filled with their own stuff, not one that is already taken up by someone else's. 

5. Add water-efficient fixtures 
Water-efficient fixtures could really appeal to buyers looking to save on their utility bills. For example, Realtor.com said an Environmental Protection Agency WaterSense labeled toilet has the potential to save a homeowner $110 per year. 

6. Refinish surfaces 
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, refinishing ceramic tile, tubs, vanities, drywall, wallpaper or any other surface is a great way to make your bathroom look brand new without spending a lot of money. These upgrades are great because the homeowner does not need to mess with the fixtures or demolish anything. 

7. Revamp the ventilation system
Inadequate ventilation will cause mold and mildew to form in a bathroom. The Money Pit suggested making sure your bathroom's ventilation system is in tip top shape so you can assure buyers the space is not at risk of poor air quality or structural damage.

If you are not sure whether your bathroom's ventilation system is up to date, consider having a pre-listing inspection. Your home inspector will be able to tell you if your bathroom - and every other room in your house - has any defects you may want to take care of before putting your home on the market.

A pre-listing inspection may also reveal whether any fixtures in your bathroom have a leak. Getting a leak repaired in advance of listing your home could be very helpful in avoiding a delayed closing, as it will inevitably be discovered during the buyer's own home inspection. A pre-listing inspection is a great way to make sure your bathroom - and beyond - is in the best possible shape before showing it to prospective buyers.