When it comes time to sell your home, you want to make sure every room is in tip-top shape—that means clean, neat and free of clutter. One room to pay particular attention to is the bathroom. No one wants to be reminded of the drudgery and hard work that is required to maintain it. Bathrooms quickly get cluttered with half-filled tubes of toothpaste, bottles of shampoo, hairbrushes, etc. Taking the time to clean and stage your bathroom properly can mean the difference between a quick sale and a home that sits on the market. Follow these tips to get your bathroom ready for sale.
The first step is to clean your bathroom from top to bottom. The little bit of extra effort you take to clean the shower head, the drains, the grout and the corners can produce amazing results. Use vinegar to clean shower heads and faucets, and vinegar combined with baking soda to clean stubborn stains in the tub, shower, sink, counter or grout.
Part of the cleaning process is to remove everything unnecessary from the bathroom. When you are getting ready to put your house on the market, it is a good time to get rid of empty containers and old products. Keep only the products you use, and keep them out of sight when possible. People do not want to see clutter, and they also don’t want to feel like they are intruding on your life. Potential buyers want to imagine themselves living in your home.
Try to clear the counters completely. Items that you normally leave around the sink or on the counter, such as hair brushes, combs, hair dryers, toothbrushes, and toothpaste should be stored in drawers or elsewhere. Smaller items that you use regularly – for example, hair bands, lip gloss, or nail clippers – can be stored in decorative boxes on the counter. Additional items that you use, but don’t have adequate space for, can be placed in wicker baskets that can be taken away and stored prior to a showing.
Any towels or bath mats that look old and worn should be stored elsewhere. Leave only the freshest towels you have on shelves or in the linen closet. Invest few dollars in purchasing new display towels. White or neutral colored towels that are soft and thick show well. Consider different ways of displaying the towels to give a feeling of elegance. Layer them across the towel bar and neatly fold the hand towels. Also, make sure shelves are only half or two-thirds filled. Store your excess items elsewhere. As with countertops, create the illusion of spaciousness in the bathroom.
The placement of a mirror can add the illusion of space to a room. Adding more mirrors to reflect light will also help to make the bathroom feel larger.
Beyond cleaning and creating more space, there are other things that can be done to improve the look of your bathroom and value of your home. Take a look at the walls. Is wallpaper peeling? Is paint fading? Are all the tiles in place? Do the walls look dated or contemporary? Remove wallpaper if it’s fading or outdated. Paint the walls in a neutral or light color, such as a pastel blue or green. If tiles have come loose, replace them. Once again, keep to neutral colors and styles so that any person can imagine the room as his or her own home.
You also must pay attention to the shower. Does your shower curtain look old? Are mold and mildew visible on the shower liner? Is the caulking starting to yellow? Replace your old shower curtain and liner. Buy new ones, perhaps a cloth curtain to give the shower an elegant look. If the caulking is showing signs of age, remove it and put down fresh caulking.
If you have a shower door, give it a thorough cleaning and remove any soap scum. A mixture or vinegar, soap, and hot water, can be used with a scrubbing brush to remove any stains or built-up scum.
Make sure the toilet is clean. If the toilet seat looks well-worn or dirty, replace it. If the toilet itself appears to be dated, consider replacing it. Many buyers will also appreciate replacing an older toilet with a more efficient ultra-low flush toilet. This will save them money on their water bills and make your house a more desirable purchase.
Repair or Replace
It almost goes without saying that everything that is in the bathroom should be in full working order. Light bulbs that have burned out should be replaced. Clogged drains and slow drains should be fixed so that water flows freely. Exhaust fans should be operational and vented to the exterior of the house. If a fan is broken or very loud, have it replaced. If faucets or shower heads, toilet rolls, or towel rods appear to be old or dated, replace them. The less potential buyers see in the house that they need to replace on their own, the more desirable your home becomes.
Bathrooms are probably the most heavily used and most often forgotten areas of our homes. The expense of time and effort, and, hopefully, not too much money, should pay dividends with the sale of your home!
Linda & Ryan Lowe