Guest contributor: Deb Lindner; this story first appeared on houzz.com.au
Buyers love the enticing allure of a fresh, beautiful bathroom that reminds them of luxury hotels they have experienced, or soothing spas they have enjoyed. And most importantly, 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 when selling we know that, in most instances, it is not a wise investment to do a full, costly renovation just for the sales process – it simply doesn’t translate into profit.
So a better strategy is to maximise what you already have, on a budget. You want to transform your ‘real-life, everyday bathroom’ into a five-star hotel experience your buyers will love, without over-capitalising. Here are simple ways to create havens with wow factor.
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1. Clear off all benches to create a blank canvas
You need to start by removing all of your everyday toiletries and bathroom supplies. This includes soaps, handwash, 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 housework stuff
Remove all items that imply housework and maintenance, such as toilet brushes, wastepaper baskets, sponges, cleaning products, bathmats – even spare toilet rolls. These are a necessary part of everyday living, but do not create a beautiful spa-like experience for your buyers.
BONUS TIP:Don’t forget to remove the bathroom scales, too. Remember, your buyers want to experience a luxurious bathroom experience (not be reminded of those extra few kilos they are trying to lose!).
3. Maximise 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 organised. Store the little things you use everyday (hair elastics, lip gloss etc) in a pretty box or basket with a lid to avoid a tidal wave of trinkets taking over the shelves.
BONUS TIP:If you’re running out of space to store your toiletries keep the overflow in simple wicker baskets and when buyers are coming to inspect your home just grab the baskets and take them with you as you leave.
4. Make minor upgrades
Rather than spending many thousands completely renovating your bathroom, it’s much smarter to spend your money only where it shows, and 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.
Your best ‘bang for your buck’ upgrades are: repainting the walls, replacing leaking/worn taps, updating the hardware on your cabinets, installing fresh, new light fittings and updating towel rails.
NOTE: In some bathrooms it’s also worth considering changing over the tiles (large, white tiles always make a bathroom feel more spacious and contemporary), replacing shower screens and investing in new cabinetry and benchtops. This is often warranted in a higher-priced property, where buyers are looking for (and expect!) a level of premium bathroom luxury.
5. Give it a super clean
Clean everything to within an inch of its life. No, it’s certainly not exciting but is super-important. We know that buyers will pay a premium for ‘new’, so your aim is to create that new ‘feel’. Everything must be spotless and 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, luxurious towels. Brand new is best (as once towels have been washed they never quite look the same). So it’s a great idea to keep your new towels just for display only. Pack them away in between buyer inspections and reinstate them just before your buyers arrive.
BONUS TIP: If there is a lot of extra bench space, you can also place a neatly folded pile of two to 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 to choose from, too. Funky, brightly coloured towels are popular at the moment … so for a more dramatic effect, you could consider adding a splash of bold colour.
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 colour, use towels and accessories to do this.
8. Beautify with accessories
Now that you have cleared away your personal bathroom products, simply add a few well-chosen accessories to add a layer of warmth, elegance and luxury back into the room. Think about creating a spa-like experience with accessories in tranquil, soft colours – items including fragrant soaps, bath oils, natural loofahs and candles. Or perhaps a beautiful piece of coral. It’s important to display these products as groupings – rather than scattering them around the room as this can end up looking like clutter. And less is better. Think simplicity.
You may want to consider using a simple wooden tray as a base and group items together in odd numbers of one, three or five. 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 bring a dramatic impact to the room, adding instant colour and texture. Orchids are always a favourite in bathrooms, however here’s no need to always buy huge bouquets of flowers to make an impact. In a smaller room, a single stem of your favourite bloom, small planter, or even a branch with beautiful leaves placed in a jar will look understated and elegant.
10. Add a stool or ottoman
To create the ultimate ‘private hotel suite’ look for your buyers, you can add a beautiful decor piece that offers functionality as well. Put a stool beside the bathtub and add neatly folded face/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.