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Upgrade your Bathroom Before Selling Your Home — Helpful Tips

Putting your home on the market is a big step — and one that can either lead to a profitable sale or an unexpected loss, depending on your selling strategy. That's why it's important to make your property as appealing as possible before listing it.

A remodeled bathroom.

Since a home's master bathroom is typically a key factor in the decision to buy, as well as in how much the buyer is willing to offer, you might want to invest in some improvements. Keep in mind, however, that many buyers will purchase a home with the intent to ultimately replace the bathroom, so going all out on a major refurbishment isn't usually the best decision. Instead, assess what upgrades could add value and determine which one(s) your budget allows. Here are four suggestions for improving your bathroom before listing your home for sale:

1. Give it a general facelift. The New York Times article, "Preparing Your Home for Sale," advises giving your bathroom a general once-over. This includes a thorough cleaning to remove any stains or mold, re-caulking, and replacing broken or missing tiles. If the bathtub and sink are damaged, you can have them re-glazed by a professional refinisher and save yourself the costs of replacements. Replacing the faucets, shower head, shower curtain and bathmat can make the entire room look nicer.

2. Replace the vanity. Vanities generally show some wear and tear after a few years; plus, they become outdated in terms of style. The U.S. News article, "11 Popular Home Updates That Are Worth the Money," points out that one of the easiest ways to make your bathroom look more modern is to simply replace your old vanity with a new design. It's important to have the installation done by a professional so as to avoid cracked tiles, damaged paint and other potential consequences.

3. Replace the tiles. If you have a slightly bigger budget, then one of the best things you can do to turn a dated bathroom into a sleek sanctuary is to replace the wall and floor tiles. If you're still looking at pastel pink squares from the '80s or forest green gloss tiles from the '70s, it's time to switch outdated for understated and modern. When choosing tiles, size, shape, color and texture are all important aspects to consider. Make sure that the new tiles you select are sleek and neutral while at the same time complementing your bath, toilet and sink.

4. Do a full upgrade. If your bathroom is too outdated or worn to fix, you can also opt for a full remodel. However, it's crucial to discuss this with your realtor before making any decisions. If he or she agrees it's a good investment and one that you'll likely recoup in the sale, then assess carefully what upgrades are necessary. In most cases, a full upgrade will include replacing the tiles, plumbing fixtures, toilet, shower and bathtub, as well as updating the lighting.

Regardless of what upgrades you choose, always stage your bathroom carefully before a potential buyer views the home. Make sure you display new, clean towels; add a scented candle; and consider placing one or two orchids in strategic spots. These little extras may go a long way toward making a buyer fall in love with your home today, so it's their dream home tomorrow.

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