Essential Bathroom Updates to Sell Your Home Faster

Do you just love those beautiful luxury hotel bathrooms that remind you of relaxing spa treatments and make you feel like a celebrity? If yes, chances are that your potential buyers also love them. If you want them to think about having a lavish experience, you need to consider making the below bathroom updates to sell your home.

Unfortunately, most homeowners do not have a fairytale bathroom ready to be presented, which means they (you) have to invest in upgrades that will hopefully translate into a quick home sale and profit. So, if you want to transform your boring and old-fashioned bathroom into a space that your potential buyers will love and desire, but you do not want to overcapitalize, here is a guide for you.

Remember these must-have elements and essential bathroom updates to sell your home quicker are designed to give your home its best opportunity to sell fast and make you a nice profit as well. Do the ones that make sense, both to your pocketbook and for the room itself, and potential buyers will notice and appreciate the effort.

Essential Bathroom Updates to Help Your Home Sell Quicker


Aim for Popular Colors

For many years there was an unwritten rule when it came to room colors: the home sells faster and better if it is painted in neutrals, such as white. However, times they are a-changin’ and so is wall paint fashion. Recent studies show that you might want to go a little bolder when it comes to your wall, and consider slate, blue hues, and even daring shades of green.

According to a recent analysis (by Zillow), homes with colors such as shades of blue and periwinkle in their bathroom reached a selling price of $5,000 more than other homes on the market! The same research also states that white and off-white bathrooms sometimes decreased the value of a home. So, do not hesitate to invest in some fresh paint, especially because it is a minimal investment that can bring much profit.

Aside from paint, you only need a roller, tape, trim brush, and plastic (or a tarp) to keep paint from making a mess of the rest of the room (i.e. floors, counters, tub/shower, toilet, etc.). One of the best paint type choices for bathroom use is a semi-gloss finish. This type of paint is mildew resistant, very easy to clean, and will look great for many years. Another popular option is a satin finish because it is also hardy and cleans up well. You have choices so do your homework and pick the best option for your particular need.

Opt for Furniture Neutrals

Bathroom Renovations that Sell

As opposed to walls, it is always a good decision to go with neutral hues for your furniture and other bigger elements in your bathroom. If you want to add a splash of color, do it with the walls, towels and decorative elements. These can easily be changed when a certain color goes out of fashion or your style changes.

Putting a fresh coat of paint on tired looking cabinets is both a simple and affordable way to change the look and feel of a bathroom. This is a project you can tackle yourself, and with plenty of DIY videos online to assist, even a weekend home project rookie can have great results.

Repainting appliances is not as easy and cheap, and unless you know exactly what you are doing, the project could end up looking worse than before you started. Instead of trying to reupholster chairs, you can always put a more neutral throw over it or perhaps an accent pillow. The key is not to take away from the overall room by having furniture that catches all the attention.

Choose the Right Tiles

Good tiles can also make a great impact on potential buyers, and it is a smart way to get a lot of bang for your buck, allowing you to splurge on other key things in your bathroom. There is absolutely no need to blow your budget on super expensive tiles, especially now there are so many beautiful yet inexpensive options on the market. This is one area where doing a bit of investigative work upfront can make a world of difference.

It might be better to find tiles with an affordable price for big surfaces, and only use the more expensive options for accents or feature walls. Clad your bathroom with inexpensive but regal looking tiles, make sure the grout is clean and professional looking, and you will have more money to afford high-end options for items like the vanity or shower.

Whether you decide to go with ceramic, glass, luxe, marble, porcelain, travertine, or another popular option, they come in an array of colors and styles for both floor and wall application. Be creative, but remember being too bold may turn off some buyers, so get a few opinions before you create your masterpiece. Have fun with it and the finished product will be something you are proud of that will hopefully also attract new home buyers.

Install Heated Floors

If you are already planning on replacing your floors and tiles, it might be a worthwhile investment to really wow future buyers with radiant floors. Heated floors are quite popular today, but it is the bathroom where they especially make a difference. If they are on (via thermostats or switches) when buyers come through, and if they take off their shoes, they will be instantly won over. I have yet to meet a consumer who did not like the feeling of comfort and warmth coming from heated floors.

Whether you go with electric heating mats or a water-based system, you need to understand the costs associated and weigh if making the upgrade will net you a return on investment. They can be pricy to install, and they will have a slight impact on your power bill, but they can make a difference for some buyers. They work with all traditional floor coverings, are virtually maintenance free, and installation is straight forward and similar to laying tile.

They can be installed when a home is built or added later during an upgrade with equal efficiency. New construction will sometimes utilize a wet install (embedded in concrete), but dry installs (layered above or below the subfloor) are newer technology and are the most popular method used when adding radiant flooring to an existing property.

Provide Storage

There are not many things buyers love more than ample storage. You can expect consumers to snoop around, taking a long look at/in your cabinets to check for space, so make sure they are not overflowing with cosmetics and hygiene products. Also be sure to put away as many personal items as you can so as to not tempt bad or illegal behavior.

Bathroom Updates That Sell

If you can not really brag about the storage space in your bathroom, you might want to consider investing in some cute boxes or baskets that can store different items from makeup and cleaning products to linen. Wicker baskets are especially popular because they are handy and look beautiful with any interior design style. Another popular choice is to install towel racks on the back of the door when the room does not have another good location for towels.

Having a lot of bathroom storage options is ideal but adequate storage is still affordable too so there is no reason to panic if your home is short on storage space. Something as simple as a decorative corner shelving system may solve the issue and actually add to the ambiance of the room.

Depending on the layout of your bathroom, around/over the toilet space saver units can provide much needed storage space as can decorative and functional sink units. Another smart move is to mount a shelf above the door. It is out of the way and can be used for both decorations or practical purposes.

Update Lighting

Light and airy rooms always show better so it is key to ensure you have plenty of light to properly show off your bathroom. Ideally, that light is natural, but if that is not an option, then it may be time to upgrade your light fixtures to a more modern design. Make sure the bulbs are all working too. Preferably, LED, to save energy and be more efficient.

Another low-cost option is to purchase a lamp or two to provide light to darker or key areas (such as where makeup would be applied). This is one of the easiest ways to highlight a particular area, feature, or just to help show off all your hard work. Ensure they add to the space, not detract from it.

A way you can add to the bathroom lighting without making wholesale changes is to take advantage of mirrors. They reflect light and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are relatively inexpensive and even a novice do-it-yourself person can hang one up. Whether you go with round, rectangular, or something more contemporary, the type of mirrors you ultimately should deploy will depend on the overall theme of the room.

Splurge on Items You Use Every Day

If you approach your renovation in a smart and calculated way, you will probably have some extra money to spend on things that really matter. Feel free to splurge on items that your buyers will touch and use every day, such as faucets and other cabinet hardware. You can bet they will notice the upgrades and appreciate that it will be one less project they will have to tackle as new homeowners.

You can also consider replacing your old fixtures with low-flow ones. Buyers who are into green living will appreciate this thoughtful upgrade. It is a double bonus as you will be able to create less of a carbon footprint and help provide a small future cost saving benefit as well.

If your laundry space is in your bathroom, you may want to consider updating the available shelving (from builder grade) and adding the washer/dryer in the sale of the property, especially if they are modern and upgraded models. There are many that meet these criteria, including these Maytag models with lots of handy cycles and options for an efficient and reliable clothes washing experience.

Add a Chair or a Bench

To completely stick to the beloved spa theme many buyers are attracted to, you can also consider decorating with some functional furniture pieces. For instance, a simple stool or bench with a book and a neatly folded towel placed beside the tub is a beautiful yet functional decoration. Do not underestimate the difference a well placed chair can make, especially for those who want a cozy setting to put on their makeup.

You can also get an interesting side table, an ottoman, or a bamboo ladder (depending on the style and size of your bathroom) to add some extra interest. Some of these options can also double as additional storage so keep that in mind when looking for the right pieces. Again, whatever you choose to do, you want the items you add to compliment the theme and not make the space appear overly congested.

Decoration is Important

After you take care of the renovation and cleaning, it is time to decorate your bathroom with accessories to really hook your buyers. However, do not overcrowd your bathroom with too many trinkets; one or two well-chosen pieces will add character and elegance to the space without making it look cramped. A well done photo collage, interesting art piece, or decorative mirror can really help turn an ordinary space into one that dazzles.

Add a new shower curtain, mats, and fresh towels to give the bathroom an entirely new, fresh, and elegant look. Even something as simple as a decorative wall mounted magazine rack/toilet paper holder can help make the room more appealing. Another good choice is to ensure accessories placed on the sink match (i.e. toothbrush holder, soap dispenser, etc.).

When decorating your bathroom, think of spas and invest in some fragrant soap, bath salts in luxury packaging, candles and organic loofahs. Another thing you might want to consider is the placement of these items. You do not want to scatter them everywhere and create clutter. Instead, group them and try to create layers. Buyers love classy décor rather than eclecticism, so decorate wisely.

Greenery as a Wow Factor

Bringing nature inside has never been as popular as it is today, and bathrooms are no exception. Flowers and plants serve many purposes in the bathroom: they make the space come to life, add color and texture, purify the air, and make a bold statement. The amount of greenery needed greatly depends on the size of your space and the room functionality.

If you have a small bathroom, a single flower, one small planter, or even a branch with leaves and blooms will look simple yet elegant. A few really nice flower/greenery displays are much better than creating a jungle-like atmosphere or a barren desert setting. Simple is the smart approach here.


No matter the design of your bathroom, if the space is not clean and tidy, your buyers will find it less attractive. So, remove all your toiletries and supplies such as shampoo bottles, toothbrushes and makeup. No one wants to see your personal hygiene products. You want their full attention on all the additions, upgrades, and overall aesthetics of the bathroom space.

Additional ways to de-clutter your bathroom include:

  • Hide cleaning products
  • Do not hoard supplies
  • Clear counters
  • Pick up after yourself
  • Clean-out medicine cabinet
  • Eliminate door hooks (and the items you store on them)

The less distractions you provide to buyers, the better off you are. Since this is not really an investment or upgrade, there is really no excuse to leave your bathroom cluttered. If you do not have the time to do it yourself, consider hiring a professional to de-clutter and clean your bathroom.

Going Green in the Bathroom / Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Going green in the bathroom has become vogue for many consumers. They are more conscious of the products they clean with and use to remodel their bathroom with.

One of the easiest ways to begin going green in the bathroom is to make the change from chemically based cleaning products to green cleaning products, using recyclable eco-friendly products and using products that aid in going green throughout the house. Here are 4 ways consumers are creating eco-friendly bathrooms.

Cleaning Products – Cleaning products are by far the easiest change someone can take when they are going green in the bathroom. Consumers now have a variety of choices including making their own traditionally eco-friendly products for cleaning.

An easy way to begin the green swap of cleaning products is to find an all-purpose bathroom product that will clean everything from the shower to the toilet. An all-purpose product means using less money, less containers, and less cleaning supplies to achieve the right level of clean in the bathroom.

Use Microfibers – It is not often that the word microfiber comes up in bathroom talk but it should. So many fabrics that are used in the bathroom need to be cleaned regularly. Towels, face towels, hand towels, bath cloths, floor mats and shower curtains are all fabrics that will need to be cleaned.

By using microfiber based bathroom linens you can ensure less drying time in the dryer and less bacteria build up on towels or any linens in the bathroom. Besides, they are incredibly soft too!

Use Nature for Décor – By adding a small plant or fish bowl to the room you can use nature to increase the look of the room. Plants that serve as environments are fish are a great way to add a little extra touch and some air quality to the room. If you are going green why not do it visually as well?

Try a Go Green Remodel – Remodel your bathroom with recycled and upcycled fixtures. Use natural stones, woods and other items to create the bathroom of your dreams. A great idea is to use river rocks to create a bath mat or natural bamboo for flooring. This ads and added décor touch while offering a green way to enhance your bathroom.

Bamboo is a great and durable wood to as flooring and it can also be used in bathroom curtains and window treatments. Stones can be used as part of the flooring or as a versatile food massage are for the ultimate spa experience.

Final Advice

It is true that bathrooms and kitchens often help sell a house. This means you need to make sure yours is looking its very best. It may mean spending both time and money to turn your bathroom into an oasis that draws in buyers and makes them want your property all the more. It may be as simple as accentuating what you already have as well.

If in doubt about whether you need to update, renovate, or just spruce up your bathroom, check with a local real estate professional. Another option is to visit a bunch of new home open houses to see what is currently selling.

Additional Bathroom Resources

Bathroom Staging Tips via Kevin Vitali

Does Your Bathroom Need To Be Updated from Kyle Hiscock

Bathroom Design Trends by Karen Highland

How to Get the Most Resale Value Out of Your Bathroom

If you found this article on bathroom updates to sell your home helpful, please consider sharing it via social media so others can benefit from the information.

Smart Bathroom Updates to Sell Your Home Faster

About Anita Clark Realtor

Anita Clark has written 623 posts on this blog.

Anita is a residential Real Estate Agent in Warner Robins Georgia, with Coldwell Banker Access Realty (478) 953-8595, aiding buyers and sellers with all their real estate questions on her Warner Robins blog.