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Written by Abbey Laan Trimboli

A clean, modern bathroom can provide the ‘wow’ factor that pushes a sale over the line. Jarrod Van Haasteren from Real Estate Agents Group says: “Bathrooms and kitchens can sell houses. If one needs doing, buyers will usually accept it and factor this in to any offers. If both need doing, it becomes a renovation project which puts a lot of people off completely.”

If you find yourself renovating a bathroom prior to selling, consider the following:

  1. Don’t Over-Capitalise

This is one of the most expensive areas to renovate. Be careful not to over-capitalise for the sake of a good impression. Xavier Davey from Turner Real Estate explains: “Be cautious. You want to be able to reap the benefits of the added value at the point of sale, not just recoup your costs.”

Don’t opt for the most expensive fixtures. Most people won’t notice the difference and will be content with a clean, modern bathroom.

  1. Do your homework
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Follow these 5 steps to ensure your renovation runs smoothly:

  • Research: Use sites such as com, Pinterest and realestate.com.au to find inspiration and information. Organise what you like by groups e.g. baths, vanities, tiles etc.
  • Planning: Whether you hire a professional, use software or draw a plan by hand, be realistic. Don’t move drains, water and electricity outlets unless necessary. Make the most of what you already have.
  • Pre-construction: Collect quotes from quality contractors. Focus on budget and a schedule for completion.
  • Construction: Whether you have contracted a renovation company or you are acting as project manager, keep in contact with your tradies. Know how the job is progressing so scheduling adjustments can be made if required. Delays not only effect the budget but the anticipated date for placing your home on the market.
  • Completion: Ensure everything is finished properly and is functioning correctly. Serious buyers will test everything before making an offer.
  1. Keep it neutral.

Work towards a design and colour palette that will appeal to the masses both online and during open inspections.

Xavier Davey says: “Keep the style and colours basic. Potential buyers like a blank canvas that they can then put their own tastes to.”

  1. Can I do it myself?

Bathroom renovations can run into the tens of thousands. Doing it yourself can greatly reduce the cost but be realistic about your skills. Even simple designs can be complex and involve professionals – plumbers, electricians, tilers, demolition and gyprock experts etc.

Mark Compare, from On the Mark General Services states: “Knowing how to complete each task in the correct order is essential in avoiding mistakes and blowing out costs. In some cases, it’s best to leave the tricky stuff to the professionals. Vendors can still save money by doing the painting and attaching fittings themselves.”

Keep the result in mind. When buyers see quality, they are willing to pay for it.

  1. Is a complete renovation necessary?

There are plenty of ways to update a tired-looking bathroom without the inconvenience and cost of a complete renovation.

Resurfacing techniques and updating lower-cost items such as fixtures, mirrors, shower screens, light fittings and window treatments might be all that’s needed for a bathroom to pass the potential-buyer test. Save your money or spend it on other areas needing a spruce-up before hitting the market.

Whether it’s a complete overhaul or simple, low-cost changes, improving an outdated bathroom prior to selling is money well-spent. Potential buyers will appreciate both an unforgettable, modern renovation or any effort put into breathing new life into a worn and weary bathroom.

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