Should You Remodel Your Bathroom Before You List Your Manhattan Beach Home for Sale?

I've been sharing a number of home selling tips to help maximize your sales price. Most of my tips are relatively easy to do and inexpensive with high ROI. I'm also getting a lot of questions regarding bathroom remodels as in "is it worth remodeling my bathroom before I put my Manhattan Beach home on the market?"

My very general answer is that if a) any improvement helps you sell for a higher price, consider doing it, and b) if you can make a profit on your remodeling investment, consider it. But you also have to look at what your sales price as is will be and are you making your home that much more desirable.

So, as in most things real estate related, the answer is "it depends". But before we get to the "it depends" part of the answer, let's take a deeper dive into some of the considerations, questions, answers and design tips that you'll need to address in your bathroom remodel.

1) What dimensions are you working with? Take some measurements of what you have now and then look into what are the standard sizes for toilet bowls, bath tubs, vanities, etc. If your bathroom's size is not conventional, you costs may go up. If you are just updating the existing footprint with standard products, it can be a lot less expensive and a greater ROI.

2) Are there design elements you can keep (and keep your costs down)? For example, in older homes wall tiles may have several coats of concrete and wire lath. Removing these can be very labor intensive and cause costs to skyrocket. You may be better off retaining some features and updating others.

3) Buy some high end materials. Because bathrooms are usually smaller than let's say your kitchen, you can invest in some (but maybe not all) higher end materials.

4) Tub or Shower? This is a tough one. I've seen some remodels that removed the tub entirely and put in amazing showers. Others may have repurposed the space so as to have a smaller or stand alone tub and then a separate shower. Involve your plumber to make sure the pipes can handle whatever it is you are planning.

5) If possible have more than one way to dry out your bathroom. The best way to avoid and reduce mold and mildew is to have a multifaceted approach with both fans and a window. Very important when you put that fan in. Make sure it vents to the outside and not just the attic.

6) Plan the right height for the sink. I know it sounds obvious but I often preview homes that just have the bathroom sinks either too high or too low.

7) Don't do anything too stylized or personalized. I had a client once who did an extensive remodel of his master bathroom. Absolutely gorgeous and tasteful high end work. Then he removed the wall between the bedroom and the bathroom so that while you were in your bed you could gaze upon this amazing 3-4 person spa tub with an electric fireplace. While it did have a certain Las Vegas Hangover effect (no Bradley Copper included) it was not exactly a selling point. Fortunately most of this was done a few years before he sold so at least he got to enjoy it. Before we put the house on the market, most likely I should have advised him to get a contractor in and replace the wall. So that's one where the remodel actually cost money at the time of sale. Let's avoid that for sure.

Here's the answer to the "it depends" question. Bathrooms are not inexpensive undertakings if done right. Yes you can do things in a cost effective manner but there may be other investments that will bring a better return.

Personally, I would most likely spend $5,000-$10,000 on flooring before I invested the same amount in a bathroom. But before I did flooring, I might invest in painting, removing pop corn ceilings or putting in recessed lights particularly if you have a 2 on a lot townhouse built in the 1980 or '90s. I find many of those could be dramatically improved by the addition of recessed lighting in the downstairs (and the removal of drop ceilings in the kitchen).

If after flooring, painting, lighting, maybe replacing the roof etc you still have budget left without pricing yourself out of the market, then lets talk about that bathroom remodel. Contact me for a free, no obligation meeting and I'll let you know exactly what you can do to sell your Manhattan Beach home for a higher price.