Author Topic: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?  (Read 3487 times)

willn

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Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« on: January 29, 2014, 10:09:54 AM »
I think most of the time the answer is no.  But in this case I'm getting conflicting advice from knowledgeable realtors.

Very desirable neighborhood within walking distance of two subway stops. 10 minutes from downtown DC. There's a very low inventory of active listings in our immediate neighborhood.  A few will come to market in spring, along with ours.

Two bedroom, 1400 sf house.  1 full bath and 1 half bath.

Full bathroom is in very, very rough condition. Everything works, but it has a major drawback of having an extremely course slate tile covering just about everything.  The tub surround, the floor, the walls, and the sink counter.  The slate has sharp edges and was even installed up the side of the tub and on top of the tub edge.  Stepping into the tub when you are tired in the morning can result in nicks to your shin.

The tub faucet isn't even a faucet.  The tile installer just created sort of a flat toungue that creates a sort of waterfall into the tub.

Mainly its a hazard for kids. The house would be good for a one child family except for this.   Otherwise the house has some nice updates. We did a heavy up on the electric panel.  New windows.  Roof and 6" gutters installed 5 years ago.  Basement refresh.  Amazing master closet.  Great light filled and large kitchen that needs some updates but works great.  Huge yard for the area.

I have a quote from a trusted contractor for 5K to redo the bath in basic neutral tile, new tub, new sink, new faucets.

My thinking right now is it could see more, higher bids, maybe 8 or 10 K higher?  There's a price ceiling I notice in the data for 2 bedrooms though.  And its possible it could delay selling enough to cost us a 2800 mortgage payment.  So there's significant risk of costing ourselves 8k to make maybe 10k.

I think I just talked myself out of it.




Milspecstache

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #1 on: January 29, 2014, 10:16:07 AM »
I think there is a way to put in 'upgrade costs' to the total cost of the home which allows the buyer to immediately take the money and spend it choosing their own tile/upgrades/etc.  Not sure of the legal means to do this but perhaps someone else can comment?

chasesfish

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #2 on: January 29, 2014, 10:35:04 AM »
It really varies market to market.

I'm going through this right now, an upgraded kitchen and two baths could fetch me 20k more on the house I'm downsizing from, but I don't have the time to do it myself and the upgrade costs are either a little more or a wash.  I'm just going to spend my time and energy on the new house.

honobob

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #3 on: January 29, 2014, 01:25:15 PM »


Full bathroom is in very, very rough condition.
    And its possible it could delay selling enough to cost us a 2800 mortgage payment.  So there's significant risk of costing ourselves 8k to make maybe 10k.

I think I just talked myself out of it.

It will cost someone to redo the bathroom.  A buyer will deduct the cost of "their" remodel".  That might be higher than your remodel.  They will also be out the $2800+ mortgage payment while they are waiting for the remodel to be completed and they are at the disadvantage of not knowing they are remodeling a bath until they decide on your property.  Maybe they will take the less desirable home that has a good bathroom NOW.  You could be waiting more time to get a buyer that wants to deal with the hassle of a remodel on top of moving.

My experience is that 90% of buyers cannot look past small fixes and will always gravitate to the easiest property to move in that is comparable.  Unless your market is HOT HOT HOT I would remodel up to the standard of other area remodels.  Even if you just break even on the cost you'll more than likely sell quicker.

Mori

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #4 on: January 29, 2014, 06:24:19 PM »
Well you say you are marketing for the spring, so you have a bit of time (not a lot, admittedly).

I would look at recently sold houses near you (zillow or something similar) and see which sold quickly and what the pics looked like. If the days on the market reduction balances the cost of the upgrade, I'd go for it.

You could also ask your realtor to do a DOM analysis and then cross-reference those homes for pics and upgrades.


Another Reader

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2014, 06:50:04 PM »
Look at the comps as described by others.  If it makes sense, I would do the remodel right this minute, before the spring selling season starts.  With a new bath, you can ask top dollar in a very well located neighborhood.  Yep, you may be taking sponge baths for 10 days, but you won't lose that $2,800 mortgage payment. 

willn

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2014, 08:33:04 PM »
Thanks all. I'll check comps, dom, let you know what we decide and how it works out.

Jack

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #7 on: January 29, 2014, 08:43:46 PM »
remodel up to the standard of other area remodels.

This is the key statement: either your house is "up to the standard" or it's a "fixer upper" and you've eliminated most of your potential buyers (or at least, most of the potential buyers willing to pay retail prices).

ritchie70

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2014, 01:37:54 PM »
Around here, a 2-bedroom, 1400 square foot home would be viewed as marginal by many families. I'd see your target as a single person or a couple without children.

I think that so long as it looks pretty, and slate usually does, I would leave it alone. They aren't going to cut their shins or realize its pitfalls until after they buy it.

James

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Re: Would You Remodel a Bathroom Prior to House Sale?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2014, 02:04:15 PM »
I would decide based on looks not function. If it looks pretty good then don't remodel.


Best bet would be to upgrade only what you need to . Leave the slate, replace the faucets, new paint, etc. Do whatever you can do yourself, and then find the best bid on other upgrades. If you can get it looking fairly good for a thousand bucks I would choose that. A full bathroom remodel just seems like overkill unless you can do it mostly yourself.