Posted in: Selling a home, Homeowner tips

Should you renovate your bathroom before selling?

Bathroom Renovations ROI

Key insights

  • To recoup some of the cost of your bathroom renovation, select projects that deliver a higher ROI.
  • Thrifty homeowners may complete simple bathroom upgrades on their own, whereas more complicated remodels could require the help of a plumber. Factor this in when budgeting for projects.
  • Assess the status of the housing market to determine what renovations might be a smart investment for you.

When it comes to preparing your home for sale, you’ll want to put your best foot forward. Homeowners that complete upgrades — like a bathroom remodel — before listing are likely to gain buyer attention. Plus, sellers may achieve a better return on investment (ROI) thanks to certain renovation projects.

Here are insights you can use when determining the estimated costs and benefits of remodeling your bathroom, including how much of the project cost you can expect to recoup and what questions you might ask when considering a bathroom renovation.

The cost and ROI of a bathroom remodel

According to the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report, a mid-range bathroom remodel in the Twin Cities area will cost $24,584 and recoup $12,620 (just over 50%) upon resale. Specifically, the project begins with a 5-foot by 7-foot existing bathroom where all fixtures are replaced, including:

  • Porcelain-on-steel tub with ceramic tile
  • Single-lever temperature and pressure-balanced shower control
  • Standard white toilet
  • Vanity counter with integral sink
  • Lighted medicine cabinet
  • Ceramic tile floor
  • Vinyl wallpaper

The 2020 Cost vs. Value Report is determined by existing local projects, so the cost breakout is said to be realistic for local homeowners undertaking renovations in the Minneapolis area. Handy homeowners may be able to lower project costs significantly by performing some installations on their own, rather than hiring a contractor or plumber.

Is a bathroom remodel worth it?

When contemplating a bathroom remodel or the ROI of other home projects, it’s important to consider the price recouped. The ROI of a midrange bathroom remodel in the Minneapolis area is 51.4%, but the remaining cost calculates out to just under $12,000.

Here are some questions to ask when determining whether or not a bathroom renovation is the right choice for your home.

What does your current bathroom look like?

If your bathroom hasn’t been updated at all since 1968, it may be time to replace everything from the pea-green countertops to the dingy bathtub. However, if the bathroom was given a facelift in the last 15 years or so, you may be able to get away with a few cosmetic improvements, rather than a major renovation.

Some simple yet worthwhile bathroom improvement ideas include:

  • Fresh wallpaper or paint
  • Updated vanity and medicine cabinet
  • New hardware, such as towel bars and doorknobs
  • Mid-century modern accents, like a mirror or picture frames
  • Polished linens, shades and shower curtains
  • Trendy new light fixture(s)

If you decide to gut and redo your entire bathroom, take a peek at this bathroom tile inspiration. By thoughtfully choosing your tile design, you can create the illusion of a more spacious and trendy bathroom.

In short, think about what upgrades are needed for buyers to view your bathroom as a bright selling point of the home, instead of a sore spot that will require fixing shortly after move-in day.

Are buyers circling?

If you live in a popular neighborhood with low housing inventory, remodeling may not be the best investment decision for your property. When buyers are competing over a shortage of homes, even a house with a Brady Bunch bathroom can be a hot commodity.

Work with your REALTOR® to assess whether or not your bathroom needs to be updated or remodeled. Your agent will share their real estate expertise while helping you determine your overall home staging, pricing and selling strategy.

Will the bathroom pass an inspection as-is?

It may seem obvious, but if your bathroom won’t currently pass a home inspection, it’s imperative that you make the necessary fixes before listing. Even the lowest inventory may not make a difference when you have significant plumbing issues.

Do you need a plumber?

Keep in mind, anything that involves drainage will likely involve a plumber — which will bring your costs up quite a bit. For example, adding a shower in place of a tub or rearranging the layout of your bathroom could require rerouted plumbing.

To avoid higher-than-expected expenses, be sure to get a quote before deciding on your final renovation plan.

Looking for more pointers as you prepare to sell?

Remember to keep these bathroom upgrades in mind as you price your property for sale. Whether you swap out tarnished hardware for new knobs or completely transform your bathroom, these high ROI renovations may urge hesitant buyers to seriously consider your property.

For more seller tips and insights, reach out to Edina Realty or one of our agents and work together towards the successful sale of your home.

© 2020 Hanley Wood, LLC. Complete data from the Remodeling 2020 Cost vs. Value Report can be downloaded free at

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Status Definitions

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