Budget-friendly bathroom updates to get your house SOLD

Real Estate Agent with Thompson Company, REALTORS® MD594797

We all know that kitchens and bathrooms sell houses. When these rooms look dated, tired or not well maintained, buyers may choose to pass and write an offer on another property instead. Your house could linger on the market [you don't want this], become a stale listing [nor this] and sell for less [and definitely not this]. A full-blown remodel can cost you a pretty penny, about 20K for a mid-range bathroom upgrade for example.

Click here to check regional cost vs. value averages

So what can you do when your bathrooms are dated but your budget is tight? Here are 5 budget-friendly bathroom updates that you should consider doing prior to listing your Silver Spring, MD home for sale:

5. Deep clean: this may seem like a no-brainer but I have shown (too) many homes for sale in Silver Spring, MD and beyond in the last 15+ years with filthy and/or cluttered bathrooms. Just make the whole room sparkle! It leaves an impression and tells buyers that your house has been maintained and loved. Remove soap scum, rust stains, dust, re-caulk where necessary, and empty trash cans. 

4. Accessorize: change the shower curtain, add some artwork/flowers, clean and  pretty towels, and a new soap dispenser. Keep the counters & any shelving free of clutter. I always recommend to put things that are needed daily in a little basket and to store it in the cabinet - clean-up becomes a breeze. 

3. Paint: a little bit of elbow grease and paint can make a huge difference. It sounds cliche but it is so very true. A coat of paint can transform an entire room but it's easy to do and a budget-friendly way to update a bathroom, too. Think beyond walls, however, and consider sprucing up the cabinet, or giving the door and any trim a fresh coat of paint. 

2. New fixtures: look at your faucet(s), light fixture(s), and cabinet hardware. Consider a new toilet roll holder or tension rod for your shower curtain, too. Do make sure that things match - you don't want a hodgepodge of different styles and finishes. You can score great deals at ReStores or check Facebook Marketplace for listings in your area... I have found some (cheap) treasures at both. 

1. Reglaze: if your tub has seen (much) better days, ask a contractor if reglazing is an option. If yes, it will cost much less than replacing the tub and tiling the walls - and may just look brand-new to boot! 

Should I reglaze or replace my tub before selling my house?

An entire bathroom remodel can cost you A LOT of money but following some or all of the above tips can not only save you a bundle but can get your house SOLD, and possibly make you some $$$, too.

Happy renovating :)

P.S. I prepare a suggested to-do list for all my sellers in Silver Spring and beyond. Together we'll walk through your home, assess your situation, consider time-frames and budgets, and get your home ready for the market. You can reach me at 240.593.2860 or andreabedard.re@gmail.com

P.P.S. The picture is courtesy of my client, friend, and Columbia, MD home buyer George and used with his permission. He couldn't be happier with the end result of his budget-friendly bathroom remodel and the reglazed tub especially! 

Posted by







Thompson Company, REALTORS
16910 Oak Hill Rd, Silver Spring, MD 20905
o: (301) 384-9177 c: (240)593-2860


Andrea is a REALTOR® based in Silver Spring, MD. She has enjoyed assisting buyers and sellers since 2004 and focuses on residential Real Estate in  Montgomery and Howard County, MD. Andrea is a proud mom and hobby decorator with a vintage soul. She always answers the phone with a smile, enjoys running and treasure hunting and is addicted to coffee.


 All photographs are my own and I'd like to keep it that way. All information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed.




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Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Andrea,

These are some inexpensive and high return tips, especially if your budget is a little tight.

Jan 29, 2019 06:14 PM #1
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Andrea, homeowners are always looking to find inexpensive updates/upgrades to boost their bottom line.  Great job.

Jan 29, 2019 06:41 PM #2
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Regarding the deep cleaning and caulking, I tell everybody to remove the old caulk and make it fresh and new again around the tub, at the floor of the tub, on top of the backsplash and around the faucets. It's a $10 tube and makes such a world of difference.

Jan 29, 2019 06:54 PM #3
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

Some of these ideas so not cost a lot more than elbow grease

Jan 29, 2019 08:28 PM #4
Richard Weeks
Dallas, TX
REALTOR®, Broker

Great information, thanks for sharing.  I hope 2019 is a great year for you.

Jan 30, 2019 03:58 AM #5
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I always emphasize to Sellers how important a good deep clean is in the eyes of a Buyer, but that still doesn't always lead to them doing so, haha.  I find it funny how one person thinks something is clean, yet another will think it is filthy.

Jan 30, 2019 06:27 AM #6
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Dörte & Joan! An upgrade does not have to break the bank, there is a lot one can do with minimal investment. 

It is amazing just what a difference $10 can make Elizabeth. They even have handy tools to get a really straight line and make recaulking a mess free job. There is really no excuse to not do it. 

Exactly, William! Just deep cleaning & decluttering and adding a couple of accessories from another room in the house (or things found in storage) can already make an impact.

Thank you Richard!

People definitely have differing interpretations of "clean" Brian.. sometimes I am just hoping for the basics: wipe down counter top and mirror, sweep floors, and empty trash.

I find it sad (and unprofessional) when houses are put on the market with hair balls on floor, soap scum all over the shower, toothpaste smeared on the counters, fingerprints on the mirror, overflowing trash cans. I get it, people live in houses but it's just not how the house will get sold, or at least, not quickly and for top dollar. But that is a story for another blog post! 

Jan 30, 2019 07:39 AM #7
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Vision Quest Realty - Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Good inexpensive tips for every home owner to read and ensure their home is ready for the market.

Jan 30, 2019 12:18 PM #8
Maureen Bray Portland OR Home Stager ~ Room Solutions Staging
Room Solutions Staging, Portland OR - Portland, OR
"Staging that Sells Portland Homes"

Re[glazing the tub/shower and tile walls and countertops is a great way to save a lot of $$ when updating a bathroom.  The ROI is excellent!

Jan 30, 2019 04:23 PM #9
Andrea Bedard
Thompson Company, REALTORS® - Silver Spring, MD
M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond

Thank you Rebecca!

I agree Maureen! The difference between before & after is (or better can be: the right contractor is key) nothing short of amazing. 

Jan 30, 2019 05:36 PM #10
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Andrea Bedard 

Great tips!   I know what a good job you do getting a seller ready to sell. And you get them sold and wind up with raving fans!

Feb 03, 2019 07:33 AM #11
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Andrea Bedard

M.A.; REALTOR® Silver Spring, MD and beyond
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