Unraveling the Mysteries of Staging a Bathroom to Sell

Guest post by Ruben Keogh, PlumbersStock.com

When you’re staging a property, it can be easy for smaller details to slide by your attention. When you’re thinking about curb appeal, dusting every square inch of the house and picking the right candles to set the mood for spending, who can really catch everything? But there’s one particular room that home sellers often neglect: the bathroom.

Despite the fact that we spend time in this room every day, there can be certain aspects about a bathroom that we tend to ignore. But if this room comes across as grimy or unclean, it can cost you potential buyers. The next time you’re selling, keep in mind these tips for staging a bathroom, and make the most of this often overlooked room.

staging a bathroom

Photo by frangrit via photopin cc

Basic necessities

Mold. Your worst enemy wherever moisture exists is mold. The slightest scent or sight of the stuff is nearly guaranteed to send sellers scrambling away, not to mention being a nightmare for any property owner. Any detection of severe mold should be followed by a thorough cleanup by a professional followed by an analysis of your home’s plumbing and exterior for potential leaks.

Simple surface mold can easily be scrubbed away, and taking care of it early on can help before it begins to proliferate throughout your property. If you suspect mold might be a problem in your property, take no chances and invest in a do-it-yourself mold testing kit — available in just about any home supply retail store.

Discolored paint. Even when discoloration occurs in clean environments, it can make a space appear dirty.  If aging or damaged paint is the source, it can easily be repainted. However, the most common reason for paint discoloration is mildew, which is all the more likely in moist environments such as a bathroom. This can be tested by applying a drop of bleach solution to the surface. If the stain is mildew, it should change colors within a minute or so.

A bleach solution can make mildew situations right, and a fresh coat of paint containing mildewcide can keep it from happening again. But beware of laying on new paint before killing the mildew, or you might learn firsthand that mildew is the gift that keeps on giving.

Stained tiling. While it isn’t pleasant, stained tile doesn’t necessarily mean you have to start plying up your floor.  In fact, the stains can often be removed with a little elbow grease. A warm water and vinegar solution can deep clean surfaces, and a water-ammonia solution can eliminate mildew. Rusty spots can be eliminated quickly with an application of kerosene.

Staging your bathroom

While good bathrooms can come in a variety of color palettes and arrangements, there are some universal truths about what can make a bathroom look not-so-good. Here’s how to make your bathroom more appealing:

  • Provide sufficient lighting, especially around your facilities. Darkness can insinuate uncleanliness. It can also make a space feel smaller, and spacious bathrooms are always appreciated.
  • When redesign is an option, neutral colors and clean surfaces are highly preferable in a bathroom environment.
  • Do not leave towels or used toiletries around the area, especially bars of soap or used towels. Needless to say, the bathroom is a very private area, and leaving these items out in the open can feel wrong to buyers.
  • Lastly, and obvious to those with common sense, don’t leave your toilet open! You’d be surprised how many online listings keep their lids open when showing off their porcelain throne. Check out this Redfin Collection of open toilets.

What else would you recommend for home sellers to make the most of this room? What are your experiences as a buyer or a seller? Share your thoughts with a comment below!

About Ruben Keogh and PlumbersStock.com

Ruben Keogh is a marketing professional who has been working with plumbers for more than 10 years. He works with PlumbersStock.com, which sells plumbing and HVAC supplies.

Note: This is a guest post; the views and opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinion or position of Redfin.


  • grandmadarlene

    would love more advice about staging a home for sale. In a couple of years I will be moving from a 4000 square foot home to a 1000 square foot home, so I am starting now to empty those multitude of cabinets (and I have plenty). We have lots of storage space and as a result things get put in to never see the light of day again. Never too early. This is the only one I saw on this website.