Real Estate Investment 101: Getting Started

Pros And Cons Of Leaving A Roughed-In Bathroom When Selling

If you have an unfinished basement in the house that you're planning to sell, there may be a roughed-in bathroom. This term describes a space that is ready for a bathroom, with plumbing hookups for the toilet, sink, and more, but that doesn't actually have any fixtures in place. Sometimes, the framing around the roughed-in bathroom may be bare. Before selling, you may wonder whether you should go to the expense of finishing the bathroom, or sell the home with this space as is. Here are some pros and cons of both ideas.

Pro: You'll Save Money

While it's often a good idea to invest in your home before listing it on the market, doing so can sometimes be a bitter pill to swallow. If you've endured the roughed-in bathroom in its current stage for the full amount of time that you've lived in the home, the idea of spending thousands of dollars to get the bathroom up to par, only to essentially do the work for a future owner, might not appeal to you. By leaving the roughed-in space as is, you'll save a lot of money.

Con: But, It Could Cost You Money

Any serious buyer searching homes for sale who looks at the roughed-in bathroom in your basement knows that he or she will eventually need to have this space finished. Doing so, of course, represents a considerable financial investment, and that means that the buyer may still be interested in buying your home, but will often offer you much less than you're asking for it. In such a scenario, failing to finish the bathroom could cost you more than actually finishing it.

Pro: It Gives Buyers Flexibility

Lots of buyers like to change elements in a home open moving in. If you were to scramble to finish the roughed-in bathroom, you may do so in a way that the buyer doesn't appreciate. Whether you pick a color of toilet or a style of sink that the buyer dislikes, or you paint the room in the wrong color and use the wrong flooring, the buyer will have to make changes regardless. Some buyers actually prefer roughed-in bathrooms, as they'll have the flexibility to finish the space how they want.

Con: It Lacks Visual Appeal

There's little doubt that a roughed-in bathroom isn't very visually appealing. Whereas a finished bathroom that looks sharp can make buyers excited, the average buyer isn't going to get too excited about a bare slab of concrete with a couple pipes sticking out of it. Sellers typically go to considerable lengths to give their homes visual appeal, and a roughed-in bathroom can be lacking in this area.