From cozy nooks to spacious suites, bedrooms run the gamut in terms of size. While smaller spaces can be tricky, with some clever staging and careful thinking, you can rise above the circumstances of your small bedroom and get potential buyers to see beyond the four walls in front of them. Here are the answers to five common questions about selling a home with a tiny bedroom:
1. What Makes a Bedroom?
Codes vary by state, but generally speaking, a bedroom needs two methods of egress. Most bedrooms accomplish that with a door and a window that’s large enough to climb through (or a basement bedroom may have a walkout). Additionally, “A bedroom should have a closet at least, to be counted as a bedroom in our county,” according to Jackie Patrick, a real estate agent in Cincinnati, Ohio. So before you start marketing your home, be sure you know any rules on bedroom designations that apply.
2. Can I Market a Room as a Bedroom If It Doesn’t Have a Closet?
Technically, yes. There is a difference between what counts as a bedroom for county tax purposes, and what you can get potential buyers to envision as a bedroom. So while having a closet is not required, it is still highly recommended. In the event that a bedroom does not have a closet, “my suggestion to my clients is to buy a wardrobe and put it in the room to make it a bedroom,” says Patrick.
3. Should I Stage a Small Room as a Bedroom or an Office?
“Offices don’t sell homes. Bedrooms sell homes,” says Patrick. You’re usually better off staging a room as a bedroom rather than an office. This is definitely the case in places like New York City, where bedrooms are at a premium, but it’s true of most parts of the country. “If a buyer wants an office, they will find a way to make a home office, even if it means turning the living room or dining room into an office. You can’t do that with a bedroom,” says Patrick. You could try staging a room as both, which is a viable strategy for showing potential buyers the flexibility they have. However, beware of making the space appear too cramped or cluttered. If you’re on the fence, make the space into a bedroom.
4. What Are Some Other Staging Ideas for a Tiny Bedroom?
“If you want buyers to see your tiny bedroom as being adequate for a bed, put a bed in there. This sounds simple, but it can make a big difference,” says Patrick. If you don’t want to buy a bed, buy a blow-up mattress. For an inexpensive solution, Patrick has even staged a tiny bedroom with plastic tubs (in the shape of a full-size bed) that are covered with a bedspread. “I wouldn’t necessarily recommend that in a really expensive house, but I just did that in a condo with a small bedroom, and it sold right away,” she says. You’re merely trying to show potential buyers that a full-size bed will fit in the space.
Other staging tricks of the trade, which also happen to be good decorating ideas, include using mirrors to make the space feel larger and making sure there’s plenty of light in the room to avoid the small, dingy, cramped feeling that dark rooms give off.
5. Will I Recoup My Investment If I Renovate a Small Bedroom to Make It Larger?
Projects such as bumping out a dormer in an attic bedroom might be worth it if you plan to live in the home and want more space in order to improve quality of life. However, you shouldn’t count on getting that investment back if you sell. While you may increase the value of your home, you may not be able to offset the costs of the renovation. “Put your money into renovating the kitchen and the bathroom, or even finishing the basement, and leave the bedroom alone,” says Patrick.
If you have a small bedroom, you may be wondering how to stage and market it. Use these tips to successfully transform the space, and show potential buyers that your tiny bedroom is an asset to your home. And if you’re ready to sell, make sure to check out the listing options available on Owners.com.
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