Learn what en suite means in real estate listings—and how some en suite bathrooms can give your home’s value a huge boost.
If you’re in the market for a new home, you’ve likely come across the phrase en suite in your hunt. Typically referring to bathrooms, this term—made common by the British and stemming from the French ensuite, which literally means afterward—refers to how a bathroom adjoining a bedroom creates a suite and is often used to highlight the convenience (not to mention additional privacy) of having a bedroom with an attached bathroom. But does the term en suite have other applications? And what does the presence of an en suite (or lack thereof) mean for resale? We turned to a few real estate experts to weigh in.
The Definition of En Suite
“Whether it’s used as a noun, an adverb, or an adjective, in a house the term ‘en suite’ refers to a room or area that is adjacent and connected to a bedroom,” says Laura Bierman, an interior design consultant at YouthfulHome.com, a service that helps connect homeowners to home professionals in their region. “The term is used almost exclusively to refer to a connecting bathroom.”
Bierman says using this term for any use other than a bathroom can cause confusion. However, some listings might also refer to en suite laundry, office space, or seating areas in the primary bedroom, meaning those spaces are connected to the bedroom.
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How En Suite Features Affect Resale
“I’m from Cleveland, Ohio, where we have a lot of homes that are built in the 1890s, so the concept of ensuite just isn’t there,” says Kristina Morales, realtor at eXp Realty. “That’s actually a con for a lot of people, because that’s just not how today’s family functions.”
Instead, many older homes have a second floor where all bedrooms share a single hallway bathroom. If you’re buying a home that describes a bathroom as a primary one, it doesn’t necessarily mean that bathroom is en suite.
“Buyers really prefer that because it turns into a suite and it really has a luxe feel,” says Beatrice de Jong, broker and consumer trends expert at Opendoor, a home-buying service. “That being said, you want to have at least one standalone bathroom in the house, so when you have guests come over, you aren’t having to walk them through your bedroom to get to the only bathroom in the home.”
En Suite Maintenance
“Beyond keeping your bathroom clean and tidy, it’s especially important to make sure it’s dry to keep mold and mildew out of the bathroom, as well as the room it’s connected to,” says Bailey Carson, a home care expert at home services finder Angi.
Carson suggests turning the exhaust fan on or opening a window each time you take a shower. Do this for the duration of the shower and for about 10 to 20 minutes afterwards to remove moisture.
And on days you don’t shower, it’s smart to turn the fan on for a few minutes anyway.
“If you don’t have an exhaust fan, you can open a bathroom window or use a portable fan to push moisture out, but it is definitely worth calling in a pro to install an exhaust fan to be able to take the best care of the en suite,” Carson says.
Boosting Home Value with En Suite Features
“Bathrooms are like kitchens, they really kind of sell homes,” de Jong says. “[They are] the first place that people think of when they’re doing a big remodel [or] facelift on the home. So this is a great thing to do if you have the option to open up the bedroom and include the bathroom in that space.”
If adding one truly isn’t an option (or you already have one), make sure all the bathrooms—including the en suite—are updated. A 2022 survey by Opendoor shows that outdated bathrooms were a turnoff for 66% of home buyers.
Still, that en suite might be key to a quick, high-value sale.
“It is unusual for a modern home to not have an en suite bathroom, particularly in the main bedroom,” Bierman says. “A home without this feature will probably not be valued as highly as one that does. A home with an en suite in the main bedroom will have a higher resale value than one that does not.”
“If en suites are part of every bedroom, it will either increase the total square footage of the house or take away available space for other rooms, such as a family room,” Bierman says. “A solution is to have one bathroom that serves the second and third bedrooms—a ‘Jack and Jill’ bathroom.”