In most areas of the country, the real estate market has been going through tough times in recent years. Home values have been down overall, with values plunging to record lows in some regions. So if you’re facing the sale of your home, you need every advantage you can get to assure that you get the best possible value.
That, of course, includes making certain that your home is in tip-top condition and looking its best. That’s not news to anybody; it’s simple common sense. But many homeowners neglect a key asset of their home during the pre-sale prettification of their property: the garage.
Gussying up your home to get it ready for market is called ‘staging’ in real estate speak. It’s an important process that helps your home present its best face to prospective buyers. And failing to include your garage in the staging process is a critical mistake, because garages have become more important to more people than ever before.
According the National Association of Realtors in their 2013 Profile of Buyers’ Home Feature Preferences, a neat and orderly garage is high on the list of features that help to sell a home.
Here are some key areas to focus upon when staging your garage during a pre-sell prep:
• Convert Clutter into Storage Space. If your garage is typical, it’s probably strewn hither and yon with lots of ‘stuff’ that’s accumulated over the years. Sort through all the clutter and discard anything that you don’t truly want to keep. (You’ll have to do that anyway if you’re going to move, right?). If the clutter chaos in your garage is daunting, consider hiring professional help to get the clutter cleared quickly and easily. (None better than TLC’s professional garage makeover crews!)
The simple act of reducing the clutter in your garage will make it look so much more inviting and spacious to prospective buyers. And again, it’s something you’ll have to do anyway when you move. So why not do it before the sale, when it will do you the most good?
• Install Storage Systems. Once you’ve cleared the clutter as much as possible, consider taking the next step in making your garage look organized and spacious by installing some storage systems. There are many options to choose from, including wall-mounted storage systems of hooks, baskets and bins. (We recommend the StoreWALL system.)
• Floor Finishing. You’ve made great progress so far. You’ve converted your garage from a stuff-filled chaotic mess into a wide-open space offering massive amounts of wall-mounted storage.
But what about that ugly, bare concrete floor? Not exactly a turn-on for prospective buyers. Consider having your garage floor finished with a quality coating. (We recommend polyaspartic polyurea – ask us about it.) A finished garage floor will offer a quantum improvement in the appearance of your garage in the eyes of prospective buyers.
• Increased Interior Lighting. Is the interior lighting in your garage rather feeble? A dim and dingy interior will do nothing to impress prospective buyers. And a bright, cheery, well-lit interior will impress greatly. Even replacing a single bulb with a fluorescent strip can offer a massive improvement.
• Fresh Paint. Your garage has likely seen more than its share of abuse over the years, resulting in lots of dings, scuffs and scrapes. It will be worth the time and cost to repair any damaged areas on the wall and ceiling, and to apply a fresh coat of paint over all. Combined with your finished floor, your garage will end up looking even better than new.
• Don’t Forget the Door. All the effort that you’ve put into sprucing up the interior of your garage will be overshadowed by a garage door that creaks, rattles and groans as it opens and closes. Be sure that your garage door opener is well lubed and working smoothly and properly, and that the door travels smoothly and quietly in its tracks.
Put Your Garage Center-Stage…
Selling your home is a major undertaking, especially given the state of the market in recent years. It’s important to capitalize upon every possible advantage that you can leverage to help sell your home faster, easier and for a better price.
A clean, attractive, well-ordered garage is a major plus in the eyes of most prospective homeowners – just as it will be for you when you shop for your next home. Giving your garage its fair share of TLC during the staging process will help you to proceed smoothly through the selling of your home and into the next stage of your life.