By Tim Ohlrich
Is the garage interior an important part of your home when you list it for sale, or is this a safe area to stash everything as you de-clutter? The truth is, your garage, including its interior, matters. 86% of home-buyers say that the garage plays a “very important” role in their decision making.
When selling a house, the garage needs to be much more than just an afterthought. In the average house, the garage takes up around 400 square feet of space, and even more if it is a three- or four-car garage. This makes it, easily, the largest “room” in the house. If you want to stage your home, you need to stage all of it — including the garage. Here are some tips to ensure that the garage does not wreck the sale of your home.
1. Get Organized
You know the hours you spend organizing your living room so it shows perfectly? You need to tackle these same steps in the garage as well. Clear out clutter, pack away items you won’t need until you move, give away or sell unwanted items, and make the space look large and spacious. If it has become a catchall, you will need to spend a little extra time.
2. Clear the Floor
Have you forgotten what the floor of your garage looks like because of all the bikes, scooters and toolboxes cluttering it up? Use storage, hooks and bins to clear the floor. Even bikes and ladders (items you normally would store on the floor) should be stored up and out of the way.
If you’re having trouble clearing the floor, consider building up. If the garage has high ceilings, create overhead storage that goes above your vehicles. You can stash a lot here, even some of the items you de-cluttered from other rooms of your home, without compromising the look of the garage.
Once the floor is cleared, take a good, hard look at it. Does it need to be re-finished? You can try to clean the concrete, but if too many stains from years of cars parked on the space have attacked the floor, you may need to grind it down and seal it to start over. Another option is to add PVC tiles, which can still have cars parked on them, but are easier to clean.
3. Finish the Walls
A garage is a functional space, but that doesn’t mean that it needs to look thrown together. Add some drywall and a coat of paint to the stud walls to dress up the space a bit. You’ll be surprised at the difference this can make in the overall look of the space.
If the walls are already finished, but look dingy, give them a fresh coat of paint. You can even install slat board on the walls to give yourself an easy storage option and a finished look to the space. Above all, make sure the walls look clean and fresh.
4. Show the Function of the Space
Does your garage have room for a workspace and your car? Then show this off! Make the space look as functional as possible, while keeping it tidy, to show potential buyers just what they are buying.
5. Don’t Neglect the Door
As you are going through the work to stage your garage, don’t neglect its door. You’ve probably already looked at the exterior of the garage door, but make sure that the interior is attractive and functional. As you are inspecting the door, make sure the garage door opener is fully operational. Your potential buyers are likely to try it, so make sure it will work when they do. Clean and lubricate the moving parts so you don’t have any unexpected problems.
6. Consider the Lighting
You may not use your garage for much other than storage, but your potential buyer may be eyeing it for a man cave. Make sure it has enough lighting, and that the light bulbs are fresh. A bright, welcoming space may be exactly what the buyer is looking for.
Remember, your goal is to help your house shine, and that means all of it, not just the inside. Take some time to set up and stage your garage, and it will not hinder your home’s sale. It’s just as much a part of the home as the rest of it, so give the garage a little attention in the home-selling process.
Justin White currently serves as Marketing Director for Garage Door Repair, LLC, which proudly serves the greater Washington DC area, as well as Maryland, Virginia, Florida, and Pennsylvania with door maintenance, installation and maintenance services.
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