Thinking about putting your house on the market? Has your house been for sale for a few months with no serious offers? Whether your home is currently for sale or you plan on selling it shortly, you may want to take a good look at the current state of your garage interior.
While there are many tips for selling your home and attracting potential buyers, many people overlook how the interior of their garage looks. We will discuss how your garage interior may impact a possible sale and some tips to improve your chances of making the sale.
You’ve spent months repainting the interior and exterior of your home. You’ve updated appliances and minimized the clutter, all per your realtor’s suggestions. Your home is priced right, the pictures look great, and you’ve had lots of people look, but no serious offers. What’s going on?
While there may be many reasons as to why your “picture perfect” home may not be selling quickly, the biggest deterrent could be the garage interior. As strange as it may sound, the way your garage looks on the inside could make or break an important offer.
Even though the garage is typically not the main feature that people look at or care about when purchasing a home, a potential buyer is less likely to close on the deal if they aren’t completely happy with the garage, inside and out.
When selling your home, most people know the importance of decluttering to make it easier for potential buyers to visualize their own space in the home. The same idea should apply to the garage.
While you can put on a few coats of paint, replace the shingles on the roof of the garage, and even replace the garage door, it won’t help improve any changes that are needed on the garage interior. Consider the following tips as you work on making the inside of your garage more “sellable.”
As you begin to downsize in your home, avoid using your garage as a storage space, especially if your garage is already full of tools, sports equipment, bikes, and cars. Your goal should be to downsize on your whole property, not just in the house.
If you’re in need of storage space for items that you don’t want in the home while it’s on the market, rent out a storage unit or find a generous friend or family member who’s willing to hold on to your stuff for awhile.
Making your garage a storage space will make it even harder for potential buyers to get a real feel for how big the garage is and are likely to move onto other properties.
If you are not in a hurry and are using the opportunity to downsize your possessions permanently, consider having a yard sale. A sale provides the perfect chance to clean out the garage and make some money on a snowblower you don’t need or some bikes that your kids have outgrown.
Make it a rule that whatever doesn’t sell goes into storage or is donated to a secondhand store; don’t put it back in the garage.
A lot of garages, regardless of when they were built, have a bare bone and unfinished look. While this may not have been a dealbreaker for you when you bought your home, it may be for any potential buyers.
Did you replace sheetrock a few years back but never got around to painting? Did one of the kids break a window pane and you haven’t had the time to replace the glass? Take a look at the interior of your garage and determine what would make it look more complete. Need an unbiased eye? Ask a neighbor or friend for their opinion.
Even if you rarely park your vehicle in the garage, it’s important that the garage is uncluttered enough to fit at least one vehicle. Even if you have a tiny one stall garage, make sure that you have created enough space for a car.
As long as you’re putting in the effort to clean up the outside of your garage, why not clean up the interior, too? Sweep away cobwebs, get rid of stains on the concrete floor, and give everything a fresh coat of paint.
If the floor of your garage looks really rough and unattractive, you may want to consider painting the floors with a concrete stain or getting a little creative. Keep it clean and not too distracting.
We’ve all been in a garage that gets its only light from a single bulb hanging from the ceiling or the light on the garage door opener. Even if you don’t spend a lot of time in your garage, putting in some bright lights or even some motion sensor lights, might be a big plus for a potential buyer.
Not only will more light make the interior of your garage seem more spacious than it is, but it will also highlight all the hard work you’ve put into making it a better place.
Setting up organization stations in your garage is a worthy investment, even if you don’t plan on taking any of it with you when you move. Not only will installing shelves and cabinets give you a little extra storage space while you try to keep your garage clutter-free, but it will also be much more attractive to interested buyers.
Simple shelving that is easy to adjust is an excellent option for the garage interior. While you may be tempted to store everything you own on shelves, try only to showcase items that “make sense” to store in a garage such as a few basketballs, gardening tools, or other outdoor items.
Many homeowners store a variety of chemicals, from lawn fertilizer to paint thinner, in their garage. While it seems like the best place to store these kinds of things, you want to make sure that they are out of your garage as soon as people start looking at the property.
If you don’t have a place to store the hazardous items or still need to use them to finish up a housing project, keep them out of reach and preferably out of sight.
If you want to please potential buyers, you may want to consider adding a few more outlets in your garage. While your electrician is installing some extra outlets, it’s not a bad idea to have them see if any electrical upgrades are needed or see if they have any other suggestions.
Now that you’ve invested some time in making the interior of your garage a little more buyer-friendly, here are a few staging tips that might help boost a potential buyer’s interest in your home.
Ideally, there should be no appliances like a washer, dryer, or a chest freezer in your garage but sometimes you don’t have any other option but to keep them there. Just like the rest of your garage, keep appliances dust-free and clean. Even an outdated refrigerator will look more appealing if its clean than if you let it collect dust.
If you have a washing machine and dryer in your garage, you’ll have to do a little work to make it appealing to potential buyers. One of the best things that you can do is create a space just for your washer and dryer (nothing else). Make space look intentional rather than “our house is too small to keep a washer and dryer.”
The appliances should be clean and adequate shelving should also be available if possible.
While we stated the importance of making sure that you can park a vehicle in your garage (for creating space), you should avoid parking your cars in the garage when you have a showing. Rather than cluttering your driveway and garage with multiple vehicles, park your car on the street or see if your neighbor will allow you to park in his or her driveway for a few hours.
Keeping your garage free of clutter, including vehicles, will maximize the space and allow potential buyers to envision the garage as their own.