When selling a house, many homeowners are willing to go the extra mile to make their properties stand out from the competition. While sprucing up the kitchen and bathrooms certainly helps a house sell faster, the garage is important too, especially if you’re trying to appeal to male homebuyers.
While most people would agree that the wife is the principal decision maker in a home purchase, it’s important to impress the husband too. Many home sellers mistakenly store all their extra junk in the garage, close the garage door and put their house on the market, assuming that no one will ask to see the garage.
“Garages are an important selling feature in a home,” says expert home stager Debra Gould. “Unfortunately, most people fail to organize them properly in order to showcase the space and how it can be used.”
Your goal when decorating a house to sell--whether you do it yourself or hire a professional home stager to take over the job--is to help prospective buyers imagine living in a home. If your garage is full of clutter and looks too small, buyers will be turned off. Men especially like to see how much they can store in a garage and whether there’s a work space they can use. Most won’t be able to see past your junk, so don’t leave it there when trying to sell your home.
“One of the reasons people move is so they’ll have more space for their belongings, so if you give them the impression that you also have a storage problem by putting everything in the garage, they won’t be motivated to buy your property,” explains Gould. She offers the following home staging tips for the garage:
• Be ruthless about removing all clutter. Get rid of anything that doesn’t have to be there. Donate unwanted items to charity and put nonessential seasonal items in off-site storage.
• Create a “workshop area” by organizing tools on pegboards instead of leaving them lying around. Small expensive tools should be removed as these might disappear during an open house when visitors may not be closely supervised.
• Freestanding shelves can be added to help organize items and get them off the floor. You can take these with you when you move, so this is not a lost investment.
• It’s okay to keep the lawnmower, gardening tools and bicycles in the garage, but make sure they’re organized.
• Dispose of old paint cans so buyers won’t worry that this will become their problem if they buy the house.
If the floor and walls look bad, consider a fresh coat of paint. But don’t paint a concrete floor gray; instead, warm it up with a neutral. For example, a soft mushroom color works well. A complementary neutral can be used on the walls.
By following these tips, you can ensure that your cluttered garage doesn’t turn off potential buyers, and that it will catch the eye of men who are in the market for a new house. This can take a lot of time and effort, but a professional home stager can help relieve the burden of preparing your garage--and the rest of your home--for sale.