When you’re thinking about putting your house up for sale, you can’t just hang out a For Sale sign, let people stroll through an open house and expect a great offer or incite a bidding war. Even though the current real estate market is overheated, the trend toward timed offers and increasingly savvy buyers combined with the popularity of interior design and home makeover shows have created new challenges to attract buyers willing to go the distance.
Houses are now staged, often by professional companies that remove your personal effects and replace them with stylish home furnishings and décor. Home staging, or fluffing as it’s sometimes known in the industry, might also include upgrading flooring, lighting and painting to give your home a fresh, new look. Since curb appeal is important, it’s not uncommon for agents to suggest some minor landscaping or at the very least putting out a large planter with flowers.
Generally speaking, when showing houses, real estate agents don’t spend much time in the garage mainly because they’re usually a mess. That’s unfortunate since a garage is another asset that adds value to your home. A clean, tidy garage with well-organized storage provides another feature for agents to point out to their clients. Not only does it highlight useful storage solutions, it’s also a place to show a home’s personality, utility and suitability for potential buyers.
While “garage staging” isn’t an industry standard yet, I have been called in to install slatwall and flooring by a contractor who was finishing a house on the Bridle Path. In addition to setting up a system for organizing the garage, I supplied bikes, golf clubs, tennis racquets and gardening tools to make it look authentic so that prospective buyers could envision how the space might work for their needs.
When you’re considering minor upgrades to make your home market-ready, don’t forget about the garage. It can be so much more than the place to stow packed boxes and Rubbermaid bins before your move and really showcase the flexibility and livability of the house.
One of the more popular upgrades we do is creating customized overhead storage shelves. Suspended from the ceiling the shelves create a half storey and increase the storage space footprint for items like snow tires and seasonal decorations that are only accessed once or twice a year. We can also paint and install slatwall, which can be outfitted with cam lock hooks to hang everything from shovels, rakes and power tools to skis and bikes. Flooring is another easy option. Unlike concrete, which soaks up oil and shows other stains, our low-VOC polyaspartic floors don’t absorb liquids and can be washed with soap and water. Plus, depending on the complexity, the renovation can usually be done in two days.
Buyers are critics. While they’re looking for reasons to buy your house, they’re also considering reasons not to buy it. One way to ensure good reviews is to put everything in its place. A garage upgrade is a cost effective, efficient way to increase the value of your property before you sell it.