If you are thinking of selling your home do not underestimate the value of a clean and de-cluttered garage. The garage is usually the last room on the homeowner’s mind, but a clean looking, well organized garage can be a strong selling point and should be carefully planned out. Yes, it is not as important as an updated kitchen or bathroom but a neat, well-organized, and clean garage tells a buyer that the home has been well maintained.
Many times, while working with buyers, I’ll find a house is immaculate but the garage is full of clutter, dirt, and cobwebs. This is a huge turnoff to buyers. If you need a place to store your boxes when moving it is best to get a pod. Buyers want to see the space in the garage and be able to visualize a parking space, work areas, and see if it needs repair. Having to dig thru boxes and clutter to see the walls is a huge turnoff. If you are downsizing your home now is the time to let go of unnecessary items.
When moving I highly recommend NOT using the garage as a storage unit. It should be as updated and clean as the rest of your home. It makes no sense to stage and de-clutter your house and leave the garage looking like a jungle. No one wants to park in there and trip over clutter.
Stress and Functionality
It is a positive thing for you and your family to eliminate garage visual clutter. Clutter adds stress and takes away from the functionality of the space. Who wants to open their garage door, hit a garden tool hanging on the wall and have it fall on your head or car?
Putting nails all over your garage and hanging everything imaginable on the wall is simply not functional or aesthetically pleasing. If the garbage cans are in the garage you may not be able to even get to them.
When you can’t get to your storage areas because you have to climb over clutter you tend to just drop things on the floor wherever you can find a spot.
Painting Garage Walls and Ceilings
If the paint is dark, dreary and dirty it will feel like a dungeon. What creepy things lurk in here? Has anyone gone digging for their camping gear or surf boards and found a family of critters living there? I want to be able to see if a snake got in the garage and has taken up residence in one of my work boots!
Adding a light paint color will give a clean appearance as well as reflect light so one can see better.
Choose the Right Garage Doors for your Home Style
In many homes the garage will be the first point of entry for potential buyers and having a new door is very important. Maybe your home is renovated and immaculate, but they will never know because they turned around in the driveway assuming the rest of the house must be unkempt as well. Consult with your local paint store about color so it will compliment the color of your house.
Make sure you pick an attractive door that adds to the charm and style of your home. Do you want windows and attractive hardware? Do you want a carriage house style, contemporary or colonial? This choice is very important, and it can make or break your curb appeal to potential buyers. No amount of real estate marketing can save the sale if your home looks unkempt.
I have seen many people renovate kitchens and put the old cabinets in the garage. This almost always looks hack and the buyer will request that you remove them prior to close.
It just adds more visual clutter and they are not useful for storing items that typically reside in a garage. It is best to purchase storage specifically made for garden tools, cleaning products, carpentry tools, coolers, beach items, bikes etc.
Garage Storage Organization and Overhead Garage Storage
Keep similar items stored together so you don’t waste time searching for them when needed. Consider overhead storage and neat looking containers when storing lawn equipment, car roof racks, sporting equipment, tires and more. Keep cleaning supplies and small tools hidden. Use labels for quick access.
Having overhead storage will free up space and protect your vehicle. Seasonal items like coolers, camping gear, Christmas decorations etc. can be stored in an overhead area or on shelves.
Floors – How to prepare an old concrete floor for paint
Old stained garage floors are a real turn off to a potential buyer. Be sure to do your research on the proper way to prepare the garage floor for the type of paint or epoxy you have chosen. You will need a clean oil free floor to begin this transformation. Your floor must not be dirty or damp if you choose to paint. Clean with mild acid to remove any grease and grime along with an etching process. Epoxy paint is commonly used on garage floors.
Your goal is to have a clean durable surface that will last for years and that is easy to maintain. Choose the right paint colors that will give a finished and organized appearance in neutral tones. Too many colors can be a visual distraction and add to a cluttered appearance.
There are many options for garage floor coverings so do your research before going down the wrong path!
One option is latex paint, which is inexpensive and easy to apply. There are also several styles of Epoxy paint to choose from. There are floor tile products and floor mats that are specifically manufactured for garage floors.
How important is a garage in raising your market value?
Before and after photos of a garage renovation in progress.
When buyers are looking for a home, most of them set their criteria to look only at homes with a garage, so this increases the pool of potential buyers. Buyers never say I want to look at homes without a garage. When the home is appraised, the appraisal will take into consideration whether it has a garage or not.
In the lower priced market, a garage may not be so important but in the $400K+ range they most certainly will demand a least a 2-3 car garage and it better be tidied up! Before you put your home on the market be sure to stage it and get it ready for sale.
One final tip, never convert your garage into living space unless you plan on building another garage somewhere else on your property. This can hurt your sale especially in the higher price range. There are many myths surrounding home pricing. I have seen clients add beautiful new 2 car garages to their homes for $50k and expect to get the price of the home increased by $50k. When appraisal time came they appraiser added $5k to the homes value! Before making these large investments seek the advice from a professional REALTOR®.
Cost Effective Exterior Improvements For a Family Home via Massachusetts Real Estate News
Home Remodeling: Top 5 Upgrades That Give Your Home The Most Value by Maria Mastromonlardo
Bathroom Remodeling – The Do’s and Dont’s by John Cunningham
Ugly Home Staging – Mistakes to Avoid When Selling by Michelle Gibson
Real estate, home improvement and garden information was provided by Eileen Anderson, recognized leader in her field. If you are looking to hire a top realtor , Eileen can be reached via email at Eileen@eileenandersonrealtor.com or by phone at 860-966-2112.
I am licensed for residential real estate sales in the state of Connecticut including but not limited to the following CT towns: Avon, Bloomfield, Burlington, Barkhamsted, Canton, Colebrook, Granby, East Granby, Hartland, Hartford, Suffield, Windsor, New Hartford, North Granby, Farmington, Newington, Litchfield, Simsbury, Suffield and West Hartford, CT.
“At the Heart of the Sale – Making a House a Home!”