Q. Does it matter how the interior of my garage looks when it’s time to sell?
A. Although you normally may not give it a second thought, the appearance of your garage matters when your home is on the market.
“Even though a garage isn’t living space, it’s still an extension of the home,” said Jeannette Bryant, a sales associate at Weichert Realtors in Union, N.J. “If you come out of a beautiful home and go into a garage that’s a mess, it might cause a buyer to have second thoughts. It can be hard for someone to look beyond your clutter and see their own space.”
Ms. Bryant recommended staging the garage the way many people stage a living room before a sale.
“It needs to be organized and clean,” she said. “It should be painted, and things should be neatly stacked on shelves,” not strewn about or piled up in a haphazard fashion.
It is often relatively easy to make a big difference in the appearance of a garage, because it is usually “the remaining ugly duckling of the home,” said Jaime Dietenhofer, president of Garage Envy, a Los Angeles garage remodeling company.
Neglecting the space is a mistake, he advised.
“A standard garage is 400 square feet, and typically that’s the largest room of the house,” he said. “To use it as just a catchall space is such a waste.”
A basic garage upgrade, in his view, would involve maximizing storage space with cabinets and wall attachments.
“You want to have cubic storage to put the bins away, and then have the ability to hang bikes and ladders,” he said. “That gets things off the floor.”
If your garage has high ceilings, it is also possible to create additional storage room overhead, he noted, with special attachments that suspend items.
To make a garage even more inviting, he added, you could consider finishing any visible stud walls with drywall and paint, and then taming the concrete floor by grinding and sealing it, applying a polyurea or polyaspartic coating or adding interlocking PVC tiles.
“Then you can walk in the garage in your socks rather than your work boots,” he said.
Of course, there are also much more elaborate options. Mr. Dietenhofer said his company has helped transform garages into actual living spaces, including playrooms, hobby workshops, offices and home theaters.
But for the purpose of selling, Ms. Bryant suggested that you need not go that far. At the end of the day, she said, “we’re trying to sell the home, not the garage.” Therefore, the main objective is to ensure that the garage is clean, tidy and welcoming enough that it doesn’t detract from your home’s other positive attributes.
By Tim McKeough
Home – Where your story begins…
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