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Trying to Sell Your Home? Tips for Preparing Your Home for the Market #6: The Garage

by: Sue Adler
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If your home has a garage or any other outdoor buildings, it is just as important for you to prepare them for the market as it is to prepare the interior of your home. While you probably will not spend as much time, money and effort on preparing these outdoor areas as you do your home, your garage and other outdoor buildings should not be ignored.

Get Things Organized

Unless you live on a ranch or area where livestock and other large animals are housed, the primary purpose of the garage and other outdoor buildings is to provide storage space. Therefore, it is important for you to showcase these buildings as being large enough to provide all of the storage that is necessary. If you have boxes and other items overflowing from the shelves or stacked in tall piles, it will make the building seem small, cramped and insufficient. If you have items that are in need of storage, resist the temptation to pile them up in the garage. Instead, rent a storage unit and place your items in there. It’s a great time to clear away the junk that has been collecting over the years. Gather loose items in groups like Christmas decorations, kids’ toys and garden accessories. Then see what you want to keep and discard the rest.  And, for a fee, you can get a dumpster delivered and picked up – compare prices; there are a lot of options out there. Store each remaining pile in a plastic container that’s clearly labeled. This way, your garage will appear more open and spacious. Also, it’s a great time to donate the unwanted items to charity.

You can further help make your garage and other outdoor buildings more appealing to potential buyers by installing shelving units and other garage storage and organization devices. Every home improvement store has at least one aisle that is dedicated to organizational systems designed for use in the garage. Shelving units, peg boards with hooks and other systems designed specifically for various types of tools and equipment will help give your garage a more organized and orderly appearance.  Hang brooms, rakes, lawn chairs and even bicycles.

Clean Up the Space

Garages and other living spaces can become dirty and stained quite easily. Everything from oil spills to muddy footprints can grind into the concrete and create an unattractive appearance. If you have outdoor animals who frequent these spaces, they may have also left behind messes that are offensive to the sense of smell. While no one expects a garage to smell fresh and clean in the same way you would expect from a house, it should certainly be free from offensive clutter and odors. With the help of a power washer, you can clean the floor and other areas in your garage to help get it looking and smelling ready for the market.

Let There be Light

Just as is the case with the inside of the home, potential buyers are interested in garages and other storage buildings that are well-lit. If electricity has already been run to the building, ensuring there is ample light should not add much to your expenses. If you do not currently have electricity running to the building, on the other hand, the cost associated with the project can be quite varied depending on your unique situation. Since working with electrical wiring can be tricky and because you need to be sure you are adhering to current codes and guidelines for your area, it is in your best interest to hire an experienced electrician to add lighting to your outdoor space if necessary.

Now your garage is ready for show.

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