What You Need to Know About Garage Care to Sell a Home
There are a lot of tips and tricks when it comes to selling your home but garage care is often overlooked. If you are selling your home, garage care should be on your list of things to get done.
You may have heard a lot about how kitchens and bathrooms sell homes. While those two rooms are important, let’s face facts, a garage in poor condition is not doing you any favors when you are trying to sell. A little garage care can go a long way in ramping up a buyer’s interest.
If you are selling your home you likely have heard a lot about curb appeal. Curb appeal tips usually focus on landscaping and how to make your home more attractive from the “curb” or outside. If your garage is in the front of your property, as it is in many cases, consider garage care as part of improving your curb appeal.
Buyers often do drive-bys of the property before they ever make an appointment to see the property. When a potential buyer is doing a drive-by of your property will your garage make them keep on driving by without requesting a showing?
Often your garage is the first thing that buyers pull up to. A garage in bad shape that does not look cared for can easily scare buyers away. A little focused garage care can entice buyers into taking a deeper look at your property.
Everything Needs to Be Functional
Buyers can be forgiving when it comes to cosmetic imperfections especially in the garage. They can look at cosmetic issues as an opportunity to make changes to the garage, and personalize it. What they cannot get past is a lack of function. The first thing on your list of things to do in the garage should be to ensure that everything is functional.
At a minimum, you want to make sure that the garage doors are opening and closing without issue. If your garage doors are sticking the solution can be as simple as adding a little grease to the pully system. Of course, if those doors are in bad condition, replacement might be the best option.
You may be thinking that now is not the best time to invest in garage care, but the fact is not making the investment can hurt your chances for a quick sale. Besides, garage care is relatively inexpensive, especially if you can do part of the work yourself.
For example, you can call in the garage door company to make repairs or replace the garage doors, then paint, clean, and do other cosmetic things that need to be done as a DIY project. Of course, again, the most important thing you can do to improve your garage to get your home ready to sell is to ensure that everything is functional.
If your budget is tight, professional residential garage door repair may be able to rehab the doors that you currently have to save you some money. You won’t know what you are up against budget-wise until you call.
Garage Care On a Budget
If you are working with a tight budget calling in a professional garage door repair company may not be in that budget. You may have to do the repairs on your own. Luckily there are plenty of resources online that can help you to make repairs.
The easiest way to save money and make repairs to your garage door is to start with the basics. Depending on the type of garage door that you are working with will dictate the list of things to check. For example, overhead doors typically rely on a spring system that includes pulleys. Doors that swing open typically also have some sort of spring mechanism and hinges.
If your doors are not going up and down or they will not swing open, one of the first things you want to check is the springs. It is relatively easy to make garage door spring repair. In most cases, you simply replace the faulty spring.
In some cases, you do not even have to replace the spring, you just have to reattach it to its housing. The point is if you cannot afford to call in a professional, start with the smallest and least expensive part. You may be able to make the repairs for less than you think.
Wooden garage doors are actually easier to repair than metal doors. Unfortunately, when a metal door is rotted, banged up, or has other damage, you will have to replace the door. With wooden doors, you can replace sections of the door.
Make any repairs that you can to the garage doors then add a fresh coat of paint. You can get away with minor imperfections like rust spots on metal doors when you cover them with paint.
Keep in mind any garage care that you undertake can only improve the situation and prepare your garage for showings. Improving the function and the appearance of your garage even if you cannot get it to perfect will improve what buyers think of your home.
The Basics Of Garage Care
We already talked about how important function is. If you need a new garage door installation because your old doors just cannot be saved, bite the bullet and get it done. Then you can move on to the other things that we are going to list here.
What should be on your list of things to do for garage care? After functionality, cleanliness is a big deal. Garage spaces tend to get overcluttered with stuff that we cannot find another space for inside the house.
A cluttered garage looks smaller. The same way your agent has recommended to declutter your home to make it more sellable, you should be decluttering your garage. Here is a list of garage care recommendations:
- Declutter everything. Clear shelves, remove boxes, sweep it all out. If you need to rent a storage unit to store all your garage stuff to get it out of the way, do it.
- Deep clean your garage once everything is out. Removing those spider webs on the ceiling, and giving everything a once over with a rag will get your garage in sparkling condition.
- Paint. A fresh coat of paint will get rid of any lingering odors in the garage and really give the aesthetic a boost.
It can seem a little overwhelming to have to get the garage down to the bare bones, especially if you use your garage for storage, but it is well worth the effort. Enlist family and friends to help if you need to.
Once you have everything cleared out, then you can decide exactly how much more work you want to put into the garage. For example, do you want to stop at painting the garage or do you want to consider adding an epoxy floor to your garage care list?
Anything extra that you do once you have a highly functional garage that is clean is only going to add value to your home and ultimately attract more buyers. Of course, your budget will play a role in whether you decide to have custom garage floors or you just clean the floors really well.
Most buyers are not expecting great things out of a garage. They do not walk into a garage and expect to be impressed by the aesthetic, but if you could surprise them with a great aesthetic, of course, that would be a great selling point.
Getting Your Garage Sparkling Clean
Ideally, when a buyer comes for a showing your garage is going to look like a part of the house. That means it is going to sparkle because it looks so clean. Garage floors can really take a beating. Getting up stains can be a challenge but not if you use the right tools.
Most garage floors are made of cement. There are commercial cleaners that you can buy at any home improvement store that can be used to clean the garage floor. It does take some scrubbing and some work, but if you follow the directions, the floor will look as good as new.
Before you hit up the floor, open the garage doors and really take a look around. Garages can really be neglected when it comes to cleaning. Use a dust mop to grab all the spider webs in the corners of the room. Then roll up your sleeves and get to work on giving those garage doors a good cleaning. Clean any windows while you are at it.
Enough cannot be said about what a fresh coat of paint can do for your garage. It will instantly brighten the space and make it feel clean. Go with a lighter color to make the space feel larger.
While you are on your cleaning mission, be sure to clean the outside of the garage doors as well. You can use a commercial cleaner like the ones they use for high traffic commercial garage doors to make the process easier. If you have access to a pressure washer, even better. A pressure washer (you may want to rent one if you do not own one) can make lightweight of getting rid of all the grimy build up on your garage doors. You can also use the pressure washer to clean the driveway that leads up to the garage to really add some shine.
With a little elbow grease and the right cleaning aids, you can have your garage in top condition. It will look so good that you may rethink selling your house.
Taking Things Up A Notch
Let’s say that you want to take things up a notch with your garage care when you are getting ready to sell. There are some improvements that you can make that will attract those buyers that are interested in having a great garage space.
Here are some ideas for upgrading your garage and targeting buyers that have a great garage as a must-have on their list:
- Install an automatic garage door opener. If your garage is not equipped with an automatic opener, you may want to consider installing one. Automatic garage door openers are pretty standard in most newer homes.
- Consider adding a workspace to your garage. Any buyer that puts a garage as a necessity on their list of must-haves would love to have a workspace in their garage.
- Consider adding heating and cooling options. If your garage is not climate controlled you may want to consider adding some heat and cooling options to the space.
Even the smallest of garages can be upgraded to highly usable space. You may have to get creative in carving out sections for a work area, storage, and of course, for the car, but it can be done. There are plenty of online videos that will show you how to get more usable space out of your garage.
There are plenty of buyers that consider the condition of a garage as a very important part of their buying decision. Going above and beyond with your garage care when you are trying to sell your home can result in tipping the buying decision in your favor.
For small garage spaces, use vertical space. Instead of using floor shelving or cabinets consider hanging cabinetry and shelving on the walls. This will make the space appear larger and lure buyers with the idea that they will have plenty of storage space for their tools and more. Your garage does not have to be the Taj Mahal of garages but it should help buyers to envision the value of living in the house.
If You Are Selling Your Home Don’t Forget Your Garage
There are a lot of things to do to get your home ready to sell. Don’t forget garage care. For many buyers, the garage is just as important as the kitchen, bath, and rest of the house. Think of it this way, if a couple is looking for a home and one of those partners is unwavering in the need for a great garage, and yours is not, you just lost a buyer.