While many people agree the wife is the principal decision maker when a couple buys a house, it’s important to stage a home to appeal to husbands too. Home staging expert Debra Gould, The Staging Diva®, shares tips for decorating the garage to help a home sell in today’s real estate market.
Garage helps build wow factor for male home buyers
Home sellers often assume that as long as their house is clean it’s ready to sell. But it takes much more than that to stand out, especially in a slow real estate market. While attractive kitchens and bathrooms certainly help a house sell (because they’re the most expensive rooms to renovate), the garage is important too, especially if you’re trying to appeal to male home buyers.
While most people would agree the wife is the principal decision maker in a home purchase, it’s important to wow husbands too. Many home sellers mistakenly assume they can store all their extra junk in the garage, close the garage door and then hope no one notices or cares when they put their house on the market.
“Garages are an important selling feature in a home,” says expert home stager, Debra Gould, “unfortunately most people fail to organize them properly to showcase the space and how it can be used.” Gould, who created the Staging Diva® Home Staging Business Training Program after running her own successful home staging business adds, “Your goal when decorating a house to sell— whether you do it yourself or hire a professional home stager to take over the job— is to help prospective buyers imagine their life in a home. If your garage is full of clutter and looks too small, buyers will be turned off. Men especially like to see how much stuff they can store in a garage and whether there’s a work space for them too. Most won’t be able to see past your junk, so don’t leave it there when trying to sell your home.”
The Staging Diva® says, “One of the reasons people move is to have more space for their stuff, so don’t show them you’re having the same problem by putting everything in the garage, or they won’t be motivated to buy your property.” She offers the following home staging tips for the garage:
- Be ruthless about removing all clutter. Get rid of anything that doesn’t have to be there. Home sellers can donate unwanted items to charity and put non-essential seasonal items into off-site storage.
- Create a “workshop area” by organizing tools on pegboards instead of leaving them lying around. Small expensive tools should be removed as these might disappear during an open house when visitors may not be so closely supervised.
- Free standing shelves can be added to help organize items and get them off the floor. This is not a lost investment as shelving that is not attached to walls, or cabinets that are not built in, can be taken along to the home seller’s next house when they move.
- Home sellers can keep shovels, the lawnmower, gardening tools and bicycles in the garage but make sure they’re organized.
- Dispose of old paint cans so that buyers won’t worry this will be their problem if they buy the house.
If the floor and walls look bad, consider a fresh coat of paint. But don’t paint a concrete floor gray, warm it up with a neutral, for example a soft mushroom color works well. A complementary neutral can be used on the walls.
For more home staging tips, check out Debra Gould’s Staging Diva® Ultimate Design Guide: Home Staging Tips, Tricks and Floor Plans. Written for home stagers, it explains how to stage every space in a home and includes tons of photographs and floor plans from The Staging Diva’s own home staging projects to illustrate all the design concepts.