“The Garage” – Yes it is important!

Think about it, when you are driving around and you see an open garage you look in!  Everyone, yes everyone, is curious what's in that garage.  What kind of cars and toys (kids and big-kid toys) are in the garage, and is it organized.  When getting your house ready for the real estate market you must get the garage ready too.  I have talked about curb appeal in other blog posts and anything in the driveway and in the garage needs to be included.  It should not be looked at as a “if we get to it” project.  It is a MUST DO!

Nowadays most people, especially in the Appleton and Fox Cities area, want a garage.  Even if they do not have multiple cars, they need…want the space for storage.  There is never too much outside space for storing items, especially in the cooler months when you are not using your outdoor furniture or bbq grill, and you want to store these things away.  It is important to show how many stalls are in the garage even if they are not each filled with a car or truck.  Sometimes you can tell by the outside of the garage if it's a 2 or 3 car garage, but not as easy to tell if it is a 2 ½ or 3 ½ car garage until you can see inside the space.  Based on the layout, I highly suggest having your cars next to each other with ample space between each vehicle and using any additional space for lawn equipment, toys, bikes etc., things that cannot be up out of the way.  That way when your garage is open, people coming past seeing the For Sale sign can easily see how clean and organized it is (which makes it look bigger) and can envision their items in that space.

Get Organized!

To first organize the space, you should take a quick look at the larger items and evaluate if these items are worth the space.  Are these items that are being used, or should they be sold or donated?  You also might want to consider storing any larger items at another location, such as a friend’s home or even using a temporary storage area.  The last thing you want is showing a crowded garage, or having overflow items from the house sitting in the garage.  This screams “Not enough room in the house”! 

It is quite easy and inexpensive to find organizational wall/pegboard units or purchase heavy-duty hooks to store all your gardening equipment, camping or sporting equipment, bikes, etc., up out of the way. I highly recommend that anything that can be easily organized on the wall be moved from the valuable garage floor space and up out of the way.  Use cabinets, wall, or ceiling racks to organize items in covered storage containers.   

Ok, so you have the “stuff” in the garage organized but here are other garage maintenance projects to do. 

Make sure the garage door opener is working, outside keypad (if you have one) is in working order, and garage doors are looking clean (both sides) and looking up-to-date.  If your garage door is looking old and tired, think about repairing, painting, or even replacing.

Get that shop vacuum out and dust the walls and corners cleaning up those bugs and spiderwebs up and down in all the corners.  Don’t forget to vacuum by any lights, even the garage door opener light, as these areas attract bugs at night.  This is a good time to look at replacing any dirty old lightbulbs and even adding any additional lighting to make the space more appealing.  Now on to the garage floor.  Grab a couple of old rags and remove any oil stains off the floor.  Using cat litter or baking soda will help too.  Just put some on any oil stains and leave it overnight.  Using a heavy duty broom sweep to it up. Use bleach soaked on it for about an hour, a brush, and some elbow grease to reduce the staining.  Easy!  If your floor is really bad you may want to consider a floor cover.  You also can go to your local DIY store for the proper garage floor painting supplies/epoxy floor coating.

Remember, first impressions do make a difference and it takes very little work to have your garage organized and looking clean.  The garage is an extension of the house and 9 out of 10 people want a garage with their home purchase.  SO, it is a very important part of making the sale.  So make sure you highlight it in the best possible way!