The One Garage Update That Can Help Sell Your House

published Aug 25, 2020
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Homes with garages usually have a leg up in the market compared to those that don’t. But is your garage looking a little disheveled? You’re certainly not alone.

Sure, purging and organizing your mountains of stuff will help big time if you’re putting your house on the market, but why not be strategic, too? Here’s the thing: Your garage can do double-duty, contributing precious usable space that buyers are clamoring for. There’s one garage update that can help sell your house in a flash—converting part (or all) of it into something else. Ahead, find four tips from real estate experts to help you elevate this utilitarian space and sell your house pronto.

Make it a workshop or crafting station

Having a space to carry out home improvement projects in the garage will appeal to buyers who love DIY, says Katie Walsh, a realtor at the Walsh Team in Tempe, Ariz.

“Hang tools on the wall in an organized way, and set up bulletin boards plus a writing desk or bench,” she suggests. 

Make sure your garage is comfortable, though, adds Lisa Mara Bry a realtor at KW Vermont and co-owner of Farm Home Co., a design-build company in Stowe.

“In New England, a heated garage is an added bonus; you can spend time tinkering in there without feeling like Jack Frost,” she says. 

Make it a family room

If you have a two-car garage, why not create zones to make the most of the space? You can devote half the room to set up a home gym with yoga mats, a wall mirror, and a few pieces of equipment. Pro tip: Keep a small fridge stocked with water. 

If gaming is your family’s jam, roll out a plush area rug, plop down a few comfy bean bag chairs and stage the ultimate fun zone for your kids. 

“You can attach a large TV to the wall,” adds Walsh. 

That TV area can do double-duty, too, says Walsh. For catching whatever game’s on, stage the space with framed sports jerseys, and stock that mini fridge with adult beverages. (A mini fridge will always come in handy.)

Buyers who can see themselves enjoying the space with their families are more likely to put your listing at the top of their list. 

Make some money from it

Consider whether your garage space makes sense as an additional apartment to be used as a rental unit, suggests Bry. Many buyers want extra cash, right?

“Income properties are a great way to offset costs while living in your home. If you have a budget to create a livable space inside your garage, it may be worth the investment to see long-term gains from having a rental unit, and you’re adding square footage to the footprint,” she says. 

If you live in a touristy area, you can list your unit on Airbnb, or find a long-term tenant, she adds. 

“People are living in tiny homes these days, so why not try converting that square footage into cash flow?”

Make it look neat

No matter how you decide to make your garage do double-duty, it’s important to show buyers that there’s loads of space for everything. Keep woodworking tools, craft supplies, and unfinished projects stashed away, suggests Bry.

“An added loft space with stairs or a ladder would be nice for creativity and storage,” she says. 

Walsh notes that investing in garage organizing systems that make use of vertical space work well to corral all the clutter.

“Set up additional storage on industrial shelves, attached cabinets, or hanging storage crates that you can park your car under,” she says. 

When buyers see your garage as added living or entertainment space, you’ll hopefully see the offers roll in.