The Hidden Value Of Hidden Places
Organized, clean, well-lit basements, boiler rooms, garages, attics, storage areas & even crawl spaces will add value to your home.
While it is true that no one ever bought a home just because it had a nice boiler room or a nice crawl space, it is not uncommon for a buyer to completely lose interest in a home because those areas looked unattractive or problematic.
FACT: Areas perceived as problems are deal killers.
Buyer interest is certainly aroused by attractive kitchens and bathrooms but that interest can be quickly lost when they visit the utility areas of the home.
These unglamorous hidden areas are where deals die. These are the areas where a buyer’s dad or friend is going to find reasons to criticize the home.
Consequently, when preparing a home for sale, devote effort to making the laundry rooms, basements, crawl spaces, attics, boiler/utility rooms, closets/storage areas & garages as attractive as possible.
These forgotten areas must be as impressive as the rest of the house - brightly lit, clean, organized & pristine.
They should be perceived as inviting, functional areas of the home. A perception that these areas are useful, well-maintained and problem-free will add value and appeal to the home.
They should not appear as neglected after-thoughts. Conditions that make these areas appear useless & neglected (or smell as if they are neglected) will create the impression that a chronic problem exists that could possibly be expensive to correct.
Feature these areas as valuable assets of the home. Do NOT allow them to be perceived as expensive problems.
Money spent organizing, cleaning & brightening basements and garages is money well spent.
NOTE: If you feel it’s too much trouble to make these areas appear attractive & useful, a buyer will probably feel the same way and move on to a different house.
How To Glamorize The Unglamorous
1. Illuminate (Lighting) - Brand new fluorescent light fixtures (controlled by wall switches) should be installed in place of a single bulb porcelain light fixture controlled by a pull chain.
2. Organize - Unclutter and organize. Demonstrate the functionality of these areas (as useful storage areas). Store items in clear plastic tubs on sturdy shelving. Hang tools (shovels, rakes & brooms) on the walls.
3. Clean & Spit Shine - Clean, vacuum and scrub. Remove stains from the floors. Clean & shine the equipment (boiler/furnace and water heater). The equipment may be old but you want to send a message that it has been well maintained.
4. Paint - If the walls in these areas are paintable, paint them white.
5. Safety - Eliminate extension cords, open electrical boxes and exposed wiring. Stairs to attics & basements should be secure & in good repair. Move items away from the boiler/furnace. Install smoke alarms & CO detectors in the boiler room.
6. Dry & deodorize - Remedy any conditions that create odors. Eliminate water infiltration & leaks. Improve ventilation.
7. Sanitize - Sanitize the areas using cleanser and/or bleach. Eliminate environmental concerns (i.e. asbestos, mold & mildew).
ADDITIONAL HOME STAGING ARTICLES