Helping Sellers Organize Their Garage before an Open House

 February 17, 2014

Garages are usually filled with dusty bikes, old tools, and random junk. To make matters worse, most homeowners forget to stage them before putting their homes on the market. They forget that the mess can drive away buyers. A recent study showed that 4 out of 5 realtors think that a messy garage makes a bad first impression. Help your sellers make a great first impression with these tips:

Tell Them to Declutter First

Most garages can be cleaned in a weekend. Tell sellers to set aside one weekend to declutter their garages. They should decide what to toss, what to donate, and what to store. If the items to be stored are many, they can rent storage units. It is important for homeowners to get as many things as they can out of their garages and focus on highlighting their largeness. They can enlist the services of organizing professionals or ask their family and friends for help. They should go through everything, even boxes they didn’t unpack when they moved in. Who knows, there might be a family heirloom in one.

Damaged Walls Should Be Fixed

Constant opening and closing of doors, shifts in foundation, external soil pressures, and other conditions can cause a garage to crack, bow, or leak. These damages can lead to costly repairs if they are not fixed. Sellers with damaged garages should consult professionals. Those whose garages have minor damages should carry out the necessary repairs.

Unsightly Items Should Be Removed

When decluttering, sellers must ensure they get rid of rusty, dirty, and old items. If they want to keep some of the items, they should put them in storage. They have to think of what buyers will look at. Just as they stage their interiors, they must organize their garages to please buyers.

Recommend Vertical Storage Spaces

A garage’s main function is to house cars. It should allow people to park cars without running into anything. A good way to create space is by using vertical and ceiling space and leaving the floor bare. Tell sellers to paint the walls, scrub the floor, and update cabinetry before organizing. They should tackle the dirt and grime and check the walls for old spider webs. In addition, they should sweep the floor and wipe things regularly to ensure the garage looks spotless.

Zones for Storage Are a Must

Storage zones not only make garages appear organized, they help homeowners to find items easily. They can hold similar items for easy accessibility. For instance, odd-shaped items like hoes and rakes can be hanged with hooks on the wall and awkwardly-shaped items can be put in overhead racks. Such racks are ideal for items that are not used often.

Shelves Should Be Used for Streamlining

Shelves have two major functions: they help homeowners to organize miscellaneous items and also show buyers how they can store their things. Many home improvement stores sell metal cabinets with doors which create a streamlined appearance. Those who prefer open shelves can store items in plastic containers that are neatly labeled. Open shelves are great but can be unappealing when cluttered.

Too many sellers declutter their homes and keep everything in the garage. Don’t let your clients fall into this category. While clutter may not reduce the value of a home, it can make a buyer see a home as less valuable.  Cars are big investments and buyers want to be sure they are getting the best homes for theirs. They see garages as extensions of their homes. Help your clients to stage their garages and impress buyers from the word go.


Ronique Gibson

By Ronique Gibson

Ronique Gibson is an Associate Architect and a LEED Accredited Professional, who has been in the design industry for over 13 years. She started her design blog in 2009 and today it has become a premier destination for helping homeowners with everyday lifestyle challenges. Her readers check in daily for help with their homes, DIY project ideas, recipes, crafts, and inspiration to beautify and enjoy their homes.