Staging Your Home? Don't Forget the Garage

Staging Your Home? Don't Forget the Garage

There are so many ways to get around in Chicago, from bike lanes to CTA trains to walking paths like the world famous 606. But for many, the car is still the best way to get from one end of the city to the other.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that many potential buyers will care very deeply about one part of the home that many of us take for granted: the garage. Don’t let this space go to waste!

Here are three ideas for staging your Chicago garage for maximum impact:

1.) Don’t Just Shift the Clutter Around

One thing to keep in mind if the garage is part of your prospective buyers’ tour? Don’t just shift your clutter from inside the house out into the garage!

Having a massive pile of home junk in the center of the room is hardly a great way to show off the potential of the space to your buyer, who is likely more interested in seeing how a garage can be used to store a car or act as a work station than to take a look at the life-size Michael Jordan poster you took off of your wall and put out of sight.

Instead of just relocating your clutter from one part of your home to another, focus on the home decluttering hacks that your buyers will really love: Organize messy spaces like closets or bathrooms, and be ready to part with a lot of unnecessary detritus (or at least store it off-site).

Stage Your Garage

2.) Organize Your Space

As for the garage itself, you’ll want to really be ready to show it off. Instead of clogging it up with new junk, clean it and organize it! Wash your floors, dust for cobwebs, treat any moldy or wet spots, and consider giving the interior a fresh coat of paint, if necessary.

Think of the story you want your garage to tell: In general, we recommend making it all about the car. Do what needs to be done in order for you to be able to park your vehicle in the garage; seeing your car fit comfortably in the garage will be an encouraging sign to buyers who fret at the thought of finding street parking.

If you do choose to leave some of your garage’s natural inhabitants in place – sporting equipment, tools, supplies for the car – make sure they’re neatly organized. Hang your tools safely out of the way, organize that work bench, and consider storing away old balls, tennis rackets, or corn hole boards in boxes or on shelving. Optimize the space so that you can better show it off! Your buyers won’t see value in this extra space if you don’t make it appear valuable upfront.

3.) Safely Dispose of Hazardous Materials

While most of us don’t think of our garages as dangerous places, many of us do tend to store chemicals and materials in our garages that can be harmful if not handled and disposed of properly.

Before you and your real estate team begin showing the house, make sure that all of these questionable materials are safely handled and removed from the property. In addition to protecting the health and safety of you and your visitors, you’ll likely be eliminating some unsightly clutter and unwelcome odors at the same time.

So, what materials should you be on the lookout for? You’ll want to be rid of old paint (which can spoil and turn rancid after a few years), motor oil (which goes bad after about five years, and can cause massive groundwater contamination if not disposed of properly), propane tanks, old cleaning solutions, and e-waste, such as old computers, hard drives, and cell phones (which can cause a lot of damage to the environment if not recycled through the proper channels).

For more on safely getting rid of these and other hazardous materials, we recommend you check out this great blog post from our friends at J. Blanton Plumbing.

Have any questions about what it takes to get your home ready to sell? We’ve got answers! Drop the Real Group team a line today to talk strategy.

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Chicago, IL 60614

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