You’ve made updates to your kitchen. Made sure your bathrooms look fresh and clean. Decluttered EVERYTHING. Even dropped your price. But your house still isn’t selling. Could your garage make the difference?
It just might.
“When prospective buyers visit your for-sale home, they’re going to inspect every room in the house—even the garage,” said Sara Reese of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Beach Properties of Florida on RISMedia. “It’s not exactly a glamorous space, but if your garage is a mess, it’s going to send a bad signal and turn off visitors. Therefore, it’s helpful to spend a little time in your garage and make it look its best.”
Here are a few tips to get your garage in great shape.
Replacing your garage door
If your garage door works perfectly fine, replacing it may not be a high priority. But consider it curb appeal. Garage doors are large items, and they take up a lot of eye space. Especially if your garage faces the street, a dented, chipped, or dingy door could be stealing focus from the rest of your otherwise-put-together house.
“Remodeling Magazine found in its 2019 Cost vs. Value study that an upscale garage door replacement can actually net you a return of 97.5%,” said HomeLight. “A new garage door will run you between $300 to $1,500, depending upon the size and style, while installation typically costs between $500 and $800.”
If the garage makes a loud or creaky sound when it opens, spending a few hundred dollars to replace the garage door opener is a no-brainer.
Finishing out the garage
Finishing out your garage isn’t recommended if you’re looking for the best return on investment (ROI). While this type of upgrade may appeal to a niche buyer, most aren’t going to pay extra for it, and you likely won’t recoup your costs.
Just adding epoxy to the floor can cost between $1,400 and $3,000. You could do it yourself for about $100, but the process can be tricky and the results may reflect your novice status.
If you don’t want to go to the trouble and expense of epoxying the floors, make sure you get them nice and clean. “If your garage floors are cracked and covered in oil stains from cars gone by, it’s a good idea to give the floor a good pressure washing and repair those cracks (depending on how big or noticeable they are),” said Nexx. According to homewyse, power washing the garage floor will cost around $200.
After giving the garage a good cleaning, this is the No. 1 must-do to get the space in good shape. According to Kiplinger, 85% of buyers said they want garage storage.
You can easily spend thousands on dedicated garage storage systems that make the space look pristine, but creating spaces to neatly stash your stuff doesn’t have to be costly. A few large metal shelving units placed side by side will only cost you a few hundred dollars. These freestanding units are popular with buyers because the doors hide messes. And, when you put a few of them together, you can turn the top into a work surface.
Adding a garage
If you don’t have a garage and you’re in an area where most homes do, adding one might be on your mind. Your real estate agent should be able to advise you on whether or not this is a smart move, especially given the expense and expected ROI. “At a national level, home sellers can expect to recover close to 64.8% of their initial garage addition costs,” said Clever. “Let’s say that you invest $27,000 in adding a garage to your home, you may recover about $17,496 when you sell your home.”
Doing a garage conversion
Perhaps you’re thinking of converting your garage to living space. It is less expensive than adding on; According to Realtor.com, a garage renovation “comes in at $11,000 on average.”
While a conversion isn’t necessarily a recommended strategy if you’re looking to get your home sold right away because of the expense and the time involved, there are some instances where this might be a good move.
“Nearly 30% of shoppers rate a garage as one of the most important home features, just ahead of an updated kitchen and open floor plan. But “a ‘well-done’ garage conversion to living space can give you up to an 80% ROI.”
The decision of whether to go this route largely hinges on that expense, but also on the specific area in which your home is located. It’s best to talk with your real estate agent before dropping the hammer on your garage conversion. It could be that homes without garage in your area just don’t sell. Or, perhaps there is a growing trend toward multi-generational living locally that could inform your renovation and make your home especially desirable.