Staging FAQ's- Why Do I Have to Worry About the Garage?

Home Stager with Room Service Home Staging

Staging FAQ’s- Why do I have to worry about the garage?

I can always see the look of guilt and embarrassment on a seller’s face when we begin Garageto approach the garage.   The next words are usually:

“It’s just the garage… how important can it be?!”

Well.. guess what.. IT IS!

Living in South Florida, where there are no basements, storage or perceived storage can become an important factor for buyers.  

Here’s why the condition of your garage is important…

1.  Buyers need to see it.

Just as the rest of your living space, buyers need to see your space.   We can tell them that it’s a garageand they know it is, but if they walk in and it’s piled high with boxes, tools and everything else, imagination goes out the door.

2. Are you sure it’s a 2 car garage?

I can tell you the garage will hold 2 cars, and the listing can say it’s a 2 car garage, but I’ve honestly seen some garages that looked questionable to me.  

This is especially true if you have shelves built along the sides.  If those are packed and one half of the garage is full of boxes, it can be hard for a buyer to imagine another car in there.

garage3. A stuffed garage can signal a lack of storage space in the house as well as the garage.

I’ve seen homes with clothes racks alongside workout equipment, which is next to their holiday decorations.

4.  Don’t hide what is a key selling point.

You may care only about the kitchenbut there are many out there who would value a good sized garage.  

What you can do?

Clean, Repair, Replace?

What’s good for the inside still applies to your garage.  Don’t distract a buyer with dirty shelves or oil stains on the garage floor.

-Sweep and wash your floors.  

-Pack it up, throw it out and organize it.  

-Get rid of spider webs and bugs.  

-If you have windows in the garage, clean them

-Air it out.  Garages are like any other room in your house.  Don’t let an odor become the big distraction.

- If you still have too much, then rent some  external storage space.

-Make sure you have good lighting so your buyers can see it.

Garages DO matter when selling your house!



Re-Blogged 4 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Joanna Cohlan 01/26/2014 10:32 PM
  2. Roy Kelley 01/27/2014 12:15 AM
  3. Janice Ankrett 01/27/2014 01:27 AM
  4. Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain 01/27/2014 11:00 AM
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


Excellent point, garages in luxury homes are becoming taj mahals in some instances, complete with turn stiles, lighting etcetera.  A

Jan 27, 2014 04:58 AM #28
Bette Gottwald
UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA - Mechanicsburg, PA
"Bet"on Central PA Real Estate!

Great advice Kathy.  My Sellers are advised their garage is not a storage unit, and it should be just as appeaing as other rooms in the house.  Buyers need to be able to "vision" having their cars parked in the garage

Jan 27, 2014 07:13 AM #29
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Scott- it's exactly where my husband heads.

BLiz- in our home in Leesburg, we had a 3 car garagebut I could never get into ours unless I folded both side mirrors back.   It would have been better had the builder designed a 2-1. 

Kristin- We are quick to focus on the kitchen and master bath area with good reasonbut we forget that there are other key selling points.  We sold our first house in Florida to a man who was only interested in our long seawall.

Rebecca- oh I can't wait to see photos!!!  This is good motivation to get it all cleaned up.

Rick- So many of the homes I look at are exactly like that.  Everything gets put into the garage.

Gary- I've seen a few but no, not mine. 

Janice- people don't realize that renting a storage unit is only for the month or two while the house is on the market.  

Steven- Oh I have one except it has about 6 kayaks, several RC airplanes and assorted fishing stuff. 

Pamela- I think that everything being equal, it can help a property move to the top of the list. 

Patty- They're going to have to pack it up when they move anyway, so why not now!

Lisa- that's exactly what people think!!

Debbie- it all leaves an impression on the buyer!

Connie- that they do!  When we looked at houses in VA that had basements, my husband was ecstatic!

Alexandra- I remember when we bought a boat from a gentleman in Texas.  You could have served dinner in his garage it was so clean. 

Bette- that's just it.  Some of these garages are questionable as to how many cars they can hold.


Jan 27, 2014 08:42 AM #30
Cathy Wolters
Wolters Realty & Property Management Company - Cocoa, FL
Your Brevard County Property Management Expert

Great post, the garage so very important to some people.  My husband being one of them.  The last house we bought had to have a three car garage and had to have a minimum square feet.  He got what he wanted.  

Jan 27, 2014 08:43 AM #31
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Kathy, this very conversation almost always takes place when I list a home, I've NEVER..EVER walked into a garage that actually looked like a garage. Perhaps it's because we don't have basements?? Suggested!

Jan 27, 2014 09:12 AM #32
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy up here in New England most houses have basements but the condition of the garage is still important for all the same reasons you gave for a house without a basement.

Jan 27, 2014 10:17 AM #33
Barbara Altieri
Kinard Realty Group - RealtyQuest Team, Fairfield and New Haven County CT Real Estate - Shelton, CT
REALTOR-Fairfield County CT Homes/Condos For Sale

Kathy -- Yes, garages DO matter, especially when storage space is not generous in the house.... and even if there is a huge basement and attic, a clean and tidy garage always makes a good impression.

Jan 27, 2014 10:24 AM #34
Kathleen Daniels
KD Realty - 408.972.1822 - San Jose, CA
San Jose Homes for Sale-Probate & Trust Specialist

Kathy, the only garages I see empty in my area are those that are vacant. Even then sometimes the garage is filled with "crapola."  I love to see a clean and empty garage.

Jan 27, 2014 10:36 AM #35
Fred Griffin, on leave of absence from ActiveRain
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

Empty the garage, seal and paint the floor, make it light and bright

Jan 27, 2014 10:53 AM #36
Praful Thakkar
LAER Realty Partners - Andover, MA
Andover, MA: Andover Luxury Homes For Sale

Kathy, it's everywhere! We in MA do have basements, but when it comes to garage, the sellers still use it at storage room! And that is no good!

Jan 27, 2014 01:59 PM #37
Eric Galuppo
Real Estate Rev - More Leads Means More Revenue

It’s just the garage.. How important can it be?


Wow! But it's one of my favorite places at home. Oh, maybe I just love my car so much so I want it to have a clean and well maintained place to keep.

Jan 27, 2014 05:44 PM #38
Kenneth Cole
Weichert Realtors Appleseed Group, 2043 Richmond Ave. S.I.N.Y. 10314. office phone 718-698-9797, - Staten Island, NY
NYS Licensed Real Estate Salesperson

Good morning Kathy;  when my wife and I bought our present house, I was not a Realtor back then, I told her don't even tell me about a house you like that doesn't have a garage. That's how much I like a garage.  P.S. My car is out in the street, her car is in the garage, outside temps, 14 degrees, garage temperature is 48 degrees.

Jan 27, 2014 07:27 PM #39
Conrad Allen
Re/Max Professional Associates - Webster, MA
Webster, Ma, Realtor

Garages are so important to us guys Kathy.  

Jan 27, 2014 08:10 PM #40
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

Seeing it empty and clean versus seeing it full and crowded? No brainer for me

Jan 27, 2014 10:25 PM #41
Suzanne Otto
Six Twenty Designs - Lansdale, PA
Your Montgomery County PA home stager

Any on site storage matters Kathy! Buyers want to see storage and they can't do that with a bunch of stuff in there. Same goes for attics and basements!

Jan 27, 2014 11:00 PM #42
Jeff Stevens
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Mexico Properties - Las Cruces, NM
Jeff Stevens REALTOR®/Associate Broker

Good point, Kathy. Too many times sellers pack everything up and stuff it in the already cluttered garage!

Jan 27, 2014 11:17 PM #43
Shannon Milligan, Richmond VA Real Estate Agent/Associate Broker
RVA Home Team - Richmond, VA
RVA Home Team - Winning with Integrity.

Being from PA we are very accustomed to parking our cars in the garage so we MUST be able to see them to make sure we can get our cars in so we don't have to deal with snow scraping. When we moved to VA we were shocked at how many didn't park their cars in the garage, however a lack of basements is the reasoning for this. 

Jan 28, 2014 05:49 AM #44
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Kathy:  I think you've been talking to my wife .. she's always after me to organize my garage better!  Important to "stage" it .. even before selling, but esp. while you are actively showing it for sale ...

Fantastic share ...


Jan 28, 2014 10:25 AM #45
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Cathy- I remember measuring a garage to make sure our bass boat would fit in it. 

Beth- I see so many homes now that have 3 car garages!  We always need storage space. 

George- Let's face it, we all have more than enough cars that we drive and all of the extra things that we collect.  

Barbara- I agree- a well organized and clean garage make a big difference. 

Kathleen- I do have some friends whose garages are always immaculate.  And, they're not even selling their homes. 

Fred- exactly.  When we moved from our last house, we even put baseboards in the garage. 

Praful-even with basements!?!  We'd love to have them here in Florida. 

Eric- let's face it... it's your play area. 

Kenneth- welcome to the club.  My car sits outside too.  Too many kayaks and RC planes in the garage. 

Conrad- I know... it's the first place my husband goes when he's looking at a house. 

Richie- absolutely.  It's an important part of the house!

Suzanne- Who wants to walk into the garage and see boxes everywhere, and paint cans and tools everywhere. 

Jeffrey- I see that a lot.  There have been a few that were so cramped you couldn't even walk in there. 

Shannon- Most people in our area have cars that sit out in the driveway. 

Gene- I saw one that was so bad, I couldn't even step inside it. 


Jan 28, 2014 11:58 AM #46
Rosie Moore
Serving Sugar Land, Richmond, Rosenberg, Missouri City - Sugar Land, TX

Excellent points Kathy. We don't have basements in Texas either. The key to selling is to minimize distractions so buyers can imagine their stuff fitting in the home. I agree, an overstuffed garage (or an overstuffed anything for that matter) can give buyers the impression that the home lacks storage space.

Jan 28, 2014 01:42 PM #47
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Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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