Staging FAQs -How Important Is My Garage?

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Staging FAQs -How Important Is My Garage?

On a Staging Consultation recently, the seller planned on putting everything they didn’t need in their already- stuffed garage.  Their garagereasoning was that the garage didn’t matter.

Hold on there, Bucky!  

Last I looked, when someone is buying your house, it includes the garage!

Why is the garage so important?

~With no basements in South Florida, buyers know that every inch of space counts for storage.

~If you have a 2 or 3 car garage and you know that it is, that’s not good enough. A buyer must be able to see that it can hold that many cars. And let’s face it, everyone in Florida has at least 2 cars. A family could have 3 or more.

~A stuffed and messy garage can be a signal that the house lacks any storage space.   

I’ve seen garages that had clothes racks as well as holiday decorations and small appliances stacked in the garage.

~It’s a key selling point!

Some people may not care about the garage but there usually is at least one person in the buying party whose focus will be on the garage.




What you can do…

1. Clean your garage as thoroughly as you did the interior of your home.

Sweep, get rid of spiders and their webs, clean the windows if you have them.


Just as your interior looks fresh with a coat of paint, so will your garage!


Just like you did inside, let the buyer see your space. Go through old cleaners, gadgets, etc that you no longer use or need and donate or dispose of them.


For the items that you do have, place them on shelves or in bins along the wall.

5.Air it out.

Fumes, old rags, dirt...not too appealing to a buyer’s nose. Make sure that the odor in your garage doesn’t turn off a buyer.

6.Light it up.

Make sure the lights work in your garage so your buyers can see it!

7.Stack it or store it.

If you must store some items in the garage, pack them up neatly and store them where they will not distract a buyer.  OR consider renting a small storage space just while your house is on the market.




So, to answer your questions...garages DO matter!!!    



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  1. Nina Hollander 02/20/2018 06:09 AM
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Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

Interestingly, Kathy, many people in Sacramento do not use their garage for parking. They park in the street or drive. Even my husband does not park in our garage, and he could as there is space for him. He says it is too much of a hassle. 

In a buyer's market, I would definitely insist a seller clean out the garage.

In a seller's market, like our present situation here, not so much. Some sellers can barely handle cleaning up the house, so I don't want to stress them out. So in my market, if something's gotta give, sorry, it will be the garage.

Feb 20, 2018 08:39 AM #14
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Great points and perfect tips!  It is always to show off every part of the home in all of it's glory, rather than have rooms that prospective buyers can't see much of.

Feb 20, 2018 09:41 AM #15
Anna Banana Kruchten CRB, CRS 602-380-4886
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
Arizona's Top Banana!

Kathy I've often had this conversation with home sellers. In a buyers market it's very important to have a clean and orderly garage. In a sellers market it's still a good idea as it may bring up the sales price offers.  Most homes in my area don't have basements and garages are full of stuff and like you said, if it's over flowing buyers will freak out!

Feb 20, 2018 09:47 AM #16
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Kathy I had never thought about the need to stage a garage but it makes a lot of sense.

Feb 20, 2018 11:58 AM #17
Beth Atalay
Cam Realty and Property Management - Clermont, FL
Cam Realty of Clermont FL

Hi Kathy Streib, this is a conversation I have with all home sellers, luckily, most do clean out their garage. I haven't parked in my garage since the hurricane, I could as there's room but don't.

Feb 20, 2018 12:22 PM #18
Raul Rodriguez
Covenant Partners Realty - San Antonio, TX
Looking out for the client's interest and not my p

While showing a house recently we looked in the 3 car garage that was stuffed and the buyer's response seems small.

Feb 20, 2018 01:15 PM #19
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


That is so true.  Garages are important when a home is for sale.  Some buyers may have the imagination to see the space, but they are few and far between.  Why make it difficult?  A

Feb 20, 2018 01:38 PM #20
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Long & Foster Real Estate Inc 610-225-7400 - Devon, PA
Tredyffrin Easttown Realtor, Philly Main Line

Oh yes garages do matter and I am always amused when you open the door to the garage and you have close it quickly in case everything falls out. 

Feb 20, 2018 01:58 PM #21
Virginia Youngblood
DO-STAGE! LLC - an ASPM® Home Staging Company - Charlotte, NC
DO-STAGE! LLC - Home Stager - ASPM®


I totally agree. I must confess that because I want to maintain a strong team relationship with the Realtors that hire me for staging consultations who don't think that garage clean up is a priority, I often back off of my emphasis on this:  Garages are a part of the house and they need to show well just as the rest of the property.  The garages often become the 'storage area' for everything deleted from the house.  This is not the ideal!

Thanks for this "on target" post!  Happy staging!

Feb 20, 2018 09:31 PM #22
Carla Freund
Keller Williams Preferred Realty - Raleigh, NC
Raleigh - Cary Triangle Real Estate 919-602-8489

Kathy Streib this is a great reminder about the garage. It does help to be able to see the space. Plus, it helps when the home inspector comes out.

Feb 21, 2018 05:22 AM #23
John Wiley
Right Move Real Estate Group- EXP Realty - Fort Myers, FL
Lee County, FL, ECO Broker, GRI, SRES,GREEN,PSA

Baby Boomers are buying homes and really want a 3 car garage. They need the space. So it is important to show the garage as being as spacious as possible.

Great tips.

Feb 21, 2018 05:46 AM #24
Maria Sapio
Keller Williams of Central PA - Carlisle, PA
Real Estate Agent- Carlisle, PA.

Thank you Kathy for shedding light on the value of organizing and cleaning an often neglected part of the home!

Feb 21, 2018 06:28 AM #25
Sharon Tara
Sharon Tara Transformations - Portsmouth, NH
New Hampshire Home Stager

YES! Having an impressive garage will really make a huge difference! It leaves a lasting positive impression on buyers and adds to that "well maintained" impression you want to make!

Feb 21, 2018 08:06 AM #26
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I'll say that usually by the time buyers look in the garage, they have already formed an impression of the home. Even if there is lots of extra stuff stored there, important that it be stacked neatly, floors swept, etc.

Feb 21, 2018 09:32 AM #27
Kevin Vitali
EXIT Realty- Massachusetts Short Sales & Residential Sales - Tewksbury, MA
Helping Massachusetts Home Buyers and Home Sellers

Kathy Streib I love showing a house with a pristine garage.... freshly painted floors and walls, great storage and everything has a place.....  If some one take that kind of care with the garage I think home buyers are going to assume they do with the whole house!

Feb 21, 2018 11:45 AM #28
Alesha A. Wilson, M.Ed.
Buy and Sell Oklahoma LLC - Oklahoma City, OK
Buy and Sell Real Estate with Confidence

Love this post Kathy Streib.  "A stuffed and messy garage can be a signal that the house lacks any storage space."

I am definitely going to mention that phrase to sellers as they prepare their homes (:  Thank you for sharing!

Feb 21, 2018 07:56 PM #29
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Kathy Streib 

The garage definitely matters! I have my sellers empty and paint walls, ceiling and floors...What a difference!

Feb 21, 2018 08:05 PM #30
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Kathy,

You sure say it like it is. In our area, there are many garages, that have not seen a lick of paint in decades. That & cleaning are such a cheap way to spiff up a place that is quite important to most buyers.

Feb 21, 2018 08:26 PM #31
Sybil Campbell
Long and Foster REALTORS® 5234 Monticello Ave Williamsburg, Virginia - Williamsburg, VA
REALTOR® ABR, SFR, SRES Williamsburg, Virginia

Yes they are important and if they smell like gasoline or oil, that is a major turn off to many buyers.

Feb 22, 2018 12:13 PM #32
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Thank you for this post. As  a realtor, I can tell you garages can be great when they are organized, cleaner, with epoxy floors.  Messy, smelly garages leave a buyer not as excited about a house, even though a seller takes their stuff!

Feb 25, 2018 01:03 PM #33
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Kathy Streib

Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224
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