How to sell your home and make a faster, more profitable sale
If you declutter your basement and stage it, you will be adding value and extra buyer appeal to your home.
Okay, so your basement doesn't look like this? Don't worry, it doesn't need to look this good to sell your home.
A basement is a very adaptable space. It can be whatever you want it to be; a guest room with bathroom, a laundry area, an entertainment space or the ubiquitous man cave. Or just use it for storage.
Is your basement dark and dreary like the one pictured below and a repository for everything that doesn't fit in the rest of your home?
Do you dread having to do your laundry in the basement? Well, home buyers are going to feel the same way.
Not all home owners are fortunate enough to have a lovely finished basement. If your basement falls in the "creepy dungeon" category, don't despair!
You don’t need to do a complete basement renovation to sell your home. You just need to make sure your basement is clean, spider webs swept away, and that there are no structural, electrical, or plumbing problems to scare buyers away.
According to Homeguide.com, the average cost to finish a basement is $32 to $47 per square foot or between $22,000 and $46,000. A 500 sq. ft. basement remodel costs $20,000, and a 1,000 sq. ft. basement renovation is $38,000 on average. Prices vary, of course, depending on what your design plans are.
Even a basement that's used only for storage will add value to your home, because who doesn't need more storage?
There are a few interior home remedies you can do to lighten up this space and turn it into extra square footage without having to do a complete basement renovation.
Simply emptying and cleaning your basement will help home buyers to realize its potential.
Decluttering your basement can seem like a daunting task, especially if you've been stockpiling stuff for years. But, the great thing about decluttering is that you get a head start on your packing.
You'll need to assemble boxes, totes, garbage bags, tape and a permanent marker.
Sort everything into groups:
Declutter your basement by packing up everything else you plan to take your new home by moving it to a temporary storage unit.
Take your time; divide the task in short segments to make it more palatable, even if it's only 20 minutes a day.
Removing accumulated stuff and creating empty spaces will show buyers the true size and potential of your basement.
Bribe a friend to help. Your friend will talk you out of hanging onto things you haven't seen or used for years!
After decluttering, its time to clean. Get rid of mold and mildew and fix any structural, electrical or plumbing problems. This is also a good time to have your HVAC system tested.
The darkest part of a house usually has the worst lighting. Often you will find a single bulb light fixture hanging in the middle of the ceiling, and that's it!
Natural light is always the preferred kind of lighting, but because basements in older houses were never meant to be lived in, builders were a bit of stingy with window sizes.
In addition, many basements are partially underground, or daylight basements, which means that part of the basement is underground, usually at the front of the house and above ground at the back.
So, unless you want to cut through thick masonry brick or concrete to enlarge windows, you will need to add lighten your dark basement by other methods.
Painting a basement wall can be quite complicated if you're painting over brick, stone, or concrete. Before you run out and select your paint, you'll need to see if your walls are waterproof or all your painting will be in vain.
Follow this excellent step-by-step guide from Better Homes and Garden for repairing and repainting a basement masonry wall.
When your basement walls are ready to paint, be sure to select a light neutral color.
Light colors have the effect of "visually" expanding a small space. This is why home stagers always use light neutral colors in home decorating.
Be sure to paint the ceiling in a light color as well. A light color will visually "raise" a low ceiling.
A great way to improve the appearance of concrete basement floors is to paint them. See the instructive video below by ppgprofessional for directions on how to clean, prep and paint concrete floors.
Buyers love storage!
Show home buyers that there is room in YOUR basement for their stuff by installing shelving units or closets for storage.
Installing a unit like this will demonstrate how useful this space is; buyers often find an empty room confusing.
Recall the scene in the movie, "Home Alone 1" where "Kevin" goes down to the basement to do laundry and meets up with the scary furnace! The above picture reminds me of that scene.
Laundry cabinetry and organizing systems like this can be found at any home improvement center.
This is not fancy, it's simply a clean and organized area to do laundry without fear. Home buyers will love it!
See ideas for staging your basement here.
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