Sydney property stylists we know often talk about of the ways the real estate industry has changed in the recent past. We consumers are not just enmeshed in technology, but our attitudes about shopping in general have also been transformed. What’s also obvious is that the housing market isn’t the only place where new trends have altered familiar practices that have been in place for generations.

Look at the place where you have your car repaired. A trip to the dealership’s service department nowadays will reveal an entire new world in oil changes. Chances are the floors of the service department are buffed to a high gloss and there isn’t a visible oil spot or bit of grime to be found anywhere. “Certified Technicians” have replaced the mechanic your dad used, and banks of computers now stand where wrenches and screwdrivers were stored in years gone by.

The familiar grime is gone. Even the tire rims hanging on the walls appear to be regularly dusted. The clutter has disappeared. As a matter of fact, the entire space looks like a hospital emergency room. What on earth has happened to old Joe’s Auto Shop?

Like most other bastions of commerce, Joe has had to evolve with the times. A new millennium has helped to refocus us all on a more purposeful approach to life. As humans, we have come to expect our world will be easier to navigate – we want our every chore to be, if not mechanised, then at least facilitated. We want less chaos and more organisation. We also want it all to be tidy.

This brings us to the subject of your own garage.

If you are planning to list your home for sale this year, it’s not too early to start thinking about the way your garage behaves. Is this space a working feature of your home where tools and vehicles are stored? Is it – and this is more than common – a dark hole full of unknown commodities worthy of a bargain-hunt reality show? Whatever shape your garage takes it, too, will need a bit of rearranging before the prospective buyers arrive.

When you’re planning a move, it’s all too easy to stack and store things in your garage where you imagine buyers won’t look. The truth is, this space, like all other spaces in your home should be clean, uncluttered, and ‘move-in-ready’ for the new owner. After touring an immaculate, perfectly presented home, an untidy garage can be a deal breaker, leaving the buyer with a sense of ‘too much work to be done’.

Sydney home stylists advise that one of your first projects when you decide to list your home is to hire a storage unit where you can leave your treasures for the duration of the selling process. This should absolutely include all the stuff – old tax papers, boxes of books, plant pots and your camping gear – you currently store in your garage.

In other words, when it comes to decluttering, your garage is not exempt. Nor is it exempt from the other pillars of home staging for sale: depersonalising and cleaning.

Move your camping gear, your bicycles, and your collection of unused exercise equipment to your storage unit. If your Sydney home stylists think leaving tools like mowers and garden equipment is useful, he or she will tell you. Otherwise, assume it’s got to go.

If your garage is your work shop or used for hobbies or crafts, talk to your home stager. Not all buyers are engaged in such activities and may by-pass your house if they think they would be buying a specialised space for which they have no need.

Sweep down cobwebs and dust in the rafters. Clean up the floor. Remove oil spots using one of the commercial garage floor cleaners and, while you may stop short of waxing and buffing the floor, don’t allow it to look forgotten. (Oil spots have no place on your driveway either, so deal with them as well.) You want your garage to appear ready for the new owner to move into at a moment’s notice – just like the rest of your home.

Above all, rely on your Sydney home stylists to orchestrate your pre-listing activities in order to maximise all your spaces, including that garage.

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