In the course of dressing our properties for successful sales, we tend to concentrate on the house itself – which is, of course, where buyers will spend most of their time. According to the real estate stylist, outbuildings, garages, workshops, and sheds are also worthy of sprucing up ahead of listing as well.
If your listing language includes reference to such amenities, it’s highly likely that that your prospective buyer chose your house over others because of the additional space. It simply makes sense, then, to give these outbuildings some attention in terms of putting their best feet forward.
The first thing you need to avoid is using these spaces for storage of your packed belongings. We strongly suggest that if you don’t have a new home to move into already, that you rent a storage space short-term to house the stuff you plan to take with you. You want any extra space to be available to view without the boxes and clutter. We want the property to look R-O-O-M-Y.
If you advertise a “workshop,” you need to be prepared to produce one. Whether it is a woodworking workshop or a place to weld metal art, you want this space to look productive. By leaving a few of your woodworking or other tools strategically placed, you bring the space to life and give it a legitimate purpose. You might also leave a piece or two of your artful creations to complete the picture.
We speak often of the ways prospective buyers wish upon a house. They come into a perfectly organised space and wish their home was just as tidy. They quite often buy properties because they are inspired by the way the house in question seems to function. They project their deepest desires into the space – that is, if the real estate stylist has done the groundwork well. For all practical purposes, your house could sell simply because it appears that this particular house inspires children to put their toys away.
If your buyer has always wanted to be a gardener, you can bet that a greenhouse or potting space will be a magnet. If your buyer ever dreamed of building toys for the grandchildren, there will be an irresistible attraction to a garage where saws and sanding devices live. Preparing a home for listing is as much about possibilities as it is realities. This is the bailiwick of your home staging professional. Their stock in trade is potential and you will benefit from their creativity when you bring them in as part of your sales team.
Do you have space in and around your home that you’ve never really put to work? That shed in the backyard could become a granny flat with just a bit of elbow grease and a relatively small investment of time and money. The same is true of that adorable little playhouse you built for the grandkids. Discuss these things with your selling agent and your design team before you list the property. An investment such as this could move your house to the top of many buyers’ lists.
As you consider which of the many property design companies to bring onboard, remember that a history of creative space-making is so important. Your buyers are almost always relieved to be spared questions such as; “Where does the sofa go?” If your home stylist can help you bring your space to life by showing buyers where and how inside furnishings can be placed, they can also give you ideas about how to organise an attractive garage/workshop. Buyers will appreciate your extra work to take the guesswork out of hanging shovels and rakes or putting screwdrivers in their places.
A well-styled house doesn’t confine itself to the space under the roof. It very often has additional living space that can be extremely valuable to buyers. Extra living space can also mean a deck, a patio, or a backyard fire pit. Your job and the job of the real estate stylist is to find and demonstrate how the extra living space can make the buyers’ lives better. Creative home styling can mean a faster sale and more money on the bottom line. It’s all about thinking outside the box.